Vuelta a Espana #4: Youcef Reguigui sprints to 9th

Matteo Trentin (Quickstep-Floors) won the 4th stage of the Vuelta a Espana from a mass sprint finish. Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) finished in 2nd and Tom Van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) rounded out the stage podium. Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the overall race lead.

The 198km 4th stage of the Vuelta a Espana was one of the few opportunities for the sprinters and they weren’t going to miss out. A 5-rider break went clear and they saw a glimmer of hope when their advantage reached just more than 6-minutes. Quickstep, Aqua Blue Sport, Lotto-Soudal and UAE Emirates then took over the pace making from Team Sky and the gap decreased rapidly.

With the sprint finish on the horizon, our African Team looked to Youcef Reguigui for the fast finish. Our Algerian champion did a fine job of surfing the wheels up front in the final 20km and made sure to stay around the top 20 places constantly. With 7km to go the break was caught but no single team really had control over the main bunch. This saw the pace slow and riders continually swamped from the back to the front, making it hard to maintain position.

Regugui did well in the end to enter the final kilometer in the top 15 places but the technical run in made it hard to move up until the road straightened for the final 300m. Trentin had the perfect position and accelerated away to an easy win, Reguigui also showed a good kick and crossed the line in 9th place on the stage.

Youcef Reguigui – Rider
It was a long day made difficult by the heat. After the climb, we were sitting near the front with the whole team. From 30km to go it was a crazy final with a lot of roundabouts and small roads. So, we had to fight for position from a long way out. I had Nic Dougall to help me to the last 15km, he is not a sprinter so he could not do more because it was a crazy final but he did a good job. I just kept fighting for position until the last corner and I had the wheel of Modolo. In the corner, there was gap left in front so we lost a few positions, from there it was only 300m to go so we couldn’t move up further. Thanks to team for looking after me in the bunch and with bottles the first 150km. There is a few chances for me still and if we work well again I believe I can get a result.