Our event of the day is Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España. Riders begin the stage in Vélez-Málaga and finish a punishing 162 kilometres later in the small town of Alfacar. This is the first mountainous stage of the tour, and concludes with a summit finish in the Sierra de la Alfaguara. With two category one climbs, this promises to be a gruelling stage. Riders will endure multiple uphill climbs, including a final one straight to the finish line. This final 12.4-kilometre climb intends to push riders to their limit. With 2017 champion Chris Froome opting not to defend his title, and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas also absent, this year’s race is wide open.
Michał Kwiatkowski of Team Sky currently holds the red jersey, leading Alejandro Valverde of Movistar by fourteen seconds. The Polish rider finished in the main pack yesterday to maintain top spot. Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman, racing for Sunweb completes the top three and is twenty-five seconds behind Kwiatkowski. Simon Yates of Great Britain is down in twelfth, 37 seconds off the lead. His twin Adam, who also rides for Mitchelton-Scott is 154th. In yesterday’s action, Elia Viviani sprinted to success in stage 3. The Dubai Tour Champion, and former Team Sky rider, saw off world champion Peter Sagan in an impressive finish. This puts Viviani in a strong position to win the sprint jersey, having already claimed the same honour at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. However, with most of the contending riders finishing in the bunch, yesterday’s action has not impacted those leading. Today is arguably the toughest test riders have faced so far. An intriguing race lies in wait.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the second day of action at the US Open in New York. Fresh from his historic Cincinnati Masters win, Novak Djokovic plays Márton Fucsovics from Hugary in his first-round match. Seventh seed Marin Čilić is also in action, and he faces Marius Copil. In the women’s draw, Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber plays the Russian Margarita Gasparyan, whilst fifth seed Petra Kvitová is up against Yanina Wickmayer. Elsewhere in the States, a multitude of MLB fixtures are on display, including the Boston Red Sox versus the Miami Marlins at Fenway Park. The second round of the Caraboa Cup kicks off. There’s potential for an upset at Kingsmeadow Stadium, where AFC Wimbledon of League One host big spending West Ham, and there’s an all Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium, where Brighton play Southampton. Further football action across Europe comes in the form of Champions League playoff second legs, as teams close in on the all-important group stages. Ajax take a 3-1 lead into their away fixture at Dynamo Kiev. The Asian Games continue in Indonesia, with an array of sporting action on display.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by La Vuelta; Photo Gomez Sport
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