'Superman' Lopez seizes Tour of Catalonia lead

Miguel Angel Lopez (Getty Images)
Miguel Angel Lopez (Getty Images)

Madrid - Colombia's Miguel Angel Lopez climbed to a brilliant solo victory on stage four of the Tour of Catalonia on Thursday thereby clinching a narrow oveall lead on his key rivals for the overall victory.

Astana's 25-year-old Lopez, who won the Tour of Colombia last month, sprung out of the day's final breakaway to snatch the leader's jersey from Belgium's Thomas de Gendt, who led after clinching a solo breakaway victory on day one.

"My legs felt good," said Lopez afterwards.

"It gives me a lot of confidence, we started the season very well in Colombia but then in Paris-Nice missed out on a great victory."

A handful of riders sit just a few seconds behind Lopez in the overall as Britain's Adam Yates of Mitcheton Scott, two Colombians in the recent Paris-Nice champion Sky's Egan Bernal and the runner-up Nairo Quintana, and the Irish all-rounder Dan Martin of UAE Team Emirates can all take the victory on Sunday in Barcelona.

"We're not going to think too much about that," added Lopez.

"We'll see on the last day if I can defend this jersey."

Lopez, who got the nickname 'Superman' after fighting off a knife attack at 16, edged out Bora-Hansgrohe's Gregor Muhlberger and Movistar’s Marc Soler at the end of a 150.3km stage that began in Llanars and finished in La Molina.

Stage 4 results:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 4hrs 02min 7sec, 2. Gregor Muhlberger (AUT/BOH) at 16sec, 3. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) s.t., 4. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) s.t., 5. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT), 6. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 19, 7. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) s.t., 8. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 32, 9. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) 41, 10. Rafal Majka (POL/BOH) 42.

Overall standings:

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 17hrs 31mins 5sec., 2. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) at 14sec, 3. Egan Bernal (COL/SKY) 17., 4. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 25., 5. Daniel Martin (IRL/UAE) 46., 6. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/JUM) 56., 7. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) 1min 42sec, 8. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 1.44., 9. Rafal Majka (POL/BOH) 2.27., 10. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 2.36.

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