Vuelta a Espana: Fabio Jakobsen pips Sam Bennett to win stage four

Fabio Jakobsen wins stage four at Vuelta a Espana
Jakobsen (left) denies Bennett by millimetres at El Puig

Ireland's Sam Bennett was denied back-to-back stage wins at Vuelta a Espana as Fabio Jakobsen took stage four by the narrowest of margins.

Bennett was boxed in during the approach to the finish at El Puig but manoeuvred his way through superbly.

However, Netherlands national champion Jakobsen, 22, was awarded his first Grand Tour stage, his wheel crossing millimetres ahead of the Irishman.

Nicolas Roche retained his overall lead of two seconds over Nairo Quintana.

After the riders emerged unscathed from a brief thundery downpour around 50km out, Bennett lost places after taking the right-hand route at a late roundabout instead of the left side favoured by the majority of his rivals.

"This one hurts a lot," he said. "I just couldn't get the right position, I went the wrong way at the roundabout, but big congrats to Fabio Jakobsen on his first stage victory."

Compatriot Roche finished safely in the peloton as the top 10 in the general classification were unchanged.

Defending champion Simon Yates, fellow Britons Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, plus Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz, are some of the leading riders not competing in this year's event.

Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, who finished third at this year's Tour de France, joined the casualties on Tuesday, abandoning the Vuelta four days into the race with a knee injury.

Kruijswijk, 32, was among several Jumbo-Visma riders involved in a crash in the team time trial on the opening stage.

On Wednesday there is a hilly fifth stage, a 170.7km route from L'Eliana to Alto de Javalambre.

The 21-stage Grand Tour event concludes in Madrid on 15 September.

Stage 4 result:

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4 hrs 04 mins 16 secs

2. Sam Bennett (Ire/Bora-Hansgrohe) same time

3. Max Walscheid (Ger/Team Sunweb) "

4. Fernando Gaviria (Col/UAE Team Emirates) "

5. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Mitchelton-Scott) "

6. Marc Sarreau (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) "

7. Szymon Sajnok (Pol/CCC Team) "

8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Team Dimension Data) "

9. Jon Aberasturi (Spa/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) "

10. Sebastian Molano (Col/UAE Team Emirates) "

General Classification standings (after stage four):

1. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Sunweb) 13hrs 55 mins 30 secs

2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +2 secs

3. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First) +8 secs

4. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) +22 secs

5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Spa/Astana Pro) +33 secs

6. Primoz Roglic (Svn/UAE Team Emirates) +35 secs

7. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col/EF Education First) +37 secs

8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Sunweb) +38 secs

9. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +46 secs

10. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) "

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