Cordova - Australian rider Michael Matthews remains the overall leader of the Tour of Spain after Germany's John Degenkolb won Tuesday's fourth stage, a 164.7-km ride from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba.
Degenkolb, second in this year's Paris-Roubaix one day classic, crossed the line ahead of Spaniard Vicente Reynes with Matthews in third after a fiercely-contested sprint finish.
Matthews, who won two stages in the race last year, took the overall lead after winning Monday's third stage.
The 23-year-old -- who is racing the Vuelta as an after thought after he missed his main target Tour de France this year having suffered a hand injury just prior to it -- leads two of the race favourites Nairo Quintana of Colombia and Alejandro Valverde in the overall standings.
Wednesday's fifth stage is a 180km ride from Priego de Cordoba to Ronda.
Tour of Spain results on Tuesday after the fourth stage, a 164.7 kilometres ride from Mairena del Alcor to Cordoba:
1. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 4h02min 55sec
2. Vicente Reynes (ESP/IAM) at same time
3. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) s.t
4. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) s.t
5. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRM) s.t
6. Alexandre Kolobnev (RUS/KAT) s.t
7. Lloyd Mondory (FRA/ALM) s.t
8. Valerio Conti (ITA/LAM) s.t
9. Bob Jungels (LUX/TRE) s.t
10. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) s.t
1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 13h30min 44sec
2. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) at 8sec.
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:15.
4. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) 0:19.
5. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) 0:21.
6. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI) 0:21.
7. George Bennett (NZL/CAN) 0:24.
8. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 0:24.
9. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) 0:27.
10. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 0:27.
13. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:29.
15. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 0:35.