By Gareth James
Geraint Thomas moved into the top three overall after another mountain battle at the Volta a Catalunya.
The Cardiff-born rider finished third on stage four and is now part of an Ineos Grenadiers dominated top three.
Fellow Brit Adam Yates held onto his overall lead in the second day race -45 seconds ahead of Australia’s Richie Porte with Thomas four seconds further part.
Thomas was part of the Ineos Grenadiers team who chased hard in a bid to try and overhaul Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) who attacked with seven kms left to the finish at Porte Aine.
But the Colombian held on to take the stage spoils by seven seconds from Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) who crossed the line just ahead of Thomas in a group of nine riders seven seconds adrift.
The win was Chaves’ first victory since he claimed a stage in the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
Chaves held a 26 secs lead at one stage but that was whittled down by the chasing pack with Thomas again showing his top form is returning as he builds towards June’s Tour de France.
Stage 4 Result
1 Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 4:29:47
2 Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:07
3 Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos Grenadiers at same time
4 Adam Yates (GB) Ineos Grenadiers
5 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
10 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
General classification after stage 4
1 Adam Yates (GB) Ineos Grenadiers 14:14:15
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:45
3 Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:49
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:03
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange 0:01:04
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:07
8 Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:20
9 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:29
10 Simon Yates (GB) Team BikeExchange 0:01:32