Egan Bernal and Mikel Landa made the best impression on Tuesday on the Giro, on the steep slopes of the Passerino glue.
First skirmishes in the rain of the Apennines: the Colombian Egan Bernal and the Spaniard Mikel Landa were the most dashing in the 4th stage of the Giro whose victory went to the American Joe Dombrowski, this Tuesday in Sestola.
Winner with 13 seconds ahead of the Italian Alessandro De Marchi, new wearer of the pink jersey, Dombrowski completed a breakaway river of 25 riders. But the main fight was played out less than two minutes later, between the candidates for the podium of the Giro, on the steep slopes of the Passerino glue, fatal to the Portuguese Joao Almeida.
Landa, who had made his team work before (Mohoric, D. Caruso), tried their hand in this short but severe climb of 4 kilometers, with frequent breaks in slope. Bernal, imitated by the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov then the Briton Hugh Carthy, returned to the Basque before relaunching the pace of more beautiful.
Less comfortable than the winner of the Tour de France 2019 in this nervous final, the Briton Simon Yates and the French Romain Bardet gave up 11 seconds to this small group. Just like the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, to whom this stage left a free hand in his strong Deceuninck formation at the start of two leaders.
Almeida, big loser of the day
Big loser of the day, Joao Almeida sank, in fact, at the end of the stage. Fourth in the Giro 2020, the Portuguese, who must leave his training at the end of the season, gave up on the first slopes of the Passerino. He gave up more than 4 minutes to his rivals.
The rain and the cold (9 degrees) which accompanied the peloton in this 187 km stage caused unexpected effects, especially the hard legs syndrome, always feared by riders even in good shape.
Second in the Giro last year, Jai Hindley was behind Bardet (23 seconds apart), the other leader of his team. But the Australian limited the damage, at the level of the Italian Vincenzo Nibali and the Russian Pavel Sivakov.
This first test, during a grueling day, highlighted Dombrowski, a 29-year-old American who had never won a race on European territory. Having turned professional in the Sky team in 2013, he has a few references for him, in particular 12th place in the Giro in 2019 to prove his qualities as a climber.
“I could not get the pink jersey but it’s already very good to win”, satisfied Dombrowski, now second in the standings 22 seconds behind the experienced Alessandro De Marchi (34).
The Italian, pink jersey for the first time in five appearances at the Giro, rejoiced: “My goal was the pink jersey. I haven’t told anyone but I’ve been thinking about it for several days since I did a very good time (Saturday). Today, a lot of riders wanted to take the breakaway, after that you need a little luck. “
On Wednesday, the 5th stage traces an almost straight line from Modena to Cattolica on a course of 177 kilometers without the slightest roughness, ideal for sprinters.