SERRA SAN BRUNO, Italy, May 07, 2013 (AFP) – Enrico Battaglin claimed his
maiden Giro d’Italia stage on Tuesday with fellow Italian Luca Paolini
retaining the leader’s pink jersey and race favourite Bradley Wiggins losing
time to rivals after an epic 246km of racing from Policastro to Serra San
Battaglin, who rides for the Bardiani team, surged out of a small group of
survivors from the day’s second and last climb to sprint to a well-earned
victory after nearly 6hr 15min of racing to the southernmost point of the
Giro’s 96th edition.
Minutes earlier, Danilo Di Luca, the Giro winner in 2007, belied his 37
years to launch an audacious attack on the final kilometers of the second and
last climb and race into the lead with young Colombian Robinson Chalapud.
The pair came over the summit with barely 20secs on the main peloton but,
despite Di Luca’s efforts on the rain-hit finale, the pair were agonizingly
caught inside the final kilometer.
Katusha veteran Paolini, who took the race lead with victory on stage three
on Monday, was just behind and crossed the finish line in the company of
overall victory hopefuls Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans and Ryder Hesjedal.
Main race favorite, Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins, however, lost time in
the final kilometers to three key rivals.
Tour de France champion Wiggins was held up by a crash involving Italian
Cristian Salerno on the approach to the final kilometer. Race rules normally
dictate that riders caught up in such incidents in the final three kilometers
are not penalized.
However the race jury said after the stage that Wiggins had not been
hindered by the crash, thus attributing him with his initial finishing time.
Wiggins began the race’s second-longest stage in second place overall at
But after a dominant display of riding by his Sky team on the 12.8km climb
to the Croce Ferrata summit and, notably, the treacherous 7km descent to the
finish, he has lost time to rivals which could prove costly.
Former Tour of Spain winner Nibali (Astana) turned his 14sec overnight
deficit to Wiggins into a three-second lead, while both Hesjedal and, notably,
Evans, also claimed back lost time.
“Everything was good today and that’s a good indicator,” said Evans, who
had a strong finish also on Monday, a day after losing time in the team
“Most importantly, I got through the stage without any trouble or time
Paolini now leads another Team Sky rider, Colombian Rigoberto Uran, by 17s
with Nibali at 31, Hesjedal and Wiggins fifth and sixth respectively at 34 and
Evans sitting 10th at 42.
Wednesday’s fifth stage is held over 205 km from Cosenza to Matera and,
although mainly flat, it ends on an uphill which will suit the ‘punchers’ and
other specialist climbers of the peloton.
Results from the Giro d’Italia
fourth stage, a 246 km race from Policastro to Serra San Bruno:
1. Enrico Battaglin (ITA/BAR) 6hr 14min 19sec, 2. Fabio Fellin (ITA/AND)
same time, 3. Giovanni Visconti (ITA/MOV) s.t., 4. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY)
s.t., 5. Arnold Jeannesson (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 6. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) s.t., 4.
Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) s.t., 7. Benat Intxausti (ESP/EUS) s.t., 8. Ryder
Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) s.t., 9. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/RSH) s.t., 10. Luca
Paolini (ITA/KAT) s.t.
1. Luca Paolini (ITA/KAT) 15hr 18min 51sec, 2. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) at
17sec, 3. Benat Intxausti (ESP/EUS) 26, 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 31, 5.
Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 34, 6. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) s.t., 7. Giampaolo
Caruso (ITA/KAT) 36, 8. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 37, 9. Mauro Santambrogio
(ITA/VIN) 39, 10. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 42
Photos by: Corvos