Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 4 -Kämna takes the stage; Lopez in pink

The first mountain stage of 2022 Giro d’Italia and it was an uphill finish on a volcano. What’s not to love? Appearing so early in the race, the ride up Mt Etna was never going to be a GC fight, but we did see a few big names rule themselves out of the GC running. While big name riders were making their way to the gruppetto, the day’s breakaway broke up with Bora’s Lennard Kämna battling the finish out with Trek Segafredo’s Juan Pedro Lopez. In the end, Kämna took the stage, while Lopez slipped on the maglia rosa. The GC top ten was shaken and stirred.

What you should know

It was a day that the break was going to stay away. Mathieu van der Poel had already resigned himself to losing the maglia rosa today, not being a climber and all, so Alpecin-Fenix didn’t feel the need to control, although it’s worth saying that he and Biniam Girmay had a go at bridging to the early break. The peloton was not amused. They did not succeed.

Eventually, 14 riders, including Kämna, Lopez, Rein Taaraemae (Wanty), Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep), and Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix), settled in for the day, racking up over 10 minutes ahead of a lethargic peloton.

Rider of the Race

It was on the slopes of Mt Etna that the break started to eat itself from within. Some looking around, a few stinging attacks and next thing you know, Stefano Oldani is off the front and getting a gap. The baby-faced Alpecin rider had nearly a minute at one point, but his legs didn’t have it in him on the long climb. When Lopez decided to bridge, making his attack on the hardest part of the climb to drop his fellow breakers, Oldani was riding immodestly on his bike. We could see his time was up and Lopez blasted right past him.

While I wouldn’t call him the moral winner, I would say he was my rider of the race because he got things moving, both in the break and then in the peloton, making the climb to the finish a bit more interesting.

The duelling duo

Once Lopez dropped Oldani, he was skipping up the volcano when Lennard Kamna decided he was finished with his deadbeat breakers and took off to chase. A strong ride brought him to Lopez in the final three kilometres and there looked to be a bit of a chat : ‘I’ll take the stage, you take the maglia rosa. Right?’

That was definitely not what was said because they were battling it out under the flamme rouge until Lopez misjudged the corner to the finish line and possibly clipped Kamna’s wheel. Neither rider went down but Lopez lost his momentum and Kamna came riding in for the victory.

Although Lopez looked very disappointed that he didn’t take the stage, he does have a lovely pink jersey to sleep in tonight. Here’s the moment he found out …


Meanwhile, back in the group of favourites

Ineos took to the front as they approached Mt Etna. Was it to launch a Carapaz attack? (No attack came.) Was it to drop Simon PHILIP Yates who was sitting in the wheels? (He stayed with them.) They didn’t get anywhere near catching the riders in the front, so why did they burn all the matches except for Richie Porte, who shepherded Carapaz to the finish line, where he sprinted with Romain Bardet in an effort to get a precious second on his rivals. So much for the freeform racing from the spring …

Meanwhile, back in the gruppetto

The maglia rosa was last seen dropping back to the gruppetto, hoping the gang of sprinters (including Caleb Ewan and Mark Cavendish) would welcome him with open arms. It was over for a pink MvdP with about 30km to go.

Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), who came to the Giro hoping to show some form and ride with the favourites, went backwards not long afterwards, as did Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qazaqstan). While I certainly don’t think that either Big Tam or His Nibs were ever in contention for the GC, it isn’t a pretty sight to see them losing so much time so early in the Giro. Here’s hoping they have a good day and take a stage before the three weeks are up.

The big GC news, however, was that Miguel Angel Lopez was seen climbing into the Astana car in the earlier part of the race. Apparently, a hip/thigh injury had been bothering him for some time and it just got too painful to go on today. Simon PHILIP Yates (BikeExchange) also had some troubles today, coming down hard in an early crash, but he was able to stay with the group of favourites and only dropped to fourth from second by the finish.

What’s next?

The next couple of stages are for the sprinters, so unless there’s a pile-up or a bungled mechanical, Lopez should be in the maglia rosa at least into the weekend.

Just putting this here

All the results

Stage results 

1 Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe) 4:32:11

2 Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) same time

3 Rein Taaramäe (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:34

4 Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal) +2:12

5 Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) same time

GC Top 10 

1 Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 14:17:07

2 Lennard Kamna (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:39

3 Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

4 Simon PHILIP Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) +1:42

5 Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) +1:47

6 Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe) +1:55

7 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +2:00

8 Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) same time

9 Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:04

10 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +2:06

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Points jersey : Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix)

King of the Mountains: Lennard Kämna (Bora-hansgrohe)

Best young rider: Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Team : Alpecin-Fenix 

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Giro d’Italia website is here


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