Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), the largest rider in the Giro d'Italia peloton, emerged as the unlikeliest winner of the mountain stage to Camigliatello Silano on stage 5. With echoes of Eros Poli and his famous exploits over the Mont Ventoux, Ganna left his breakaway companions behind on the category 1 Valico Montescuro and used his time trialing prowess to solo through the rainy conclusion of the stage to victory.
The stage 1 winner and former maglia rosa held off a furious chase by the overall contenders' group to throw his arms aloft after taking the first UCI road stage win of his career.
Ganna's victory gives Ineos Grenadiers reason to celebrate after losing their main GC contender Geraint Thomas to a fractured pelvis after the Welshman crashed in the neutral section on stage 3 and was forced out of the race.
"We wanted to make up for losing Geraint Thomas, so it's a good day for the team," Ganna said.
"I shouldn’t even have gone in break today, I was supposed to just help Salvatore Puccio. But after 40 kilometres of attacks, I told him to get on my wheel and we got away with the others.
"They were attacking me on the climb so the only thing I could do was stay calm and then go for it myself. Last night Geraint told me to go for it and go in break, and so I did."
"It was hard on the climb," Ganna added. "I’m 83 kilograms, so it’s not easy for me to climb but in the end I did a time trial to the finish. I had a problem with my radio and so just told myself to go full gas to the line."
Ganna was perhaps aided by the fact that the expected fireworks from the overall favourites never materialized on the Valico Montescuro, with EF Pro Cycling's Jonathan Caicedo the main victim on the climb. The Ecuadorian ended the stage over 16 minutes in arrears.
Maglia rosa João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) padded his lead yet again, taking the time bonus for third place on the stage behind Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe).
With Caicedo out of the picture, Pello Bilbao (Astana) moved into second overall at 43 seconds back, while Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) sat in third at 48 seconds. Further down the rankings, Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) was the only other rider within a minute of Almeida at 59 seconds, while Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) was best of the rest at 1:01.
"It was a good day," Almeida said. "In the end I had good legs. I went for the sprint because I want to say I'm here, I'm not just going in the wheels and I put everything I have into it again. I knew (Caicedo) was dropped so I was completely chill. I still have a good gap so I'm chilling. Mentally (the maglia rosa) makes me stronger, gives me confidence and there's always extra motivation."
Ganna was part of the day's main breakaway that only went clear after a rapid first hour of racing. Despite facing over 24km of climbing for the finish, he used his pure power to fend off multiple attacks from his companions. The Italian was the last man standing, and despite being joined by Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Einar Rubio (Movistar), Ganna still had enough left to muscle the duo off his wheel before the crest of the mountain with 12km to go.
Having led over the top of the category 1 climb, Ganna stripped Caicedo of the blue mountains classification jersey by one point. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) kept his ciclamino jersey, while Almeida remained best young rider.
How it unfolded
Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia was the third longest of the race and the first on Italy's mainland, taking in 225 kilometres as the peloton headed north from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano in the southern region of Calabria.
The stage was defined by 3,700 metres of climbing, with two third-category climbs midway before the 24.9km Valico Montescuro, averaging 5.6 per cent in gradient, which the riders would crest before a 12km downhill run to the finish.
A downhill start meant a fast one for the peloton and a long battle to get into the break of the day. Points leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was among the early attackers, going away with Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), but their move was brought back as Deceuninck-QuickStep controlled the peloton.
After almost 50 kilometres and an hour of racing, a quartet of Jan Tratnik (Bahrain McLaren), Carl Frederik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) and Ineos Grenadiers teammates Filippo Ganna and Salvatore Puccio managed to get away.
More attacks followed, with another four riders bridging the gap. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Hector Carretero (Movistar), Jhonathan Restrepo (Androni-Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Edoardo Zardini (Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM) were the men in question, making it eight up front with 165km to go.
Zardini was clearly on a mission, seeking out mountain classification points as the riders traversed the Sila Piccola range in mid-Calabria. The 30-year-old Zardini took the maximum nine points on the day's first climb in the Calabrian capital of Catanzaro, following it with another nine at Tiriolo, 110km into the stage.
The break's advantage maxed out at the five-minute mark as Deceuninck-QuickStep controlled the race for maglia rosa João Almeida, while EF Pro Cycling lay behind for second-placed man Jonathan Caicedo, and Jumbo-Visma also spending time at the front in service of their GC hope, Steven Kruijswijk.
There was little drama on the rolling roads as the riders continued north towards Cosenza and the Sila Grande range to the east, where the stage finale would play out. The sprinters started to drop back with 60km to go, while Astana and Sunweb took control of the peloton 10 kilometres later for their GC men Jakob Fuglsang and Wilco Kelderman.
The breakaway's advantage hovered just over two minutes when, with 33km to go, Carretero tried to leave his breakaway companions behind. The surge served to jettison Restrepo first and Frederik Hagen next before Ganna nailed the Spaniard back on the lower slopes. Soon Zardini was struggling to hang onto the time trial world champion's pace, which remarkably carved out a larger gap to the peloton even as the climb began to bite.
His team no longer represented in the breakaway, De Gendt launched a stinging move with 30km to go and was followed by Einar Rubio (Movistar), with Ruben Guerrero (EF Pro Cycling) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale) trying to scramble across but not quite making it.
With 25km to go, Ganna was still grinding it out in the breakaway as De Gendt and Rubio halved the gap to his group to one minute and the peloton two minutes in arrears.
Trek-Segafredo came to the front of the peloton for Nibali soon after as the two chasers brought the leading group into sight. Carretero upped the pace again, bringing Zardini and Ganna as Puccio and Conti faded back to join De Gendt and Rubio. The pace of Nibali's team ended the hopes of EF's Jonathan Caicedo, who lost touch with 23km to go.
Carretero put in another dig with 20km remaining to try to solo away, but Ganna was going full Indurain up the shallow climb and latched onto the Spaniard. De Gendt, meanwhile, pulled Rubio up to his Movistar teammate and Zardini scrambled along.
Now five with 19km to go, Rubio stepped on the gas, drawing De Gendt along but again, Ganna welded the move back - and again, and again, and again, until finally, with the top of the climb within five kilometres and the skies darkening and rain starting to fall, Ganna stepped on the accelerator and powered away from De Gendt and Rubio. With the Trek-Segafredo peloton hot on the heels of the chasers, Ganna was in time trial mode at the front and gobbling up the vertical metres.
The peloton, now led by Astana, reeled in De Gendt and Rubio one minute and change behind Ganna as he approached the crest of the category 1 ascent.
There was little action amongst the GC contenders on the climb, although Jakob Fuglsang surged before the top and Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT) leapt past him to take the remaining points and lead on the wet, twisty descent. Nibali then put his notable descending abilities to good use, passing his compatriot and putting some riders under pressure behind.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers||5:59:17|
|2||Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:34|
|3||Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|4||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|5||Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|6||Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|7||Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|8||Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren|
|9||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|10||Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|11||Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|12||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|13||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling|
|14||Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team|
|15||Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|16||Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren|
|17||Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|18||Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team|
|19||Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers|
|20||Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott|
|21||Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team|
|22||Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|23||Tobias Foss (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|24||Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling||0:00:48|
|25||Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R la Mondiale|
|26||Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale|
|27||Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|28||Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates|
|29||Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|30||Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers|
|31||Chris Harper (Aus) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|32||Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|33||Attila Valter (Hun) CCC Team||0:01:37|
|34||Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates||0:02:14|
|35||James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|36||Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||0:02:52|
|37||Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:03:30|
|38||Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team||0:03:52|
|39||Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis||0:04:00|
|40||Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale|
|41||Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team|
|42||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM||0:04:50|
|43||Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:05:13|
|44||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal||0:05:51|
|45||Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:07:02|
|46||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team||0:07:29|
|47||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM||0:07:59|
|48||Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:08:13|
|49||Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|50||Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren||0:08:57|
|51||Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain McLaren|
|52||Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) CCC Team|
|53||Victor De la Parte (Spa) CCC Team|
|54||Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|55||Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|56||Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) NTT Pro Cycling|
|57||Jaakko Hanninen (Fin) AG2R la Mondiale|
|58||Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team||0:09:54|
|59||Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling||0:10:11|
|60||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:10:54|
|61||Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|62||Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|63||Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|64||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers|
|65||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma||0:11:06|
|66||Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb||0:11:29|
|67||Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|68||Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:13:00|
|69||Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|70||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|71||Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|72||Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers|
|73||Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|74||Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|75||Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb|
|76||Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|77||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Bahrain McLaren|
|78||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bahrain McLaren||0:15:00|
|79||Francesco Romano (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'||0:16:21|
|80||Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale||0:16:34|
|81||François Bidard (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale|
|82||Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis|
|83||Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Pro Cycling|
|84||Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R la Mondiale|
|85||Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale|
|86||Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal||0:17:24|
|87||Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team||0:17:26|
|88||Rohan Dennis (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers||0:18:14|
|89||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis||0:20:15|
|90||Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis|
|91||Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal||0:21:18|
|92||Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|93||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain McLaren|
|94||Danilo Wyss (Swi) NTT Pro Cycling|
|95||Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling|
|96||Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain McLaren|
|97||Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|98||Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma||0:22:31|
|99||Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma|
|100||Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-Quickstep||0:22:50|
|101||Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal|
|102||Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|103||Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|104||Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|105||Josip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|106||Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|107||Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC Team|
|108||Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM|
|109||Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|110||Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Pro Cycling|
|111||Sean Bennett (USA) EF Pro Cycling|
|112||Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling|
|113||Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|114||Nico Denz (Ger) Team Sunweb|
|115||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|116||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|117||Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC Team|
|118||Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates||0:23:52|
|119||Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM||0:24:19|
|120||Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec||0:24:43|
|121||Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|122||Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec||0:26:35|
|123||Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|124||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|125||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|126||Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|127||Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col) Astana Pro Team|
|128||Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'||0:26:45|
|129||James Whelan (Aus) EF Pro Cycling||0:28:18|
|130||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|131||Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:28:47|
|132||Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ|
|133||Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|134||Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ|
|135||Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ|
|136||Josef Cerny (Cze) CCC Team|
|137||Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ|
|138||Matteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|139||Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|140||Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ|
|141||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|142||Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM|
|143||Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC Team|
|144||Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|145||Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates|
|146||Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates|
|147||Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates|
|148||Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|149||Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|150||Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis|
|151||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|152||Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis|
|153||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis|
|154||Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team|
|155||Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|156||Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|157||Etienne Van Empel (Ned) Vini Zabu' KTM|
|158||Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Lotto Soudal|
|159||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal|
|160||Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Pro Cycling|
|161||Victor Campenaerts (Bel) NTT Pro Cycling|
|162||Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Pro Cycling|
|163||Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott|
|164||Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling|
|165||Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|166||Luca Chirico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|167||Brent Bookwalter (USA) Mitchelton-Scott|
|168||Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling||0:28:56|
|169||Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis|
|DNF||Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|DNF||Pieter Weening (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||Row 170 - Cell 2|
|DNS||Luca Wackermann (Ita) Vini Zabu-KTM||Row 171 - Cell 2|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec||12|
|2||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM||8|
|3||Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal||6|
|4||Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers||5|
|5||Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren||4|
|6||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers||3|
|7||Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team||2|
|8||Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||1|