Stage 4 – Verona to Verona, 33.2km team time trial
Stage profile: A challenging out-and-back route in Verona which combines long, straight stretches – requiring power and aero efficiency – and a technical middle section. There is even a small hill to tackle at about one-third distance – 2.6% for 3.7km – but it could force teams to tail riders off the back earlier than they would like. The fastest teams should break 38 minutes, with slower squads losing over a minute.
Top three: 1. Garmin-Barracuda 37:04, 2. Katusha +0:05, 3. Astana +0:22.
Ever wondered what the riders get up to on a rest day during a Grand Tour? A bit of shopping, perhaps? Some sightseeing? Maybe even a day away from the machines on which they will be covering 3,400km over the space of three weeks? Oh, if only …
The term ‘rest day’ is a bit of a misnomer if ever there was one. In fact it’s very rare for a cyclist to actually ‘rest’ on such days. Even though they’ve only ridden three stages, almost everyone will have a build up of lactic acid in the legs so the riders will have rolled out in groups yesterday for a couple of hours’ reasonably hard riding, just to work those muscles. Given that it’s the team time trial today, some may have taken the opportunity to give the course a thorough once over and even put in some rare, and possibly much-needed, time-trialing practice with their teammates.