A 46.9kph average speed so far. It’s been a quick one.
The break ride into the final 100km of the day and approach the second-category climb of the Puerto de Opakua (5km at 6.9%).
105km to go
The situation is quiet at the moment as the break races along 2:30 up on the peloton. They’re not getting much leeway from the peloton today.
The gap for the break is up to three minutes now. No worries for the peloton so long from the finish.
Belgian looking for freshness in light race load ahead of Worlds road race
122km to go
2:30 for the leaders at the moment.
With the breakaway’s lead, Lutsenko is now in the virtual red jersey. He lay just 46 seconds away from the race lead at the start of the day.
130km to go
Jumbo-Visma are also working at the head of the peloton now. They have the overall race lead and occupy the top six spots on GC after winning the opening TTT in Utrecht, of course.
Lutsenko and De Marchi have both won stages at Vuelta before.
Lutsenko triumphed from the break at the uphill finish in Alcossebre in 2017. De Marchi has three breakaway stage wins to his name, making up half of his career palmarès, with victories at Alcaudete in 2014, Fuente del Chivo in 2015, and Ribeira Sacra. Luintra in 2018.
Bora-Hansgrohe, who have won two stages so far with Sam Bennett, control the peloton for the moment.
Two minutes for the breakaway now.
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan), Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech), James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost), Jarrad Drizners (Lotto Soudal), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) and Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are up the road.
137km to go
The chasers have now made it up to Lutsenko and De Marchi and the peloton has knocked off the pace. It looks like these six riders will form the break of the day.
40 seconds for Lutsenko and De Marchi currently.
James Shaw (EF Education-EasyPost), Jarrad Drizners (Lotto Soudal), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) and Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) are among the latest wave of attackers.
143km to go
It’s mostly flat terrain here early on. The first climb of the day doesn’t come until the 61km mark.
The advantage for De Marchi and Lutsenko is only around 10 seconds at the moment.
KOM leader Van den Berg is also on the attack along with Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) and Xabier Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Attacks are flying to start the stage. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech) are among the men on the move.
150km to go
The riders have finished the neutral zone, the flag has dropped, and the race is underway!
There are plenty of home representatives for Basque fans to cheer over the next few days. Euskaltel-Euskadi hail from the region, while Movistar and Equipo Kern Pharma are based in Navarre, which is part of the historic Basque region.
Home riders include Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), and the Euskaltel quartet of Mikel Bizkarra, Gotzón Martín, Xabier Azparren, and Mikel Iturria.
Today the Vuelta visits the Basque Country for the first time since the 2020 race. Back then, Roglič and Marc Soler took stage wins in Arrate and Lekunberri as Irún hosted the race start.
180 riders start today’s stage as they roll through the neutral zone. Only Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal) and Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) failed to make it to Spain.
Bennett is in green while Ineos’ Ethan Hayter wears white.
EF rider Julius van den Berg is in polka dots as the top climber so far having grabbed three points over the two fourth-category climbs in the Netherlands.
Jumbo-Visma’s Edoardo Affini is in the race lead today. The time triallist is unlikely to still be in red this evening, however. His teammates Sam Oomen, Primož Roglič and Sepp Kuss are prime candidates to take over.
After the longest stage of the race on Sunday in Breda, today’s race is one of the shortest road stages of the Vuelta. At 152.5km it’s the shortest one this week.
Sam Bennett has won the first two road stages of the race but today won’t be a day for the Irish sprinter. The stage brings the first second-category climb of the race as well as an uphill finish to test the puncheurs and GC men.
A look at the map of today’s stage, which will see the riders race through the Basque Country.
The start of stage 4 is just under 20 minutes away.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the fourth stage of the 2022 Vuelta a España!