Mezgec fourth in second consecutive sprint day at La Vuelta

Tue 27 Aug 2019

After a third place yesterday, Tour of Poland stage winner Luka Mezgec sprinted to fifth place on stage four of La Vuelta a Espana.

Mezgec found himself better positioned on the technical run-in to the finish, but just couldn’t match the speed of Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) who won in a photo finish ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

UPDATE: After a review of the final sprint, the jury relegated third placed Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb), moving Mezgec up to fourth on the stage.

Second sprint stage:
A second consecutive day for the sprinters saw a duo of riders go off the front without debate, and ride out to a seven-minute lead. 

The sprint teams joined race leaders Team Sunweb and they brought the pair back to four-minutes before the approach to the day’s climb once again saw an injection of pace and their advantage was a little over a minute at the bottom of the climb. 

Despite extending slightly on the ascent, there was nothing stopping the peloton from bringing it back together and the day of Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), the final remaining breakaway rider, ended with 18km remaining.

Despite a late solo attempt, the anticipated bunch sprint prevailed with Jakobsen declared the winner in a tight finish, Mezgec behind in fifth.

Luka Mezgec – 5thplace:
“It was a hectic final and the GC teams made it even more sketchy until the three kilometres to go mark but then Jakobsen had the perfect lead out today and he deserved the win. 

“Dion (Smith) was there today to help me, he did a good job. I was a bit flicked just inside one kilometre on the uphill part over the highway, I had to brake a little and then coming back I didn’t have much left in the end.

“It’s a bit of a different role than I have been used to the last three years as a lead out man, but I’m enjoying it.” 

Julian Dean – Sport Director:
"It was really scrappy, really messy and quite dodgy with alot of roundabouts and lefts and rights, so our guys did a good job to stay at the front, keeping Esteban (Chaves) and Mikel (Nieve) out of trouble and positioning Luka and Dion for the sprint. 

"Luka maybe didn't have as strong of a sprint as yesterday, but they did the best they could." 

La Vuelta – Stage 4 Results:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 4:04:16
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) ST
4. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST 

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 4:
1. Nicholas Roche (Team Sunweb) 13:55:30
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) +0:02
3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +0:08
4. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:22

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.