After placing fourth on the stage, Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann keeps the pink jersey for a second day, and the team’s fourth consecutive day. Juliette Labous also maintains her lead in the young rider standings with Liane in 2nd place.
It was another aggressive start to stage four of the Giro Rosa, with lots of interest in the break in the early kilometres. Two riders managed to open up a small advantage over the peloton, but it wasn’t enough to stay away and after the intermediate sprint the race came back together. After the first GPM a group of 60 riders found themselves ahead of a second group on the road, with all of Team Sunweb riders represented in the leading group. Team Sunweb pushed the pace in the group to keep the peloton split, but with other teams keen for the race to come down to a sprint the race came back together.
Despite more attempts, no move could stick to the line and the finale was contested with a bunch sprint. Team Sunweb did a solid lead out for Leah Kirchmann, who finished the day in 4th place. She keeps the pink jersey and Juliette also holds onto her white jersey lead. Team Sunweb also lead the team classification.
Leah said: “It’s great to still the pink jersey after today’s stage. It was another really hot day in Italy, and there was some aggressive racing on the QOM climb in the middle of the stage. The bunch split up a bit, but the team was always represented at the front. With a long and flat run into the finish, we set up for a bunch sprint. The final was quite hectic with a lot of roundabouts in the final 10 kilometres. We started our lead out early, and the team did a fantastic job keeping control of the front and executing our plan. I am a bit disappointed to only finish 4th in the sprint after such a fantastic effort from the team, but we will keep fighting for stage wins and to keep the lead in the upcoming stages.”
Juliette added: “Today was another hard day and once again, super warm at 35 degrees on average. We raced really good as a team today with good communication and presence in the front of the bunch when needed. We had a really good lead out towards the final from 10 kilometres to go onwards. The final was really hectic with a lot of roundabouts and lots of crashes but we were always safe which is good. Leah had a good sprint and almost made it to the podium again. Liane and I are both still in the lead for the white jersey, which I will wear again tomorrow. It’s really nice and I will enjoy it as much as I can! Now we’re looking forward to seeing what the next stages will bring us!”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said: “When we reached the first GPM there were only 60 riders in the lead group with all of us in there. Because of the reduced group, we tried to keep it going by attacking but no one was committed to go for it as well so it came back to a bunch sprint. The girls did a perfect lead out for Leah, who’s a little disappointed about 4th, but it’s still great that we keep the jerseys. Tomorrow we can look forward to either a GC day, or a reduced bunch sprint.”