Felix Grossschartner and Jan Hirt, the highest ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders in the general standings, finished stage 4 of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in a reduced bunch.
Info: 23 marca, La Seu d’Urgeil – Igualada, 136km
Due to cold and snow in Llivia, the start was moved 58 kilometers down the road to Montferrer. Instead of initial 194 kilometers, there was 136 kilometers on the menu. After the riders were driven to the new location of the start, they were welcomed by pleasant sun and nice temperatures.
Shortened stage meant one thing – stronger pace. Speed was high early on also for another reason – the road was going gently downhill for the first tens of kilometers.
After covering 36 kilometers 5 escapees – José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates), Diego Rubio (Caja Rural) and Juan Felipe Osorio (Manzana Postobon) – were given green light to break away:
The peloton had things under control and caught the escape before the last climb of the day, cat. 2 Turo del Puig. Some riders wanted to shake the race up on the ascent, which resulted in reducing the bunch to around 60 riders. Felix Grossschartner and Jan Hirt both were up there and finished in the main group (31st and 58th respectively), keeping their spots in the general standings
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) edged out his rivals taking the stage win. He outsprinted Davide Cimolai (FDJ) and Daryl Impey (ORICA-Scott).