One more podium place -a victory, two runner-up positions and four third places- in this season start and one less opportunity for José Joaquín Rojas to increase his victory account of the season and the fifth triumph hiding so hard to Movistar Team in the month of March.
The telephone squad set again all its sights on stepping onto the highest place on the podium as working for the latter half of the stage with all their riders, except for Xavi Tondo, whose 8th position keeps him within the best ten overall. Alongside the Cofidis squad, Iriarte and Soler set the right pace into the bunch to reel the day’s escape back; Intxausti and Fran Pérez joined them in the finale to eventually let ground for Erviti and, above all, to an excellent Luis Pasamontes in the five closing kilometers. The Spaniard was in charge of letting Rojas in good position, but his effort got overtaken by the sprint from Cardoso (RSH) andz Nizzolo (LEO), first and second respectively. Movistar Team sports director José Luis Arrieta regretted from the lost occasion: “It’s a pity, because you look back and see your best rival in previous stages –Petacchi withdrew with physical problems-, so you think it’s gonna be the day. We did everything right, but if cycling were mathematics, we would be winning everyday. We have to keep trying. The team will be completely devoted to him in the upcoming stages and Rojas, despite feeling disappointed, will be the first tomorrow to feel convinced to win, and seeing that is really important for his teammates. We were up-front in every single stage but we still didn’t deliver that needed result. I’m sure the prize will come by Sunday.”
Sprinters will have another opportunity tomorrow in the Volta’s fifth stage: El Vendrell-Tarragona, 205 kilometers.