CHIETI, Italy (VN) ─ Michele Scarponi landed the first blow in the GC battle, his Lampre-ISD teammate Damiano Cunego close behind, in stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico. Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) nearly closed a 10-second gap on the 19-percent ramp into Chieti, but came up just short, with Cunego passing him and both taking same time in the final meters.
Scarponi, winner of the 2009 “race of the two seas,” scored the stage win, but Rabobank’s Robert Gesink pulled on the leader’s jersey atop the narrow streets of the Abruzzo capital near the Adriatic Sea.
Scarponi, fourth in last year’s Giro d’Italia, forged clear in the final two kilometers, then toiled up the closing climb before having enough in reserve to hold off his two pursuers by a couple of meters at the line.
He is seeking his second win in the race after landing the 2009 edition and finishing second last year to compatriot Stefano Garzelli.
In the overall standings, Gesink, the Rabobank team’s main hope in the Tour de France and winner of last month’s Tour of Oman, leads Evans by 10 seconds.
Sunday’s fifth stage is a 240km ride from Chieti to Casteraimondo.
The race finishes with an individual time trial on Tuesday.
Check back soon for full results, photos and a complete stage report.
- 1. Michele Scarponi (ITA), Lampre-Isd, 6:10:56
- 2. Damiano Cunego (ITA), Lampre-Isd, at 0
- 3. Cadel Evans (AUS), Bmc Racing Team, at 0
- 4. Ivan Basso (ITA), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 2
- 5. Danilo Di Luca (ITA), Katusha Team, at 6
- 6. Robert Gesink (NED), Rabobank Cycling Team, at 12
- 7. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 12
- 8. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 12
- 9. Thomas Lövkvist (SWE), Sky Procycling, at 17
- 10. Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 17
- 1. Robert Gesink (NED), Rabobank Cycling Team, 15:05:10
- 2. Cadel Evans (AUS), Bmc Racing Team, at 10
- 3. Ivan Basso (ITA), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 12
- 4. Michele Scarponi (ITA), Lampre-Isd, at 15
- 5. Damiano Cunego (ITA), Lampre-Isd, at 19
- 6. Sebastian Langeveld (NED), Rabobank Cycling Team, at 19
- 7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Liquigas-Cannondale, at 22
- 8. Giampaolo Caruso (ITA), Katusha Team, at 34