Riders attacked constantly at Stage 4 of Volta a Catalunya, a 199km race from Tremp to Ascó, and Levi Leipheimer was a catalyst for the six rider breakaway that stayed up the road until the final 350 meters on Thursday.
Leipheimer stuck on the wheel of Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas) when he rode away from the peloton with less than 20km remaining. Eventually, four other riders bridged to the two escapees. The six rider break, with dangerous names such as Denis Menchov (Katusha Team), Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi), Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky), and eventually David Moncoutie (Cofidis)— who bridged in the last 10km — stayed away from a well-organized chase group up until the final meters despite never gaining more than a 20 second gap. The chase group, which included general classification leader Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE), caught the break but were unable to overtake them before crossing the finish line.
Uran won the group sprint, Menchov was 2nd, and Szmyd was 3rd. Dario Cataldo was in the chase group as well, and was the top finisher for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team in 8th place. Leipheimer, at the very least, maintains his GC position, which is just 1’32” from Albasini. Leipheimer stated shortly after the race that he finished with 50 psi in his front tire.
Kevin De Weert and Leipheimer were both seen at the front of the peloton earlier in the race, driving the pace hard in order to chase down breakaways.