Conquering the first hilltop finish of the this year's Giro d'Italia and the driving rain, American Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) won stage 4 Tuesday in the Apennines. The 29-year-old took his first win in Europe since 2012, when he won the Baby Giro.
Finishing second on the 187km stage with 3,000 metres of climbing was Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), who bumped Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) from the GC lead and now wears the maglia rosa, 22 seconds ahead of Dombrowski, and another 20 seconds in front of Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix). Filippo Fiorelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane) was third on the stage.
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) was in a group of GC contenders, which included Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), and finished in the rain as a group 1:37 behind Dombrowski. Riders who lost another 11 seconds included Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (Team DSM), and Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep), while Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segfredo) lost 34 seconds, and João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) lost 4:21 to the Bernal group.
The stage included 1,800m of climbing in the final 100km with three steep categorised climbs, including the final ascent of Colle Passerino, 10 per cent for four kilometres, just a few kilmetres from the finish in Sestola.
From the day's breakaway of 25 riders, Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Chris Juul-Jensen (Team BikeExchange) managed to push to the front as a leading pair with 50km left to race. With two kilometres to go to the summit of the Montemolino, De Marchi and Dombrowski, along with Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) appeared to be the strongest of the chasers, but De Marchi would suffer a puncture with 32km to go and work hard to rejoin.
Taaramae and Juul-Jensen continued to work together on the final climb, but could not hold off the chasers. Dombrowski charged on the steepest section at 16 per cent gradient and distanced himself from De Marchi, holding his lead on the descent for the win.
Watch the video highlights from stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia above.
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