Daniel Moreno (Katusha) claimed a well-taken stage win at the Vuelta a Espana on Tuesday when he beat Chris Anker Sörensen (Saxo Bank-Sunguard) to the line at Sierra Nevada.

The Spaniard jumped away from his fellow breakaway in the final 300m to take this early foray into the mountains by a comfortable margin.

Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) claimed his best yet result in a Grand Tour stage when he led in the main group of contenders, eleven seconds back.

The Irishman showed prominently on the 23km first category finishing climb and beat the usually fast finishing Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) for third place.

On an yet another hot day, and one on which Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) abandoned, Britain’s Bradley Wiggins also showed well.

Although the steady graded, wide and well surfaced ascent was always going to be his suiting, he looked comfortable all the way up. He was in close attendance when defending Vuleta champion Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) tested the water with 8km to go and even had Sky team mate Chris Froome set a high pace on the front of the main group in the closing two kilometres.

One of the upshots of Froome driving the pace as the race approached the finish, was that Wiggins’ potential overall rival Igor Anton lost more time.

The Euskaltel-Euskadi man, who was leading the Vuelta when he crashed out last year, was dropped by the main contenders group with 9km to go and came in with a team mate 1-22 down.

Sylvain Chavanel was another rider who lost time at the top of the climb in the hot conditions. However with race leader Pablo Lastras (Movistar) having been dropped by the group earlier on, the Frenchman moved into the leader’s red jersey.

The winning move emerged shortly after Nibali’s brief skirmish when Astana’s Robert Kiserlovski launched a counter attack.

Quickly joined by Sörensen, the pair bridged across to the four remnants of the day’s early break: Thomas Rohregger (Leopard-Trek), Matthew Busche (Radioshack), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) and Guillame Bonnafond (AG2R).

As Sorenson rode almost straight past the group, Bonnafond latched onto him but made little contribution to the effort. As Bonnafond faded in the final 3km, he was immediately replaced by Moreno who, like Sorenson, had ridden across from the main group and past the chasers with an apparent level of ease.

With Sorenson doing the bulk of the work towards the line, it was with a similarly straightforward move that Moreno struck out for his win. He kicked from off Sorenson’s wheel and immediately opened up a gap of several lengths.

As well as taking the stage, he moved into second overall.

Results


Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage 4: Baza-Sierra Nevada, 170.2km

1. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha 4-51-53


2. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Sunguard at 3sec

3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervélo at 11 sec

4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha

5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre

6. Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM

7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

8. Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM

9. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre

10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank all same time

Brits


18. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky at 11sec

28. Chris Froome (GBr) Team 
Sky
 at st

148. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky at 18-27

DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad

Overall standings

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep 13-19-09


2. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at 43sec

3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek at 49sec

4. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard-Trek at same time

5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 53sec

6. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 58sec

7. Frederik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana at 59sec

8. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Movistar at 1-03

9. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar at st

10. Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quickstep at 1-04

Brits

20. Chris Froome (GBr) Team 
Sky
 at 1-31

21. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky at st

144. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky at 30-23

Matthew Busche in escape, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Matthew Busche leads the escape group

Chris Anker Sorensen escapes, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Chris Anker Sorensen attacks in the final kilometres

Chris Froome, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Chris Froome rode hard for Wiggins on the final climb, and earned himself 20th place overall

Daniel Moreno wins, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Daniel Moreno wins

Andrew Talansky and Daniel Martin, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Andrew Talansky congratulates Daniel Martin on his third place

Bradley Wiggins at finish, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Bradley Wiggins finished with the leaders

Sylvain Chavanel in lead, Vuelta a Espana 2011, stage four



Sylvain Chavanel takes the race lead

Related links



Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Latest news

Cavendish battles on in summer scorcher in Vuelta

Vuelta heads for first major showdown on Tuesday

Matt Goss first rider to abandon Vuelta

Team Sky’s TTT horror on troublesome course

Dan Martin confident and collected as Vuelta team leader

Pro predictions: Who will win the Vuelta?

HTC-Highroad’s reservations about TTT course

Vuelta team time trial start order

Sky plans early start for Vuelta team time trial recon

Wiggins looking to minimise losses in testing Vuelta TTT

Riders voice support for Hushovd over Vuelta exclusion

Cancellara late to Vuelta after being hospitalised by bee sting

Nibali back for victory again in 2011 Vuelta

Wiggins: “I’m in a great position going into the Vuelta”

Wiggins confirmed as Sky leader for the Vuelta

Freire: It’ll be tough in the Vuelta with Cavendish

Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Dan Martin to lead Garmin-Cervelo

Cavendish and Wiggins on provisional Vuelta start list

Climbers set to dominate in 2011 Vuelta

Millar on 2011 Vuelta: ‘Modern-looking and very challenging”

2011 Vuelta set to return to Angliru and Basque country

Angliru back in 2011 Tour of Spain

Hushovd left out of Vuelta; Martin to lead Garmin-Cervélo

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Vuelta a Espana 2011: Who’s riding?

Vuelta a Espana 2011 team list

Vuelta a Espana 2011
: Stage reports



Stage three: Lastras solos to stage and takes red jersey



Stage two: Sutton grabs stage win to set things right for Sky



Stage one: Leopard-Trek win opening TTT to put Fuglsang in front




Vuelta a Espana 2011: Photo galleries

By Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Vuelta a Espana 2011: TV guide



Vuelta a Espana 2011: ITV4 TV schedule



Vuelta a Espana 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule



ITV to show 2011 Vuelta