Giro d'Italia (st. 4)
4th place for Movistar Team's leader in Praia a Mare after lumpy, moving, uncontrollable finish; Ulissi (LAM) wins as Dumoulin (TGA) takes pink jersey back. Amador loses 37" to GC contenders
The first climbs of the 2016 Giro d'Italia brought Alejandro Valverde where the place he always belongs to as leader of the Movistar Team: the front of the peloton. Only a fantastic Diego Ulissi (LAM), solo winner of the day, plus late escapees and fellow Dutchmen Steven Kruijswijk (TLJ) and Tom Dumoulin (TGA), overtook the Spaniard, always featuring prominently into a group of favourites that opened a gap into the 1.8km, 7.7% average climb of Via Fortino, key point of the 200km stage four from Catanzaro to Praia a Mare.
Loads of attacks -including José Joaquín Rojas into a short-lived, 18-man move- avoided the peloton, even the Movistar Team who pulled for a few kilometers, controlling a race which has again Dumoulin as pink jersey, with 31 seconds over Valverde (now in 7th spot). In turn, Andrey Amador, so far the Blues' top performer, came through the line with a 37" deficit over the main favourites and sits now in 18th spot.
The ‘Corsa Rosa’ continues its way on Wednesday with a long stage five: 233km to Benevento, with easier roads on its finale than Tuesday's, yet with a 3% kick up to the finish.
Alejandro Valverde: “I didn't realise Landa had been dropped into the Via Fortino ascent before the Astana riders, who were pushing at the front, told me after the climb. In such a steep, short climb, only 1.5km, you're focused on giving your all, and many times you're unable to keep your attention on such things. It was a difficult finish for everyone and in those situations, it's less hard for a break to succeed. Ulissi really did a great job, he deserved that win. I was on the right place: this has just begun, and even though we would have liked to take some seconds' bonus, I took a fine fourth spot, fine considering we're still very early in this Giro. I'm feeling quite well and I hope I can continue to do so in the next few days."