Former Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro fell victim to a determined chasing peloton Friday before Italian Lorenzetto Mirco took out a well-deserved sprint win at the Tour of the Valencia Community.
Mirco, of Lampre, held off fellow Spaniard Xavier Florencio, of Bouygues Telecom, and Italian Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas after 4hr 15min of racing over 175.6 km from Naquera to Naquera.
Spaniard Ruben Plaza retained the race leader's jersey in domineering fashion, his Benfica team chasing down a two-man breakaway. Spaniard Antonio Piedra and Lucas Euser at one point led by over seven minutes, making the American the virtual race leader.
Benfica's turn of pace caught the front pair at the 12km to go mark, but also left Pereiro trailing further back, the Spaniard eventually finishing 106th at over two minutes adrift of the peloton.
In the final few kilometres Canadien Ryder Hesjedal survived a spectacular crash before Mirco claimed the honours at the finish.
Saturday's final stage is a 149.4km ride beginning and finishing in Valencia.
|1 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre||4:15:00 (41.32km/h)|
|2 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom|
|3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas|
|4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre|
|5 Manuel Váquez (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia|
|6 Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom|
|8 Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom|
|9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana|
|10 Javier Benitez (Spa) Benfica|
General classification after stage 4
|1 Rubén Plaza (Spa) Benfica||16:41:55|
|2 Manuel Váquez (Spa) Contentpolis - Murcia||0:00:05|
|3 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Bouygues Telecom||0:00:21|
|4 Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne||0:00:24|
|5 Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi||0:00:31|
|6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana||0:00:33|
|7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom||0:00:35|
|8 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis|
|9 Antonio Colom (Spa) Astana|
|10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas|