Van Vleuten slips down to fourth place overall after a split on stage four of the Giro RosaMon 3 Jul 2017
Stage four of the Giro Rosa saw a shake up in the general classification as a dangerous move formed in the final 20kilometres of the flat 118kilometre stage into Occhiobello.
After the final intermediate sprint the peloton suddenly split and group of around 40riders rapidly gained over a one minute advantage with stage two winner Annemiek van Vleuten not present.
Amanda Spratt was ORICA-SCOTT’s only representation in the front group which contained the current race leader Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) and many other race favourites, who took the opportunity to gain time on their rivals.
ORICA-SCOTT found themselves on the back foot and as the gap grew they had to work tirelessly in an attempt to limit the damage.
Despite the team's efforts, the leaders survived to the finish line with Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) taking the reduced bunch sprint victory as Dutch time trial champion Van Vleuten crossed the line one minute 59seconds behind to ultimately slip down two places overall.
“Annemiek was a little caught out of position at one moment and suddenly the race split,” explained sport director Gene Bates. “I think the front group realised Annemiek wasn’t there and the time gap went from five seconds to thirty seconds instantly.”
“All the girls waited for Annemiek, except Spratt who was in the front. There was a lot of the sprinter team’s up there so probably 15 or 20 riders working hard to stay away and just our six riders behind chasing. Once the gap opened up it was always going to be a tough ask for us to bring it back.
"It was simply a moment of loss of concentration, a little slip up and that can cost a lot in these kind of stages.
“It is obviously disappointing for us but we just have to take positives from the day, we have to regroup quickly and just put our best foot forward now.
"The race is certainly not over, we won’t give up with out a big fight.”
How it happened:
Today’s stage four was a welcomed day for the sprinters with no climbs on the profile, only flat open roads but with the added challenge of hot conditions.
The first hour of racing saw many attacks like previous day’s but to no success as the peloton barrelled along with a 40kilometre per hour average speed.
The main action came after the second intermediate sprint, which was hotly contested due to bonus seconds up for grabs and immediately after, the peloton split unexpectedly and the front group rapidly rode away from the chasing peloton.
The leaders worked well together to extend their advantage to over one minute with ORICA-SCOTT left chasing frantically behind in an attempt to limit their losses.
The conclusion of the stage saw Van Vleuten slip down to fourth overall with Spratt now in fifth position. With six stages still to come there’s more opportunities to regain time and the battle is certainly not over.
Giro Rosa stage 4 result:
1. Jolien D'Hoore (Wiggle-High5) 2:42:04
2. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) ST
3. Coryn Riveria (Team Sunweb) ST
36. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 4:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 5:54:21
2. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Wiggle-High5) +0:26
3. Megan Garner (Boels-Dolmans) +1:56
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (ORICA-SCOTT) +2:17
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com