Richard Carapaz (Movistar) took a flyer from a handful of riders on Stage 4 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia and no one could catch him, not even a fast-closing Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) who finished runner-up. Diego Ulissi, whose two UAE Emirates teammates had shredded the leading group that had profited from a pile-up in the peloton, rounded out the podium. Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was the only GC rider in that leading group and he put further time (16 secs) into his rivals. This leaves him still looking pretty in pink jersey, socks, helmet and bar tape.
Today’s 235km stage, the third successive over 200km, had snooze-fest writ large across its lightly undulating profile, albeit with a sting in its tail. Would it be worth tuning in for the duration? Hell, yes! After all, you never know what might happen. Okay, I admit the action was all in the last 10km, once the trio of Italian Pro-Conti early escapees were reeled back in and spat out the back. The sprinters’ teams were positioning their trains when, with just over 6km to go, Salvatore Puccio (Ineos) fell. He’d been about 20th in the bunch and knocked down riders around him like skittles. Those that didn’t fall were held up in the ensuing melee. A small group of riders up-front, mostly sprinters, profited from that chaos though the real winners were both GC riders – Carapaz and Roglic.Embed from Getty Images
Where there are winners, there are losers. How often have we said at VeloVoices Towers that you can’t win a Grand Tour in the opening stages, but you can lose it? Today’s loser was Tom Domoulin (Sunweb) who fell, bloodied his left knee and was shepherded over the line some four minutes down on Roglic. He’s now 56th overall at 4:30. It remains to be be seen whether his Giro is over before it has really gotten going.
Rider of the Race
It has to be today’s stage winner, 25-year-old Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, who seized his chance after the crash when he found himself without teammates in the leading group of largely sprinters. He grimly resisted the attempts of Marco Marcato and Valerio Conti (both of UAE Emirates) to set up their teammate Ulissi, clinging onto the back of a rapidly diminishing group. He launched his attack from the back of that group 600 metres from the line and quickly gained enough time to hold off a strongly advancing Ewan in the final few metres. After losing time over the last few days, Carapaz is now the leading Movistarlet in 16th spot overall, 1:21 down on the race lead. Speaking seconds after the stage finish, the stage winner Carapaz said:
I didn’t expect to win today. It was a long stage with some hills towards the end. Our plan was just to protect Mikel Landa to not lose time but a crash at the end changed everything. I was up against sprinters for the stage win so I had to anticipate their action. The moment I chose to attack was perfect.
Great news for women’s cycling!
Stage results – top 5Embed from Getty Images
1 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 5:58:17
2 Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) same time
3 Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) s/t
4 Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) s/t
5 Florian Senechal (Deceuninck – Quick Step) s/t
General Classification – top 10Embed from Getty Images
1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo – Visma) 16:19:20
2 Simon Yates (Mitchelton – Scott) +0:35
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +0:39
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +0:44
5 Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) +0:44
6 Rafal Majka (BORA – hansgrohe) +0:49
7 Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) +0:55
8 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) +0:56
9 Bob Jungels (Deceuninck – Quick Step) +1:02
10 Davide Formolo (BORA – hansgrohe) +1:06
All the Jerseys
Maglia rosa – Primoz Roglic (Jumbo – Visma)
Maglia blanca – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)
Maglia azzurra – Giulio Ciccone (Trek – Segafredo)
Maglia ciclamino – Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe)
For full stage review and race results, go to cyclingnews.