The fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia posed the first possible duel between those called to win the race with a route between Venosa and Lago Laceno that posed the first mountainous route of the race with three ascents classified as 2nd category, the last of them, Colle Molella, which crested just 3 kilometers from the finish line.

A day that dawned under the rain and the cold but that, nevertheless, was considered as very greedy in order to hunt the escape. For this reason, the fight to integrate the breakaway of the day was fierce right from the start, giving us a spectacular start to the stage with cyclists like Ben Healy and Brandon McNulty tremendously active trying to sneak into each cut.

None of them prospered assuming the peloton rolled straight for more than 50 kilometres, with a hair-raising average speed for the first hour of 45.6 km/h despite the twisty road and the relentless rain. Not even the first of the ascents, the Passo della Crocelle managed to break the race, something that, however, would happen on the descent where he finally managed to curdle a cut.

Seven cyclists achieved their goal of entering the leading group: Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Nicola Conci, Vincenzo Albanese, Warren Wargil, Andreas Leknessund, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Tom Skujins, quickly gaining 4 minutes of difference until Soudal-QuickStep took the reins of the platoon to prevent the differences from skyrocketing.

However, the hardness of the day and the lack of collaboration meant that at one point Soudal-QuickStep lifted his foot and let the breakaway take the lead, leaving the outcome of the stage ahead. In addition, he could have the extra prize of the pink jersey given the 6-minute difference with about 40 kilometers to go.

On the final climb, there were several skirmishes, although it was finally seen why Leknessund was the highest ranked rider overall. A couple of kilometers from the crown, he rushed forward looking for the double prize of the general classification and the stage.

However, he did not count on a willful Paret-Paintre who recovered and hunted him down shortly before the top to make the most of his top speed in the last meters count. This is how the spoils of the stage were distributed for the Frenchman and the pink jersey for Leknessund, a garment that, in view of the coming stages, it is likely that he will be able to keep it for a few days.

Classification Stage 4

1.- Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) 4h16’04”

2.- Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) +02″

3.- Toms Skuji?š (Trek-Segafredo) +57″

General ranking

1.- Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) 14h35’44”

2.- Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) +28”

3.- Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) +30’’