Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome stays third, as Calmejane wins stage four

Chris Froome
Froome is aiming to become the first man in 38 years to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same season

Britain's Chris Froome remained third in the Vuelta a Espana, as France's Lilian Calmejane won stage four.

Calmejane finished the 163.5km ride from Betanzos to San Andres de Teixido ahead of Colombia's Darwin Atapuma who took the overall lead of the race.

American Benjamin King was third.

Froome, who is 33 seconds behind Atapuma, finished just over two minutes back alongside Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, who is second in the general classification.

The Movistar rider is 29 seconds off the lead.

Overnight leader Ruben Fernandez, also of Movistar, toiled during the steep final climb - the Mirador Vixia de Herbeira - and surrendered the leader's red jersey, slipping to seventh overall.

Team Sky's Froome is aiming to become the first man in 38 years to win the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same season.

The 21-stage Vuelta is the third Grand Tour on the cycling calendar after the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

Stage four result:

1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra/Direct Energie) 4hrs 5mins 19secs

2. Darwin Atapuma (Col/BMC Racing) +15secs

3. Benjamin King (US/Cannondale) Same time

4. Andrey Zeits (Kaz/ Astana) +19secs

5. Nathan Haas (Aus/Dimension Data) +23secs

6. Enrico Battaglin (Ita/LottoNL) +24secs

7. Pierre Rolland (Fra/Cannondale) +33secs

8. Chad Haga (US/Giant) +37secs

9. Jaime Roson (Spa/Caja Rural) +40secs

10. Cesare Benedetti (Ita/BORA) +42secs

General classification after stage four:

1. Darwin Atapuma (Col/BMC Racing) 13hrs 23mins 10secs

2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +29secs

3. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +33secs

4. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +39secs

5. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) Same time

6. Samuel Sanchez (Spa/BMC Racing) +1min 8secs

7. Ruben Fernandez (Spa/Movistar) +1min 11secs

8. Leopold Koenig (Cze/Team Sky) +1min 13secs

9. Peter Kennaugh (GB/Team Sky) +1min 15secs

10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Etixx-Quick-Step) +1mins 23secs

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