Johansson fourth, Scandolara maintains QOM lead

Tue 8 Jul 2014

Swedish champion Emma Johansson has finished fourth, whilst Valentina Scandolara has solidified her lead in the mountains classification on stage four of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile today. 

Johansson, who was sitting fifth going into the stage, will maintain her overall position finishing in the bunch sprint that was won by race leader Marianne Vos (RBW).

Meanwhile, Scandolara gained valuable points on the day's only ascent extending her lead in the Queen of the Mountains jersey to five points. 

"We had three goals today," sport director Gene Bates explained.

"We wanted to set up a strong breakaway situation like yesterday, our second goal was to try and get some points for Valentina in the climbers jersey and then lastly go for the stage win with either Mel (Hoskins) or Emma."

Whilst a strong head wind ensured a negative peloton that saw just one solo escapee who never posed much threat to a bunch finish, the team delivered positively towards their two subsequent objectives. 

"Over the top we set up Valentina and she was the second over the climb and gain a few more points on the climbers jersey," Bates said.

"Then the last aim of course was to set up Mel and Emma coming into the finish. 

"There was a lot of jostling as there is in sprinting and Mel and Emma got separated coming into the final.   It looked like Emma was our best places rider to sprint so she put herself into a great position in the final and just got shunted in the final bend and ended up running fourth."

Happy with the day's results, the team will look forward to producing more over the coming stages.

"Another day down and we are closing in on our goals," Bates said. 

"We are in a good spot on GC (general classification) and we are in that climbers jersey which is great for the team at the moment.

"Tomorrow is going to be another flatter stage. It is probably one of the last chances, if not the last chance, for a bunch sprint to happen. There is only one climb coming in the middle of the stage, a category three climb, so again we will try pick up some relatively easy points in the mountains jersey and look for a good stage result with Mel and Emma again tomorrow."

Photos: Bart Hazen and Giro Rosa Cycling.