Every year in the Giro, one of the smallest teams in the race finds a way to dig a little deeper and come away with a surprise win and it often happens on one of the longest, or the longest stage. Today was that day and Enrico Battaglin was the victor.
Today’s stage was in fact the longest of this year’s Giro at 246km and the weather conditions on the day, which were wet, cloudy and dark made for an even more difficult time for the peloton. On the final cat.3 climb it was Katusha on the front protecting Paolini, in pursuit of a five-man break including Pirazzi, Marcato, Rabotini, Quintaro and Sylvain Georges.
With 15km remaining it was just Sylvain Georges of the front attempting to climb his way to a gap that he could hold to the finish with 1’17” advantage while Sky came to the front to take control. For the next 5 km it was the pace setting of sky lulling everyone into submission until Danilo DiLuca raised from the the dead to throw in an attack with 10km to go. “The Killer” was joined by Columbia’s Chalapud Gomez. The two held of the peloton with DiLuca turning himself inside out into the final 500m but he didn’t have enough to hold the sprint. It was Enrico Bataglin taking the win for the micro-sized Bardiani-Valvole team.
The biggest surprise on the day was a lapse in concentration by Team Sky going into the final with Rigoberto Uran going for the sprint win, and somehow Bradley Wiggins being left behind and losing some 17 seconds to his GC competition and slipping to 6th in the overall with the same time as Ryder Hesjedal.
Stage 4 Top Five
1. Enrico Bataglin (BAR)
2. Fabio Felline (AND)
3. Giovanni Visconti (MOV)
4. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)
5. Arnold Jeanneson (FDJ)
Overall Classification after Stage 4
1. Luca Paolini (KAT)______15h18’51″
2. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)___+17″
3. Benat Intxausti (MOV)___+26″
4. Vincenzo Nibali (AST)___+31″
5. Ryder Hesjedal (GRM)___+34″
6. Bradley Wiggins (SKY)
7. Giampaolo Caruso (KAT)_+36″
8. Sergio Luis Henao (SKY)__+37″
9. Mauro Santambrogio (VIN)_+39″
10. Cadel Evans (BMC)_____+42″
12. Robert Gesink (BLA)____+45″
14. Giovanni Visconti (MOV)_+52″
19. Samuel Sanchez (EUS)__+1’18″
21. Michele Scarponi (LAM)__+1’23″
27. Carlos Betancur Gomez (ALM)_+1’41″
28. Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM)___+1’41″