Giro: Stage 4 to Davide Formolo


Whilst the stage victory went to Davide Formolo, the Pink jesey again changed shoulders as Simon Clarke was second and now leads the Giro d’Italia

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Giro: Stage 4 to Davide Formolo


Photo: Thomas van Bracht (

Davide Formolo notched up his first professional win on stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia whilst Simon Clarke becomes the third Orica-GreenEDGE rider to don the Maglia Rosa at this years race

Today’s 150km stage four from Chiavari to La Spezia set off much like the day prior, a large group of around 25 riders forming at the front of proceedings.

Simon Clarke and Esteban Chaves rode themselves into the move for the second consecutive day, this time joined briefly by ORICA-GreenEDGE teammate Pieter Weening.

With the pace fierce, the formation was volatile as the head of the race and changed shape on a number of occasions. With 80km to go, a group of 17, with Clarke in toe, was joined by an additional 12 riders, including Chaves, the pair again patrolling the action as the gap to the peloton grew to ten minutes.


Photo: Thomas van Bracht (

The composition of the group continued to change as riders negotiated the second categorised climb of the day. Behind them, Astana joined the chase, the pace too much for the majority of the peloton, including race leader Michael Matthews who began to suffer.

Soon six riders distanced a second small group, with Chaves and Clarke, by 25seconds. The peloton had reduced their gap to six minutes. The two groups once again rejoined on the descent, creating a break of 15 riders leading the way.

Whilst the peloton was dramatically reduced in number courtesy of Astana’s pressure, the gap was tumbling down to just a couple of minutes ahead of the final climb.

From the front group, Italian Davide Formolo, aware of the intensity of the chase, made his move before the small peloton joined his former breakaway companions as he survived to the line. Simon Clarke hung on to finish second, raising his arms thinking he’d won the stage.

Pink for Clarke
The ‘Maglia Rosa’ once again changed hands with Australian Simon Clarke finishing second on the fourth stage to claim the overall lead from teammate Michael Matthews.

The 28-year-old finished at the head of a select group, 22 seconds behind solo winner Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin). He leads the general classification by ten seconds from teammate Esteban Chaves, who also finished in the small group of overall contenders.


Photo: Thomas van Bracht (

“It’s a pretty special moment,” Clarke said. “You could see the emotion on the line. I’m stoked to keep the Maglia Rosa in the team. I couldn’t hold it back, keeping it at Orica-GreenEDGE. It has been an awesome start to the Giro for us.”

It was the second consecutive day in the breakaway for both Clarke and Chaves, a consideration the pair were well aware of. “Myself and Esteban Chaves really had to ride smart today because we had one day’s breakaway already in our legs and that really takes it’s toll,” Clarke said.

“During the stage, we missed a few small attacks because we really had to be selective of the moves we followed to conserve as much energy as possible. When the GC guys caught us, we had managed to conserve enough that we were two of the few guys that were able to jump on the back and finish with the front group.”

On what was a day that no one could have predicted, sport director Matt White was pleased with the team’s reaction to the unexpected race outcome. “Today’s stage showed how riders make courses,” White said. “That stage could have ended up in a 50-up sprint, instead we saw the first selection for the Giro d’Italia.”

“The team reacted perfectly. We had our three climbers in the breakaway so we were in the perfect position again. Pieter Weening got dropped because he was sick, but having Clarke and Esteban there was ideal for us.

“What many people wouldn’t have seen was the effort by all the guys to control which break went away, it was another full team effort today.”

Tomorrow, stage five presents the Giro d’Italia’s first hill top finish for 2015, a category two finale in Abetone. Starting in La Spezia, the peloton will first negotiate a smaller category three climb earlier in the 152km stage.

Richie Porte 10th
Richie Porte was sitting in 10th overall after the stage. Porte hung tough in the hills on a day of constant attacks and tactical twists, and was equal to a late acceleration from Fabio Aru (Astana) on the final climb.

“It was by far the hardest stage so far,” said Porte after crossing the line. “I think Astana today were absolutely incredible. Very impressive. I think without them maybe the race was already lost. It’s good it feels like the Giro has really started.”


1. Davide Formolo, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
2. Simon Clarke, Orica GreenEdge 0:00:22
3. Jonathan Monsalve, Southeast Pro Cycling
4. Giovanni Visconti, Movistar Team
5. Esteban Chaves, Orica GreenEdge
6. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team
7. Amaël Moinard, BMC Racing Team
8. Dario Cataldo, Astana Pro Team
9. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Richie Porte, Team Sky
11. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Team Sky
12. Darwin Atapuma, BMC Racing Team
13. Roman Kreuziger, Tinkoff-Saxo
14. Alexandre Geniez, 0:01:04
15. Sonny Colbrelli, Bardiani CSF
16. Andrey Amador, Movistar Team
17. Damiano Caruso, BMC Racing Team
18. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto Soudal
19. Yury Trofimov, Team Katusha
20. Maxime Monfort, Lotto Soudal

1. Simon Clarke, Orica GreenEdge 11:54:48
2. Esteban Chaves, Orica GreenEdge 0:00:10
3. Roman Kreuziger, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:17
4. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo
5. Fabio Aru, Astana Pro Team 0:00:23
6. Dario Cataldo, Astana Pro Team
7. Giovanni Visconti, Movistar Team 0:00:29
8. Amaël Moinard, BMC Racing Team 0:00:31
9. Davide Formolo, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
10. Richie Porte, Team Sky 0:00:37
11. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Team Sky
12. Jonathan Monsalve, Southeast Pro Cycling 0:00:57
13. Mikel Landa Meana, Astana Pro Team 0:01:05
14. Rigoberto Uran, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:01:11
15. Andrey Amador, Movistar Team 0:01:13
16. Damiano Caruso, BMC Racing Team 0:01:17
17. Alexandre Geniez, 0:01:18
18. Leopold Konig, Team Sky 0:01:19
19. Yury Trofimov, Team Katusha
20. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Lotto Soudal 0:01:21

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