Coppi e Bartali Stage 4

Vingegaard wins fourth stage and consolidates leading position in Coppi e Bartali, Ethan Hayter third overall, best Young rider and Points leader

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Coppi e Bartali Stage 4

Vingegaard wins fourth stage and consolidates leading position in Coppi e Bartali, Ethan Hayter third overall, best Young rider and Points leader

Photo: MonguzziPhoto

It is the second victory for Vingegaard during the Italian stage race, after having won the second stage earlier this week. It is the third victory of the season for the twenty-four-year-old Dane.

A breakaway formed early in the 155-kilometre punchy stage with 11 riders, including Italian Manuele Boaro, going clear and building an advantage of almost four minutes after 30 kilometres of racing.

Race leader Jonas Vingegaard’s teammates controlled the situation and brought Boaro’s group’s advantage down to two minutes after the first climb of the day. Up ahead, the breakaway changed composition multiple times with the climbs, totalling more than 4000 metres of altitude, taking their toll. After the third and final climb of the day, the peloton were on the heels of Boaro’s group and as they reached the first local lap in San Marino, the gap was down to just 30 seconds.

As the bell rang at the start of the final lap, the catch was made and the stage was set for a reduced bunch sprint. Romo, who started the day in sixth place on the General Classification, attacked inside the final two kilometres forcing a selection in the group. Having positioned himself well in the finale, Romo launched his sprint with 300 metres to go and narrowly missed the stage win behind Vingegaard.

The winner Vingegaard thanked his teammates, who, according to him, had a big share in his victory. “It is again a nice victory for me and the team. I could not have done it without the rest of the team. I knew I could win this stage. That is why I reacted on every attack in the final kilometres, also to stay in the front. In the sprint I finally had enough left to win the stage. Tomorrow I expect a heavy stage, but I will do everything to win the final classification.”

Ethan Hayter meanwhile continued to impress by taking fourth place on a hilly finishing circuit. His ride was all the more notable after having to battle back from a puncture with 9km to go. Ben Swift and Seb Henao rode superbly to return the Brit to the bunch.

Nick Schultz, 3rd: “It was a really hard stage, and we knew it would very much be a race of attrition and because of that I was really conscious of making sure to be well fed and hydrated to be able to do something on the final lap.

We came down to the last climb and I was very careful and patient until about 200 meters to go and then I was kind of held on the right side of the road up against the barriers and couldn’t get through until the last 50 meters, but it was too late to go for the victory.

So, I’m a little bit disappointed today. It’s great to gain one position on GC and also to reward the hard work of the boys and this is probably the main reason why I’m disappointed with third today. I think tomorrow it will be a bunch sprint so I don’t know if I can be up there again, but I’ll try to do my best”.

Paul Double: “Backing up a hard fought 21st two days ago with 23rd today losing contact in the last km after a 4000m day.  Positive signs in top company in my first week of racing this year. 1 more day tomorrow…”

Javier Romo (Astana, 2nd) “Today was another day that we have worked very well as a team. It was a tough day and in the final kilometres, I attacked with 1.5 kilometres to go. I started my sprint with 300 metres to go and was in a good position but I was passed by Vingeegard just a few meters before the finish line. My feelings were very good and it was only a matter of a few centimetres for the victory. Tomorrow is another day and we will try again,” said Romo.


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