Olympic Road Race Champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) has claimed victory on the fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country after jumping away from a small group in the closing kilometres.
He took the win by two seconds from Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank). Chris Horner (RadioShack) was fourth in the same time.
Sanchez set up his victory towards the top of the final climb of the stage – a hilly 160km between Murguia Zuia and Eibar. Having caught lone attacker Horner with 2 km to go, Sanchez then went again, just after Valverde and Gesink had also latched on. It is his Basque based Euskatel team’s first victory this season.
In finishing second, Valverde has reclaimed the overall lead in the race from Oscar Freire, although Horner and Gesink are still breathing down his neck. The race continues with more hills tomorrow then a 22km time trial on Saturday.
Tour of the Basque Country 2010, stage four: Murguia Zuia-Eibar (Arrate)
1. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 160km in 4-05-16
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 2secs
3. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
4. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack at same time
5. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 33secs
6. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto at same time
7. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 40secs
8. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank at same time
9. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 49secs
10. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at same time.
43. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 3-33
47. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 4-23
64. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky at 8-48
Overall classification after stage four
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne