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PEZ Photo Gallery: Valencia’20 Stage 4 – Road to Nowhere

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Roadside PEZ: The best laid plans are bound to go wrong, especially if you are ‘Race Chasing’, as our man in Spain, Alastair Hamilton, found out on the mountainous stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana last Saturday. He didn’t make the ultra-steep summit finish, but there still a lot to take in ‘Roadside’.

See the Valencia’20 stage 2 ‘Photo Gallery’ HERE. The stage race report is in EUROTRASH HERE.


Calpe – The cycling centre of the World from December to March

You probably thought I had forgotten all about Valencia stage 4, but it was more a case of recovery from a tough day in the car saddle. The plan was to see the start, then shoot up to the highest point of the stage, the Puerto de Tudons (1,048 metres). Then shoot back in time to get up the last climb for the ‘Grand Finalé,


The beach is quiet at this time of day/year

All was going to plan until two Gazprom-RusVelo riders were dropped on the early climbs, but wanted to finish. They were nearly half an hour down by the Tudons and traffic was held up, including me.


The start was ready, where are the riders?

Even a fast dash, occasionally within the speed limit, on the (now free) autopista wasn’t enough to save the day as the road was closed for the circuit before the final climb…. No chance of making the new and very steep climb of the Sierra Bernia.


The shop had some nice kit, all original

There was nothing to be done except take a different way home and catch the last riders crossing the line on TV. On reflection, I could have stayed at home and seen the race pass four times, but where is the fun in that?


The team bus area is always popular with the fans

It was still a good day, I hope you like the photos. Obviously the last two are by Cor Vos.


The CCC Giant bike were ready for two of them to go in the break


Probably not a day for Jumbo-Visma


The GB National champion’s bike


Interview for Alexander Kristoff before the start


Paris-Roubaix winner Dirk Demol


Always good to meet up with Laura Meseguer, she was doing the interviews for Eurosport


And there was the GB champ himself – Ben Swift


Double pro GB champion in his day, now Bahrain-McLaren DS – Top chap, Tim Harris


PEZ friend – Canadian Hugo Houle


The Bardiani colours are growing on me


Many fans are pleased to see the return of the Euskadi orange


Astana’s LL Sanchez


Looking cool – Ivan Basso


Dan Martin, 4th again today


The sign-on


The ‘Tractor’ Tim Declercq made it into the break


Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet was also a break-man


Has Alessandro De Marchi recovered from Thursday’s big break?


Wout Poels is in form, 2nd today


Great to see Philippe Gilbert – Which Classic will he win this year?


“So, you’re a photographer now?” He remembers my interview questions, this must be the first year I’ve not interviewed the ex-World champion since… 2011?


This year’s Spanish champs jersey is looking good


Contreras ready for the start


Race director Angel Casero and Spanish champion Alejandro Valverde share a joke on the start line


Trentin coming the wrong way to the start


Ready to go


What is the age difference between these two? Valverde could be Pogačar’s dad


James Knox just missed the start


And they are off!


Lunch time on the mountain


The break was going well


But there was a long way to go yet


Van Avermaet has his early season climbing legs


The bunch was not at full speed


And filled the road


Valverde didn’t have a great day in the end


The guys at the back were feeling the pressure


Sprinter Kristoff was still hanging on


Climb three or four of the day? Still two or three to go


Don’t worry, the two RusVelo guys are way behind


After a mad drive I caught the break as it started the final lap before the climb


Their day was nearly over


The speed in the bunch was warming up


Valverde had his men around him


Trentin and Poels were not far away


Dan Martin ready for the last climb


The chase still on, but where are the RusVelo guys?


The win I never saw


It was steep enough without a wheelie – Ivan Garcia Cortina showing off

Maybe not the day I planned, but not to be missed. Roll on the 2021 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 4 Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 4:22:03
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:06
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start Up Nation
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:23
7. Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 0:32
8. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:42
9. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana at 0:45
10. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion Euskadi-Orbea at 0:49.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 4:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 16:38:28
2. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start Up Nation at 0:13
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:23
6. Wouter Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:25
7. Ion Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 0:32
8. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea at 0:49
9. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana at 1:11
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:14.

Valencia’20 stage 4:

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