As the action hotted up on the ascent of Mount Etna, Tom Dumoulin climbed to 6th place, moving him up to 7th in the overall standings.
The action at Giro d’Italia resumed with stage four covering a 181 kilometre route from Cefalu to the summit of Mount Etna, with one second category climb to contend with before the testing ascent of Etna. After 2 kilometres a break of four went clear, whilst Team Sunweb remained in the bunch working hard to limit losses on the first GC decisive day of racing. For only the fourth time in the races history the stage finished at the top of Mount Etna and with maximum gradients reaching 12% it was here that the fireworks were lit. Before the bunch started the days gruelling climb, some confusion of the road direction caused riders to crash, including Laurens Ten Dam. Following the crash, Team Sunweb were well represented in the first bunch with Wilco Kelderman still strong and up there with Tom as the climb began to take its toll on the ever reducing bunch. The duo chased down a volley of attacks and with 1.3 kilometres to the finish, Tom launched his own move. The bunch of favourites were hot on his heels and his move was brought back. The winner came from the days early breakaway, with Tom finishing in 6th place. Tom now stands at 7th in the general classification.
*Laurens Ten Dam suffered a subluxation to his shoulder but was able to continue through to the finish.
After the stage Tom explained: “Today was a good day, the legs are good. The wind was a tough factor, but the team work was strong and I felt good on the climb. Overall it was a good day and I’m happy with 6th.”
Wilco added: “It was a good start to the uphill finishes at this years race. Before the climb Tom had a mechanical which caused stress but we were there with the whole team and everybody managed to fight through really well. On the last section we moved up and I tried to increase the tempo but there was a lot of headwind so it was quite hard to light things up. I felt really motivated to work for Tom today, as did the whole team. It was great communication between everyone so overall a good day.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “Today was the first real test and the guys did a good job. We were still up there with a lot of guys around Tom on the last climb which was great, however unfortunately we lost Laurens to a nasty crash. After he has recovered I expect to see him back out at the front by the time we hit the mountains again. From now we have to be really sharp for every stage that comes.”