Luca Paolini (Katusha) held on to his pink overall leader's jersey throughout a long, rainy stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday. The 246km stage, the second longest of the Giro d'Italia, was characterized by cold weather, rain and two climbs with the last, the Croce Ferrata, at 7km to go.
"Today, we knew it would be a difficult day, but the team was great, they believed me, they led the group from the start, so I am happy to have the pink jersey for one more day," said Paolini.
Paolini's Katusha team played a role in reeling in the breakaway and while both Danilo Di Luca (Fini-Fantini) and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) tried a late race move, both were reined in during the final kilometer.
"It was a hard finish for my characteristics, but I was able to keep up in on both climbs today. I tried to stay in front of the group because of the bad weather, I was afraid of crashing. With yesterday's victory and one more day in pink, I think we are proving we deserved the WorldTour license."
The maglia rosa wearer finished safely in the lead group, in 10th position, thereby keeping his jersey. Going into stage 5 on Wednesday, Paolini has a 17-second lead over Rigoberto Uran (Sky).
Paolini also leads the points classification while his Katusha team tops the team classification.