SPAIN’S Vincente Reynes came an agonising second in the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.
Germany’s John Degenkolb out-sprinted the Spaniard, with overall leader Michael Matthews finishing third in the 164.7km stage from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba.
Alejandro Valverde remains in third place overall after a gutsy ride saw him break from the pack with 35km left.
The two-time Vuelta winner had little company and was eventually overtaken by the sprinters in the final stages.
Spain’s Haimar Zubeldia and Alberto Contador sit in eighth and ninth respectively with race favourite Nairo Quintana eight seconds off the lead.
The Vuelta remains in Andalucia for Wednesday’s fifth stage from Priego de Cordoba to Ronda.
Stage four results:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger/Giant) 4:02:55″
2. Vicente Reynes (Spa/IAM Cycling) ST
3. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica)
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale)
5. Daniel Martin (Ire/Garmin)
6. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus/Katusha)
7. Lloyd Mondory (Fra/AG2R)
8. Valerio Conti (Ita/Lampre)
9. Bob Jungels (Lux/Trek)
10. Fabio Aru (Ita/Astana)
Overall classifications after stage four:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Orica) 13:30:44″
2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +8″
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +15″
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) +19″
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita/Cannondale) +21″
6. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica)
7. George Bennett (NZ/Cannondale) +24″
8. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa/Trek)
9. Alberto Contador (Spa/Tinkoff – Saxo) +27″
10. Wilco Kelderman (NL/Belkin)