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Giro d’Italia. Stage 4. Luis Leon Sanchez is 8th in first Italian stage

After first three days in Israel, finally, the Giro d’Italia has arrived in Italy to continue its way to Rome with the next three stages in Sicily. Today’s stage 4 has connected Catania and Caltagirone with a total distance of 198 km. After first days with an individual time trial and two flat stages, today’s stage proposed the riders a very tough hilly route with many small, but steep climbs.

Despite a few climbs at the final part of the distance, everything in this stage was decided inside the last kilometer. Firstly, four riders launched an attack to get a small gap, but later, on the steepest part of the final kilometer (with some part of 13%), the main group came back together to play the stage in a powerful uphill sprint.

The Belgian rider Tim Wellens was the strongest today, outsprinting the Canadian Michael Woods and the Italian Enrico Battaglin. Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez did a good sprint and finished 8th, 4 seconds behind the stage winner. Another Astana rider Pello Bilbao was 15th (+0.10), while the team’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez did 29th, 21 seconds behind the winner.

- It was a first hilly stage with some climbs, but the final was not as hard as we could expect. So, finally, everything ended with an uphill sprint, really fast sprint. It was a plan for Luis Leon Sanchez and Pello Bilbao to try something in the end and both were up there in front fighting for a good result. Indeed, Tim Wellens was one of the biggest favorites for this kind of stage, so there is no any surprise in his victory. Miguel Angel Lopez lost some seconds today, but, honestly, this finish doesn’t suit him really well. Besides, there was a bit of chaos inside the last 2-3 kilometers and it was not easy to get a good position for the sprint. Anyway, I think everything is ok, another difficult stage is waiting for us tomorrow, - explained sports director Dmitri Sedoun.

After stage 4 the Australian Rohan Dennis still leads the general classification of the race, while Pello Bilbao is 5th overall, 25 seconds behind the leader.

The Giro d’Italia will continue in Sicily with stage 5 from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa, 153 km with a few climbs in the final of the stage.

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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