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"When I saw the peloton was not too big, I decided to try for myself in the sprint. Why not? I did my best, but my position was not the perfect one and there was a lot of wind in the finish line, so I finished 6th."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

ALEXANDR KOLOBNEV

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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26.08.2014 @ 20:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Katusha went into today's stage of the Vuelta a Espana with the objective of keeping Joaquim Rodriguez safe. In the end, Alexandr Kolobnev got his chance in the bunch sprint and took a fine 6th place.

 

Temperatures continued to soar on Tuesday for the fourth stage of the 2014 Vuelta a España. The thermometer peaked  42ºC and it was a challenge for the riders to stay hydrated throughout the day but for Team Katusha riders everything went according to the plan.

 

"Today was a stage which could finish with the sprint, so for us the main thing was to keep Joaquim Rodriguez far from any trouble. It was another really hot day and the team staff did a good job keeping all riders hydrated in every possible point of the race. We knew about the last climb with 25 km to go and about the dangerous downhill. When Valverde attacked, we went in front with 2 aims - to chase the break and to keep Purito in front on the downhill. We did both successfully. In the final there was a reduced peloton with not so many riders, so Kolobnev decided to try for himself. It was a good try. In the end it was a stage without any problems for us,"  said team director José Azevedo.

 

"When I saw the peloton was not too big, I decided to try for myself in the sprint. Why not? I did my best, but my position was not the perfect one and there was a lot of wind in the finish line, so I finished 6th. Not bad, but it was just my first attempt," added Alexander Kolobnev.

 

The win was for John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) in front of Vicente Reynes (IAM Cycling) and race leader Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge after just over four hours of racing. Matthews kept the red leader’s jersey for a second day, holding 8 seconds to Nairo Quintana and 15-seconds to Alejandro Valverde, both of Movistar. Joaquim Rodriguez is 18th , 42 seconds behind the leader.

 

Wednesday’s stage 5 features smaller climbs on a day predicted to still be hot. A category 3 climb comes late with many lumpy climbs throughout the day on the 180 km stage beginning in Priego de Cordoba and ending in Ronda. Wind could also be a factor.

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