France's Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) seized his chance in the finale of stage 4 to hand his country its second victory in two days after the second successful breakaway in succession on the Tour of Spain. The 23-year-old neo-pro parted with his 20 breakaway companions in the climb to the Vixa de Hebeira viewpoint to snatch victory in his first ever Grand Tour. Colombian Darwin Atapuma (BMC) finished second, 11 seconds behind, and took the red jersey away from Spain's Ruben Fernandez,...
The stage in videos
- Onboard camera - Stage 4 - La Vuelta a...
- Summary - Stage 4 (Betanzos / San Andrés...
- Last kilometer - Étape 4 - La Vuelta a...
The stage in pictures
The most ancient rocks in Iberia
The Betanzos estuary is one of the largest in Galicia. At the bottom of the estuary is one of the most spectacular marshlands in Spain, featuring an impressive labyrinth of canals, especially when seen from the sky.
After the route through the Rias Altas, the itinerary goes to one of the largest mineral basins of the Iberian Peninsula – the coalfields of the As Pontes de García Rodríguez area. The majority of Spain's coal was formed around 300 million years ago, in the period referred to by geologists as the Carboniferous Period, but in this particular case the coal is very recent, tertiary lignites from less than 50 million years ago.
Coal production reached record values here. This was one of the largest open-air mines but, since its closure in 2007, it has been inundated by the Eume River and is now a lake that forms part of the area's landscape. As Pontes is currently the locality that produces the most energy in all of Spain. It does this by combining wind energy, hydraulic energy and thermal energy.
During the last part of the stage, in the Ortigueira Estuary, the peloton has to go through an area that Geologists from all over the world visit on a regular basis: the Cape Ortegal complex. Among many other rocks are some relatively mysterious rocks, called Amphibolites, that are metamorphic rocks formed around 70 kilometres deep, in the “roots” of a mountain range. But the truly amazing thing about these rocks from Cape Ortegal is that they are about 1.2 billion years old. Geologists work hard to understand every last detail, as they contain the very rare information from those times in which the first continents were formed and the first living organisms came to exist.
As if this were not enough, the large faults that formed the Galician coastline provide us with the Vixia de Herbeira cliffs at San Andres de Teixido, right at the end of the stage. These cliffs are over 610 metres tall and are the tallest cliffs in Europe, with a larger elevation than most Norwegian Fjords.
Amphibolite. Metamorphic rock formed about 70 kilometres deep, in the roots of a mountain range, in conditions with very high pressure and high temperature. Its characteristic minerals are amphiboles, which give it a very dark colour and, in turn, its nickname of “black granite” within the region.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
Receive exclusive news about the Vuelta