Giro d’Italia Stage 4 Is Just All Wet


BARI, Italy, May 13, 2014 (AFP) – Sprint specialist Nacer Bouhanni ended a
three-year drought for French cyclists in the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday as he
won the 112-kilometre fourth stage from Giovinazzo to Bari.

The rider recorded his first ever stage win in a major Tour and
becomes the first Frenchman since John Gadret in 2011 to prevail on the Giro.

Bouhanni, 23, joined the leading group 9km from the line and overcame a
puncture on the penultimate lap around Bari to sprint to victory ahead of
Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo and Dutch rider Tom Veelers.

Australia’s Michael Matthews retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Organisers meanwhile decided not to allocate bonus times on the final 8.3km
lap around Bari because of the dreadful weather.

“The riders’ safety comes first,” said Giro director Mauro Vegni.

“Roads in the south are very slippery when it rains,” added veteran Italian
Luca Paolini.

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Bouhanni’s task had been made significantly easier when Germany’s Marcel
Kittel, who had won two of the first three stages in sprint finishes, was
unable to start the stage because he was running a fever.

“I am very disappointed about leaving the Giro after such a strong start in
good condition, but I do not feel healthy and I am not in the position to
start the race in this condition,” said Kittel, who rides for the
Giant-Shimano team.

“I want to thank my team for their support these past few days and wish
them the best of luck for the rest of the race.”

Wednesday’s fifth stage covers 203km between Tarente and Viggiano,
concluding with a 5km climb.

Results from the fourth stage of the Giro
d’Italia over 103.7m from Giovinazzo to Bari on Tuesday:

1. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 2hr 22min 06sec (average: 43.786 km/h), 2.
Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE) same time, 3. Tom Veelers (NED/GIA) 0:00, 4. Roberto
Ferrari (ITA/LAM) 0:00, 5. Elia Viviani (ITA/CAN) 0:00, 6. Matteo Montaguti
(ITA/ALM) 0:00, 7. Kenny Dehaes (BEL/LTB) 0:00, 8. Luka Mezgec (SLO/GIA) 0:00,
9. Bert de Backer (BEL/GIA) 0:00, 10. Francesco Chicchi (ITA/NRI) 0:00, 11.
Mauro Finetto (ITA/NRI) 0:00, 12. Leonardo Duque (COL/COL) 0:00, 13. Marco
Frapporti (ITA/AND) 0:00, 14. Eugenio Alafaci (ITA/TRE) 0:00, 15. Johan Le Bon
(FRA/FDJ) 0:00, 16. Diego Rosa (ITA/AND) 0:00, 17. Fabian Wegmann (GER/GRM)
0:00, 18. Oscar Gatto (ITA/CAN) 0:00, 19. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/OPQ) 0:00,
20. Jeffrey Romero (COL/COL) 0:00
Selected: 26. Sebastien Chavanel (FRA/FDJ) 0:00, 34. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN)
0:00, 49. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 0:00, 102. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 0:00,
106. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:00, 193. Svein Tuft (CAN/ORI) 0:00
Retired: Marcel Kittel (GER/GIA)

Overall standings
1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 12hr 28min 43sec, 2. Alessandro Petacchi
(ITA/OPQ) at 0:08sec, 3. Daniel Oss (ITA/BMC) 0:10, 4. Ivan Santaromita
(ITA/ORI) 0:14, 5. Pieter Weening (NED/ORI) 0:14, 6. Luke Durbridge (AUS/ORI)
0:14, 7. Svein Tuft (CAN/ORI) 0:14, 8. Serge Pauwels (BEL/OPQ) 0:19, 9.
Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) 0:19, 10. Julien Vermote (BEL/OPQ) 0:19, 11. Pieter
Serry (BEL/OPQ) 0:19, 12. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 0:19, 13. Danilo Wyss
(SUI/BMC) 0:21, 14. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:21, 15. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/BMC)
0:21, 16. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 0:21, 17. Yannick Eijssen (BEL/BMC) 0:23,
18. Brett Lancaster (AUS/ORI) 0:25, 19. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 0:26, 20. Ben
Swift (ENG/SKY) 0:29.
Selected: 54. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 1:07, 66. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 1:12,
104. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) 1:34, 170. Sebastien Chavanel (FRA/FDJ) 4:37

Photos: Corvos