De Gendt wins stage 4, Quintana takes Tour of Catalonia lead
PORTE AINE, Spain (AP) Belgian rider Thomas de Gendt won the mountainous fourth stage of the Tour of Catalonia while Nairo Quintana took the overall lead after surpassing his title rivals in the Pyrenees on Thursday.
De Gendt got the win for his Lotto Soudal team after finishing the 172-kilometer (107-mile) route from Baga to Porte Aine that featured two special-category summits in just under five hours.
Quintana was next up the snowy ascent, crossing over a minute later after he dropped Alberto Contador and Chris Froome among the other favorites to take the lead from Daniel Martin.
De Gendt caught and passed fellow solo rider Pieter Weening up the final 19-kilometer (12-mile) climb to the finish.
De Gendt, whose previous career win came at the Tour of Catalonia in 2013, said he was surprised by the result because he ''had a bad feeling.''
''But on the last climb with only two kilometers to go I had him just in front of me and I had to go on full,'' he said.
Quintana entered the day in fifth place at 19 seconds behind Martin. The Colombian climbing expert for Movistar turned that deficit into an eight-second advantage over Contador, who remained in second place overall.
''The pace was very fast in the group and we had to go on the attack,'' Quintana said. ''I took advantage of my opportunity as soon as I saw it. I was able to launch a great attack and make up the distances from yesterday.''
Defending champion Richie Porte edged Contador at the finish line to finish the stage third. Porte is third overall at :17 behind Quintana, followed by Martin at :24 back.
Froome fell :46 off the pace after the Tour de France champion failed to keep up when the other contenders exchanged attacks on the final push.
Friday's fifth stage is a 187-kilometer (116-mile) ride from Rialp to Valls.
The weeklong race in northeastern Spain ends in Barcelona on Sunday.