Bradley Wiggins stays in the hunt on the Tour of Catalunya despite gruelling stage for Team Sky

British rider now fourth in the standings

Sir Bradley Wiggins kept himself in contention for overall victory at the Tour of Catalunya by digging deep on the race’s punishing queen stage.

The Briton crossed the line in sixth place, one minute, two seconds down on the stage winner Dan Martin, after Team Sky entered the final climb with depleted numbers, having earlier been forced to lead a taxing chase on the front of the peloton for most of the day.

Wiggins is now fourth in the general classification, 36 seconds behind new leader Martin from the Garmin-Sharp team, with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) 10 seconds down in second and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 32 seconds adrift in third.

The Spaniard and Colombian launched late attacks out of a thinned-down peloton in the last 2km to take second and third respectively on the stage. That forced Wiggins to respond and thanks to a late surge, he crossed the line 24 seconds behind the duo despite losing team members who fell off the pace.

Team Sky had earlier led the chase in the peloton with Josh Edmondson, Dario Cataldo, David Lopez and Rigoberto Uran drivng up a fierce pace as they looked to usher leader Wiggins up to the front of the race.

Earlier in the day, overnight leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) abandoned the race after a crash on a speedy descent midway through the stage.

After the stage, Team Sky’s sports director Marcus Ljungqvist said: “Twenty-three guys went away and Movistar started controlling things, but then Valverde crashed out and it was then up to us to take control. We slowed down for Valverde, so the breakaway got more time – nearly 4:30 – but we managed to bring it back to about 1:20. But then Martin rode so well on the last climb and we couldn’t catch him. It is going to be difficult to challenge for the general classification, but second place is still up for grabs. The race is not over and we are not giving up. With all that happened today, we should look at ourselves and be pretty happy with our ride.”

The race’s fourth stage took the riders on a punishing 217km route over five categorised climbs from Llanars to Port-Aine Rialp.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own