By Antonio J. Salmerón
Young Italian racer Ricardo Riccò was happy with his second place finish in the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia Wednesday. He finished behind Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), who took both the win and the lead. Di Luca and Riccò were part of the 20-man bunch of favourites that got split in the final metres. Teammates Leonardo Piepoli, who launched several attacks in the final climb, and Gilberto Simoni were only 15 seconds behind in a chase group while Iban Mayo belonged to a second bunch crossing the line, 34 seconds after the winner.
After Wednesday's stage, Riccò said, "I remained a little closed when Di Luca broke away and left me a little bit behind. I tried hard, but catching such a rider's wheel is no easy task. Overall, the climb went well for me. Second place is good for me and it shows what a good shape I'm in. From here, it will get better. I'm sure I'll be able to assist (Gilberto) Simoni on the mountains."
On the other hand, the veteran Simoni said, "I'm really tired. It was a tough day, but it was the first important stage and there's a long way to go. Riccò did well with second but Di Luca was just amazing today and his team did an excellent job."