Garmin-Sharp’s Irish rider Dan Martin, days after his 6-month ban has expired, clinched a monumental stage victory with a long solo attack and moved on top of the general classification. 2010 Volta winner Joaquim Rodriguez and Movistar’s rising Colombian Nairu Quintana finished the stage in 2nd and 3rd places.
Martin was the sole survivor of a 25-rider escape group formed early in the race and kept his pace all the way through the ski resort of Port Aine. With this victory, Dan Martin now leads the general classification by 10 seconds ahead of Rodriguez.
After overnight race leader Alejandro Valverde crashed and quit the race along with team-mate Eros Capecchi, Quintana became the new race leader for Movistar and stands 32 seconds away from Martin.
“It’s one of my best victories,” told Martin. “To have Ryder Hesjedal working for me in the breakaway like that all day was just incredible. I didn’t do much in the breakaway. I felt kind of bad, but it’s an incredible victory for me today. I know how difficult it is to win out a breakaway. To finally get a victory here in the mountains of my home race is very important for me.”
Final 3 Kilometers
GC After Stage 4
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 18:48:38
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 10″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 32″
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 36″
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 39″
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 51″
7. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 1′ 00″
8. Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp 1′ 07″
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 1′ 13″
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 1′ 15″
Stage 4 Results
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 6:02:40
2. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 36″
3. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team