Anthony Roux (FDJ) was awarded the victory on stage 4 of Vuelta a Burgos by the race jury. They relegated Daniele Ratto, who was the first across the finish line, because of irregular sprint. Roux, who was already leader of the race, sees his lead reinforced in the eve of the decisive summit finish which will be held on Sunday to Lagunas de Neila, a category 1 climb.
The final 300 meters of the stage, which otherwise had been rolling and even comfortable for most of the day, were intricate and narrow, with three turns including a final switchback where the finish line was placed.
Daniele Ratto (Cannondale) was the first to pass it, but was relegated by the jury because they considered that his behaviour was more dangerous than the finish itself. Ratto faced the closing meters occupying the first position of the peloton, and edged side to side between the turns looking for the perfect line. His moves forced Anthony Roux (FDJ) towards the barriers, clearly compelling the French rider to brake – the two even collided briefly, with Ratto taking his left foot out of the pedal in order to stay upright.
FDJ then filed a protest to the race jury which was upheld, and subsequently Roux claimed the stage victory, with Simone Ponzi (Astana) and Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural) the second and third classified riders.
This would have been Ratto’s his first victory since 2010, when he won GP Industria y Artigianato de Larciano in the Carmiooro-NGC outfit.
Meanwhile, Roux showed himself “content because of the win and conserving the leader’s jersey”, although acknowledged it was going to be “difficult” to keep it tomorrow.
Aside from the final 300 meters, a breakaway dominated most of the stage. Local Efrén Carazo (Burgos BH), Ricardo García (Euskaltel), Aritz Bagües (Euskadi) and Romain Hardy (Cofidis) were the four escapees. They lasted from the start of the race till 20 kilometers to go, when Pablo Torres (Burgos BH) and Jon Larrinaga (Euskadi) joined briefly before they was caught by the peloton.