After yesterday’s time trial, the riders were back on mountainous terrain today in Stage 17 of La Vuelta. The race started in Villadiego and took the peloton to the Alto de los Machucos, at the top of which the finish was situated. The course could be divided into two parts: the first half consisted of ninety hilly kilometres, while the second one featured three difficult climbs. The breakaway was quickly established by Alaphilippe, Cort Nielsen, De Marchi, Denifl, Moreno and Villella and the peloton let them build a maximum advantage of nine minutes. After crossing the summit of the Portillo de Lunada, the riders tackled a very dangerous descent during which Villella was dropped by the breakaway.  The front group still had a forty seconds lead at the bottom of the last climb, and Denifl managed to keep a strong tempo up to the top, where he claimed a fine stage win. Chris Froome faced a lot of attacks and lost forty-two seconds to Nibali, but the Brit remains in the leader’s red jersey.  Sander Armée finished in twenty-eighth position, 3’28” after Denifl.

 The scenario of Stage 4 of the Tour of Britain was very similar to the previous days. The 175 kilometres course featured only one third category climb, which came too early to have an impact on the outcome of the race. Blain, Handly, McNally, Scott and Slater went clear on kilometre zero, and Lewis and Lowsley-Williams tried to join them for a few kilometres. However, the two chasers appeared to have ridden on the pavement when they launched their attack and they were consequently disqualified from the race. The breakaway collaborated efficiently throughout the day but the race was back together with three kilometres to go. Fernando Gaviria ultimately sprinted to victory, ahead of Viviani and Kristoff. Both Enzo Wouters and Nikolas Maes finished in the top ten, respectively in eighth and ninth position.