For the first time since the start of this Vuelta, last Tuesday from Irun, the road didn't rise up for the riders. This 4th stage between Garray and Ejea de los Caballeros offered some kind of relief, only the wind who sometimes invited itself to the race kept the riders vigilant at all times.
Maté, the 9th participation in the Vuelta
Luis Angel Maté has taken advantage of this: from the second kilometer he was among the four riders who were in the peloton. Quickly, the breakaway took off before Bora reduced the gap. Luis Angel Maté, one of the most popular Spanish riders on this side of the Pyrenees, proves his strong attachment to the Vuelta, he is participating in it for the 9th time in his career.
A hilly stage on the program tomorrow
On a day where the peloton managed to be close to an average speed of 50 km/h, the breakaway was caught again with 20 kilometers to go. As expected, the stage finished in a sprint. Well supported by Pierre-Luc Périchon and Guillaume Martin, Emmanuel Morin took part in it. He finishes 9th, a great performance, whereas he is 25 years old and is competing in the first big Tour of his career.
From now on, you have to look ahead to the coming weekend. Tomorrow, the 185,5 km long stage will be relatively flat before the road will go up to 2nd and 3rd category climb in the last 60 kilometers. A stage profile that could allow a breakaway to go right until the finish, that would be unprecedented in this Vuelta.
EMMANUEL MORIN: "I was lucky enough to be supported all day by Pierre-Luc and Guillaume. It's strange, by the way, to be protected by Guillaume and not the other way around. I really wanted to get a good result, especially as it was my first sprint at this level. In the final, I tried to concentrate and avoid crashing. This is my first 'top 10' in the UCI World Tour and I am very happy about it. From now on, we will do everything we can to help Guillaume win a stage".
GUILLAUME MARTIN: "It wasn't physically hard, but it was a quite technical stage where the wind played a lot. We stayed vigilant all day around Emmanuel Morin so that he could make a good sprint. He finishes in the 'top 10': for his first participation in a big Tour, it is a great performance. My feelings are good and I approach the weekend with confidence and willingness to do everything I can".
LUIS ANGEL MATÉ: "It was a very nervous stage because of the wind. I wanted to go to the front to anticipate the risk of a bordure. In the breakaway, I was able to manage my effort and not overwork myself. Tomorrow will be another day and we will continue to fight for our priority goal: the stage victory".