Michael Matthews debuted the maglia rosa in Italy on stage four of the Giro d’Italia. It was dumping rain in Giovinazzo at the start of the 112 kilometre stage. The peloton elected to neutralise the race in response to safety concerns, and the officials responded in kind, taking time for the general classification at the start of the final lap (8.3 kilometres) of the city centre circuit in Bari.
Following the meticulous work down by his teammates to keep him safe in the bunch, Matthews sat up at the start of the final lap with the guarantee of bunch time. Those with an interest in the sprint or the points classification weren’t afforded the same luxury and contested the finale. Multiple crashes marred the last lap, underscoring the peloton’s safety concerns, before Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) outsprinted Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Veelers (Giant-Shimano).
Matthews finished on bunch time in 49th place alongside Pieter Weening and Brett Lancaster. With time bonuses removed, the general classifications remains unaltered. Matthews remains atop the leader’s board with an eight second advantage over Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). Daniel Oss (BMC) is two seconds further back in third overall.
"The officials made the very prudent decision to stop the time at one lap. They would not give out any time bonus at the finish line, and any rider that made it to the start of the last lap in the bunch would get bunch time. This didn’t change the dynamics of the race for us. It just moved our job forward by about 8.3 kilometres – the length of a lap." - Sport Director Matt White
"We kept the jersey today, which was the main goal. The team rode perfectly to keep things controlled under some rather difficult road conditions. Tomorrow will be a very different stage with a lot more climbing. I’ll do my best to be up there – that’s the least I can do to repay the hard week they’ve done since day one. The most important thing is that the jersey stays within the team." - Michael Matthews
|1||Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) - FDJ.fr||2:22:06|
|2||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) - Trek Factory Racing||ST|
|3||Tom Veelers (Ned) - Team Giant-Shimano||ST|
|4||Roberto Ferrari (Ita) - Lampre-Merida||ST|
|5||Elia Viviani (Ita) - Cannondale||ST|
|6||Matteo Montaguti (Ita) - AG2R La Mondiale||ST|
|7||Kenny De Haes (Bel) - Lotto Belisol||ST|
|8||Luka Mezgec (Slo) - Team Giant-Shimano||ST|
|9||Bert De Backer (Bel) - Team Giant-Shimano||ST|
|10||Francesco Chicchi (Ita) - Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo||ST|
|38||Ivan Santaromita (Ita) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|48||Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|49||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|50||Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|86||Michael Hepburn (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|103||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|163||Luke Durbridge (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|193||Svein Tuft (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:44|
|194||Cameron Meyer (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|