Ulissi claims the fourth stage in Giro d’Italia, Dumoulin back in pink

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) claimed the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia in Praia a Mare. The Italian was on the front foot throughout the finale and finally broke free on the last climb of the day with 10 kilometres to go. He held off the chasing pack to win ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNl-Jumbo).

After two sprint stages and the early rest day, it was time for the first hilly stage when the riders travelled 200km from Catanzaro to Praia a Mare. After a relatively flat star, the riders tackled two category 3 climbs in the second half. The San Pietro ascent was the final of those and came just 49.6km from the finish. From there, the terrain was rolling but the main difficulty was the steep Via del Fortino climb that averaged 7.7% over 1800m and included sections of 18%. From the top, only 8.7km of flat and descending roads were left.

The 196 riders that had reached the finish in Arnhem two days ago were present when the peloton gathered for the start under a sunny sky. Unlike in the first two stages, there were lots of attacks in the beginning but it still didn’t take long for Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) and Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida) to get clear.

After a relatively clam middle part of the race, things had heated up on the final categorized climb with a little more than 50km to go and it was Giant-Alpecin who started the action. The Dutch team went full gas to drop race leader Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) who crested the summit with a delay of 1.29. He found himself in a group with Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and so his teammate Fabio Sabatini and FDJ chased hard in an attempt to bring them back.

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) made good his escape in the last 10km from a group of attackers, pushing clear to take a fine solo stage victory by five seconds. Dumoulin also jumped out in the final kilometre to secure second on the stage, but more crucially for the Dutchman, he reclaimed the maglia rosa he’d lost to Marcel Kittel on stage three.

Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 4 results (Catanzaro – Praia a Mare):

1 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)

4:46:51

2 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

+05”

3 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

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4 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+06”

5 Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)

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6 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

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7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)

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8 Matteo Busato (Southeast – Venezuela)

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9 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge)

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10 Nicolas Roche (Sky)

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General classification after stage 4:

1 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

14:00:09

2 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)

+20”

3 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)

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4 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)

+24”

5 Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin)

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6 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

+26”

7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+31”

8 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+35”

9 Nicolas Roche (Sky)

+37”

10 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge)

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