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Volta a Catalunya: Rutkiewicz fights for points.

Manuel Cardoso from RadioShack was first to cross the finishing line during the race of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in El Vendrell, defeating in a sprinters’ duel Giacomo Nizzolo from Leopard Trek and Jose Joaquin Rojas from the team of Movistar. After the very difficult, ‘royal’ stage, the next, fourth stage of the race from La Seu D’Urgell to El Vendrell, 195 km long, seemed easy. On the route there was only one little climb of the 3 category after which the route led downhill, straight to the finishing line in El Vendrell. In the first kilometres of the route the peloton imposed a quick pace of the ride, eliminating all attempts to attack, and not allowing any breakaways. The situation like that lasted until the intermediate sprint at the 38th kilometre of the route, where Marek Rutkiewicz had a fierce battle for points, taking the second place, right behind Ruben Perez. Gaining more points allowed him to move in the general classification to the 3rd place.

The first successful attack and a break-away of five cyclists took place at the 71st kilometre of the route. The break-away group was: Jose Vicente Toribio (Andalucía-Caja Granada), Mathias Frank (BMC), Rubén Pérez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Aleksander Pliuszin (Katusha) and Mauricio Ardila (Geox-TMC).

For most of the stage the peloton was controlled by the team of Saxo Bank, who did not let the escaping five cyclists gain a big advantage, that reached little over 3 minutes at best. At the 140th kilometre of the route the advantage was only 1 minute 50 seconds. 38 kilometres before the finishing line Pliuszin attacked out of the escaping group. His solitary ride did not last long, because the rushing peloton absorbed four cyclists first and then the lonely attacking daredevil. 10 kilometres before the finishing line the peloton was riding together, and the teams of sprint cyclists were fighting for the best possible position for their leader to attack.

In the sprinter’s duel the cyclist of the RadioShack team, Manuel Cardoso defeated Giacomo Nizzolo and Joaquin Rojas.
The highest ranked in this stage cyclist of the CCC Polsat Polkowice team was Błażej Janiaczyk who finished that race in the 28th place.

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) is still the leader of the race.

The results of stage 4: La Seu D’Urgell – El Vendrell, 195 km

1. Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack 4:33:02
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek
3. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team

28. Błażej Janiaczyk
32. Jose Mendes
58. Marek Rutkiewicz
63. Jacek Morajko
113. Adrian Honkisz
115. Tomasz Marczyński
132. Łukasz Bodnar
146. Mariusz Witecki