Aggressive strategy pays off for Giant-Alpecin
Giant-Alpecin's director Marc Reef said that his team's plan going into stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia was primarily an offensive one, which in the end, proved to be a fruitful strategy given that it put Tom Dumoulin back in the maglia rosa, while Georg Preidler is in fifth overall.
Dumoulin finished second on the stage, five seconds behind solo stage winner Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), and it was enough to move him back in to the overall lead. Preidler finished an additional one second behind, in the select group that made it over the final climb of the day.
"It was a very fast start to the race today with some dangerous riders for the GC in the early break. Therefore, the bunch was always in control and the gap never exceeded the 3'," Reef said.
"The plan before the stage was to race offensively and we decided to open up on the first climb of the day. We needed to do something because we had four guys in the top 10 and there was a big possibility to go for a stage victory or to regain the leader's jersey.
"On the final climb of the day, Georg was able to follow the first group as Tom remained in the GC group. He followed his instinct and sprinted to the second place and managed to retake the pink jersey. The team rode a very impressive race and they executed the plan very well."
Jungels in white, Kittel keeps red
Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) moved into the white jersey of the Giro d'Italia's best young rider following stage 4 on Tuesday. He finished in the select group that made it over the day's final climb and finished six seconds behind stage winner Ulissi. The effort was enough to give him the edge on the young rider competition, 37 seconds ahead of Davide Formolo (Cannondale).
His teammate, Marcel Kittel may have lost the pink jersey, as he expected to on today's lumpy stage, but he did hold onto his red points jersey. He has 106 points and leads Maarten Tjallingii (Team LottoNl-Jumbo), who has 80 points, and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) with 53 points.
“We honoured the pink jersey, but the final was very hard and so it turned out to be really difficult for me, also because we experienced high temperatures," Kittel said. "I am a little bit sad, but losing the jersey wasn’t a surprise, because the whole day was an up-and-down affair on a difficult parcours, totally different than the one in the Netherlands. Now I will continue to give my best in the following stages and ride with big confidence in myself and the team.”
Majka in promising position as race begins in Italy
Tinkoff Saxo's Rafal Majka finished in the main group of overall contenders at the stage 4 finish in Praia a Mare, where he finished 12th, six seconds behind solo winner Diego Ulissi. He now sits in 13th overall at 14 seconds behind race leader Dumoulin, a position his team is content with as the race heads toward to tougher stages.
“In the start there were a few guys in front, and the peloton took the first climb quite easy, but then next time the pressure was put on and there were splits. During this, the guys got Rafal into a good position and there was never any real problems today for us," said Director Tristan Hoffman.
“From 25km to go the roads were really tricky, so it was great to see Jay in the break there as the racing was full gas. That allowed Rafal to stay well positioned behind as the group thinned.
“On the final climb when the moves came, Rafal had no problems in following the leaders there. He told me that he was feeling good and easily able to move up on the climb so he’s looking in good shape. I’m quite happy that this stage is over as in the last 20km were really tricky and if you had a problem it would have been really hard to come back to the front.”
Orica-GreenEdge Giro d'Italia commentary
Watch Orica-GreenEdge's latest Giro d'Italia highlights package with special commentary from Luka Mezgec, Sam Bewley and Michael Hepburn.
Siutsou makes final selection for Dimension Data in Praia a Mare
Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) was the highest placed rider from his team in the final standings of stage 4 at the Giro d'Italia. The first stage on Italian soil ended with a steep climb over Via del Fontino in the last 10km where Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) broke away to win the stage, and a select group containing Siutsou finished six seconds behind.
Despite the respectable performance from Siutsou, his team were hoping for a better stage result from sprinter Kristian Sbaragli. But all-in-all the team is pleased with their debut at the Italian Grand Tour so far.
"Our main objective was to have Kristian [Sbaragli] there for the sprint," said director Jens Zemke. "We missed that when at 8km to go there was a small gap of maybe 30 meters between him and the front group. Igor [Anton] tried to fight back with Kristian on his wheel but finally they were just a few meters behind and Ulissi won the stage.
"Kanstantsin was our best placed rider in 15th from a front group of 25 and in the next group was Kristian and Igor. We hoped for more than this especially with Kristian but the boys rode well. It was a really tough day with a really difficult final, always up and down and the racing was an open fire."
Watch the Giro d'Italia stage 4 video highlights
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