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“When the breakaway went I was too far back in the peloton. When I finally got to the front there was a split and 20 riders were away. It was impossible for me to go anymore. It was a mistake."

Photo: Sirotti






12.05.2015 @ 20:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Giro d’Italia has yet to hit the big mountains, but stage four played out in a tactical battle that left one solo victor and a skeleton group of GC favorites finishing 22 seconds later.


Italian Davide Formolo (Garmin-Cannondale) took his first-ever professional win, and he won it in big style, a solo victory in his home country’s biggest race. 


Arriving on his heels was a small group of the strongest climbers, a result of a difficult day of climbs coupled with wild tactics since a large, dangerous group was granted a generous lead.


Trek Factory Racing was unable to latch onto the breakaway that escaped within the first hour of the race, however, when all was said and done it made little difference as it turned into a stage for the pure climbers.


“When the breakaway went I was too far back in the peloton. When I finally got to the front there was a split and 20 riders were away. It was impossible for me to go anymore. It was a mistake, but in the end I am not sure that I would have been able to stay in the front. Once the break was gone it was not so hard as there was nothing for us to do anymore, not like yesterday. Now we shall see for tomorrow," Felline said.


With every team having a strong representative in the large leading group a tactical battle ensued. Who would cave to begin the chase?  The poker game continued until the gap became too serious to ignore and it was Astana that finally threw in their cards.


Astana led such a punishing pace over the final part of today’s tough parcours that only the GC favorites and the strongest relics from the breakaway remained at stage end.


Overall leader Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) fell off the pace, however, teammate Simon Clarke was able to hang with the best of the breakaway and make it to the end where he sprinted to second place and into the maglia rosa.


Trek Factory Racing director Adriano Baffi summed up the tough, tactical stage four:


“Today we wanted to try and get into the breakaway and on a course like today the only one who would be able for us was Felline.  It didn’t happen, and afterwards it was impossible for Felline to stay with the group of Contador, Aru and Porte.


“It was a strange race since almost every team had a big rider in the front so the chasing started late. When the situation with the breakaway goes to nine minutes that meant for us the stage was over, and we have to look to the next days that favor us more.


“We came to the Giro with no climber, and although Felline was confident that he may be able to get a result today, the way it played out made that impossible. We know that our Giro is not about the GC, and maybe today we lost a possibility to not get in the breakaway, but that’s how it went. So now we wait until a day after tomorrow for a better-suited parcours to try for a stage win again.”



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