Miguel Angel Lopez wins atop the Alto do Malhão as Remco Evenepoel retains Race Lead
Miguel Angel Lopez ( Astana Pro Team) sprinted away from his rivals atop the Alto do Malhão to win the penultimate stage of the Volta ao Algarve
On the final climb the Colombian beat Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) by a few seconds with race leader Remco Evenepoel ( Deceuninck -Quick-Step) third, who maintained his lead in the general classification of the race.
The route of the queen stage of the Portuguese race led through areas known from previous years around the cities of Albufeira and Loule, heading north and leading the peloton up the Alto to Malhão twice (2.5 km; 9.8%). There were three smaller mountain climbs, making the 170-kilometer stage quite a challenge.
None riders formed the day's main breakaway; Dries de Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), David Gonzalez ( Caja Rural Seguros-RGA), Tom Devriendt (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Daniel Hoelgaard (UNO-X), Luís Mendonça and Tiago Antunes ( Efapel), Rafael Lourenço (Kelly-InOutBuild-UD Oliveirense), Daniel Freitas (Miranda-Mortagua) and Joao Rodrigues (W52-FC Porto).
The peloton, thanks to local team Atum General-Tavira-Maria Nova Hotel did not let the breakaway get away, and only gained 2m 30s maximum lead.
33 km to go and local Portuguese rider Joao Rodrigues attacked, he placed 9th overall in the Volta ao Algarve last year.
During the first ascent of the Alto to Malhão, Vincenzo Nibali (Trek- Segafredo ) attacke . The Italian maintained a slim lead of the chasing peloton but in the end he decided to give up his brave attempt to get away.
17 km to go and Rodrigues was caught by what was left of the thinning peloton controled by Deceuninck-Quick-Step riders.
On a small climb before the finish (0.9 km; 9.7%) Bora-hansgrohe riders accelerated, Lukas Pöstlberger doing the hard work for Bora and Schachmann.
At the foot of the final Alto do Malhão, Harold Tejada (Astana) upped the pace. Both Michal Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos ) could not stand the high pace imposed by the Colombian, 2 kilometers before the finish .
500 meters before the finish line Miguel Angel Lopez attacked. The Colombian did not receive a quick enough counter attack from his rivals and reached the finish line in triumph atop the Alto do Malhão.
Three seconds behind Lopez Remco Evenepoel crossed the finish line just behind Dan Martin, maintaining his lead in the general classification.
Tomorrow's final stage is a 20.3 km time trial with the top 5 riders within 3 seconds of each other.
VIDEO: 2020 Volta ao Algarve Stage 4 Highlights
2020 Volta ao Algarve Stage 4 Top 10
1 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team 4:16:25
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:02
3 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:04
4 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:05
6 Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team 0:00:14
7 Amaro Antunes (Por) W52/FC Porto
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:19
10 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:21
2020 Volta ao Algarve GC after Stage 4
1 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 18:59:35
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
3 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:01
5 Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:03
6 Amaro Antunes (Por) W52/FC Porto 0:00:18
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:19
9 Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC Team 0:00:24
10 Federico Figuieredo (Por) Atum General/Tavira/Maria Nova Hotel 0:00:31