The UCI world ranking's number one paid a tribute to Pablo Lastras after the remembrance offered by his team-mates at the start of stage four in the Vuelta a España in Estepona, one day away from five months after his crash in the Volta a Catalunya. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) crowned in Vejer de la Frontera, after one of the longest stages in the race (209km), a finale full of short, sharp climbs where the recent Tour de France podium outsprinted the eve's winner in Málaga and green jersey in the French stage race, Peter Sagan (TCS), with a signature move into the closing 200 meters.

Even though they hit the front at some points of the stage with Erviti, Sutherland or Ventoso -seconded into the day's teamwork by Amador, Visconti, Rojas or Moreno, who suffered a crash with no consequences into a dangerous urban passage-, the Eusebio Unzué-directed squad did not take as much responsibility as they did on previous stages, with Tinkoff and Katusha successively chasing down the day's early breakaway and attempts from Bilbao (CJR), Samuel Sánchez (BMC) and Roche (SKY) into the last 4km.

Valverde dominated the situation with expertise to claim his ninth career stage win in the Vuelta -twelve years after the first one- and take the Blues' account to 30 wins this season, reaching the 5th place in the overall standings -25" behind Chaves (OGE- in the process. In turn, Nairo Quintana finished in 9th spot and remains 8th overall as sprinters take another turn on Wednesday with a relatively easy finish in Alcalá de Guadaíra.