Juan Pedro Lopez takes the lead of the Giro
Lennard Kämna won on Etna ahead of Juan Pedro Lopez, who took the lead in the general classification | Photo: Cor Vos
10.05.2022 | (rsn) – Lennard Kämna (Bora – hansgrohe) won the 4th stage of the Giro d’Italia from a leading group. He prevailed at the arrival in the mountains on Etna against Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux). Lopez took the pink jersey. The drivers of the standings crossed the finish line together. Three favorites had to bury their ambitions early on.
Kämna was part of a leading group of 14 men who took enough advantage of their favorite teams to win the stage between them. On Etna, however, he had to go in pursuit because Lopez soon managed to break away from his fellow escapees. “The last hill was really long and very hard. When Lopez went away and he was 30, 40 seconds ahead of us, I thought he was already lost. But I was able to close the gap again,” said Kämna , describing the tough, last kilometers.
With an effort, Kämna restored the link 2.5 kilometers before the finish. “I tried to recover a bit for the sprint. We had a quiet agreement,” Kämna revealed diplomatically, what he and Lopez discussed after the merger. The last corner, almost 200 meters from the finish, of Lopez miscalculated and she almost collided with Kamna.
“We are on the right track to the Giro”
“I am very happy to have the victory already in my pocket. The victory takes a lot of pressure off us and we are absolutely on the right track in this Giro,” Kämna looked forward to the further course of the tour with optimism. For Bora – hansgrohe it was an overall positive day, because the trio of captains Wilco Kelderman, Jai Hindley and Emanuel Buchmann finished without problems in the favorites group, Buchmann also tried to attack in the middle.
Perhaps the pink jersey, which Lopez picked up today, is also within reach for Kämna. “I have the jersey and I’m very happy. I don’t know how many days to go, but I’ll enjoy them. I still can’t believe it. I tried to escape on the steepest stretch, where I was able to make a difference. The last few kilometers were all. focus on sprinting, ”Lopez said, describing the finish.
Van der Poel is far behind
The Spaniard has a 39 second lead over Kämna and 58 seconds over Taaramäe in the overall standings. The group of favorites was led to the finish by Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), whose helpers controlled the pace on the climb. The Astana Qazaqstan team, on the other hand, experienced a black day. After a crash, Miguel Ángel Lopez had to retire from the race, while Vincenzo Nibali lost contact at the start of the final climb. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo – Visma) also had to bury his ambitions in the general classification at the beginning.
Simon Yates (BikeExchange – Jayco) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) were also involved in the accident, as well as Lopez, but they managed to continue. The sprint classification is still led by Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin – Fenix). By winning the stage, Kämna also took on the mountain jersey. In addition to the general classification, Lopez also leads the junior classification, Bora – hansgrohe in the team classification.
Here’s how the race went:
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto – Soudal) and Mathieu Van der Poel, among others, tried unsuccessfully to create a runaway group in the first kilometers. Only after almost 15 kilometers did Kämna, Lopez and Taaramäe succeed, together with Stefano Oldani (Alpecin – Fenix), Valerio Conti (Astana Qazaqstan), Davide Villella and Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Diego Andrés Camargo (EF Education – EasyPost), Erik Fetter (EOLO – Kometa), Alexander Catafort (Israel – Premier Tech), Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo – Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën Team).
The breakaway group of 14 runners was able to extend their lead to a maximum of 7:40 minutes. On the pitch, Ineos Grenadiers and Bahrain – Victorious had no interest in bridging the gap. Calmejane won the first sprint ranking. Shortly before the second sprint classification, Oldani moves away. Shortly after the start of the final climb, he extended his lead to a maximum of 45 seconds. Behind them, Kämna, Lopez, Taaramäe, Moniquet, Vansevenant and Leemreize formed the first group of pursuers.
Almost 12 kilometers from the end, Lopez breaks away from Kämna’s group and soon after overtakes Oldani. Nine kilometers before the finish, Kämna attacked for the first time. Oldani and Leemreize were overtaken while Taaramäe got into trouble. Together with Moniquet and Vansevenant, who was fighting for his absolute virtual advantage at the time, Kämna sought to narrow the gap with Lopez, who had grown to 40 seconds.
In the last difficult stretch six kilometers from the finish, Kämna got rid of the two companions. In the last few kilometers he fought up to Lopez meter after meter under the strong crosswind until he finally reached the link almost two kilometers from the end. At this point the recovered Taaramäe had already overtaken Vansevenant and Moniquet. However, the Estonian was unable to close the gap of 30 seconds from Kämna and Lopez.
On the last flat kilometer, Kämna started the sprint from the front. At the last corner Lopez makes a mistake and loses the connection. Taaramäe finished third, followed by Moniquet, Vansevenant and Leemreize. In the group of favorites, Ineos Grenadiers controlled what was happening on the climb and neutralized an attack from Buchmann. Carapaz won the sprint of the group of favorites.
Domeninco Pozzovivo and Jan Hirt (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux) lost 19 seconds from the rest of the drivers in the standings. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) was 31 seconds behind the favorites, while Nibali, Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo – Kometa) and Tobias Foss (Jumbo – Visma) each suffered 2:15 minutes.