2022 Vuelta a Burgos Stage 4 Preview

Torresandino > Clunia 168.4km

The fourth stage in Burgos should be one for the puncheurs. It’s been a while since this finish was used, last time was 2019 and Alex Aranburu took the win. I’ve a memory of Jens Keukeleire smashing this finish way back in 2013, on way to winning two stages of the race that year. The uphill finish is a test, and we can see gaps at the finish, so GC riders need to make sure they’re at the front and not caught behind any splits, this is what makes it too hard for the sprinters.

Weather

Hot and sunny.

Finale

It’s a grippy finish, a good position at the foot of the climb is vital. It’s one where you need to keep near the front the whole way, then unleash the big kick. Sounds easy, but it isn’t.

Tactics

No need for fancy tactics, it’s all about a good position for the final 2km. At this point the riders take a fast left-hand turn, then the climbing starts. We saw in the opening stage that when teams don’t have domestiques to chase, an early attack can take the win in this type of finish. However, this stage is pretty easy, there should be numbers to chase down anyone who wants to go long.

The finish can catch a few out, it’s deceptively tough. The hardest section is when the road curves round to the left with around 800 to go. At this point the gradient kicks up to 9%, then it starts to get a little bit easier towards the line. Waiting as long as possible before launching your sprint is always advisable in a finish like this.

Contenders

Ruben Guerreiro – cut a frustrated figure today, but he waited too long before trying to bridge to Sivakov, and then couldn’t. This finish is one that suits him, especially as EF have the numbers to control the finale. He’s now going to find it hard to win the GC, but a stage win would be a welcome boost before the Vuelta.

Santiago Buitrago – surprised everyone in the opening stage, launching his attack from far out. Pulling off the same move twice will be very difficult, especially as Ineos will be watching him closely.

Tao Geoghegan Hart – yes, they have Sivakov in the race lead, but I think Tao has the better finish for this type of stage. When he gets on top of that big gear, he can shift.

Alejandro Valverde – today was a welcome return to form, this is a stage he’ll be looking forward to, he’s made a career out of winning on days like this. If Movistar can get him in a good position, he has the kick required to win.

Fernando Gaviria – too hard for him.

Matteo Trentin – it depends on how hard they hit the climb. It’s likely to be done very quickly, making it too hard for him too.

Iván García Cortina – he’ll probably be helping to lead out Valverde.

Prediction Time

I’ll take a win for Ruben Guerreiro.

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