Andreas Leknessund and Aurélien Paret-Peintre have been this Tuesday the protagonists of the fourth stage in the Giro d’Italia. The Norwegian runner and the Frenchman, who reached the Lago Laceno finish line alone -after a break of 100 kilometers out of the 175 they had to cover today- with a difference of almost a minute with respect to their pursuers, won a prize in a journey of half mountain. The first snatched the pink jersey from Remco Evenepoel, world champion and leader until Tuesday, and the second achieved stage victory by sprint.
Evenepoel loses the lead, but maintains the difference with his main rival in this Giro, Primoz Roglic. Attacks by sprinters threatened from the start of an intense stage, with Education-EasyPost’s Ben Healy leading most of them. The continuous changes of pace to stop the escape attempts left Evenepoel off the hook, but his teammates appeared to help him and prevent the damage from going further.
None of the attacks were successful until, with 100 kilometers to go, seven cyclists escaped triumphantly to try to take the stage. Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Andreas Leknessund, Tom Skujins, Vincenzo Albanese, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Nicola Conci and Warren Barguil gained a few meters from the main group, and then much more. The seven came to have an advantage of 5 minutes and 45 seconds of the peloton with 20 kilometers from the finish line. Enough to guarantee victory. None of them had ever won a Giro stage.
Not only the stage was at stake, but also the pink jersey. Leknessund started the day 1 minute 40 seconds behind Evenepoel and was close to the lead. He was the closest to his fellow escapees and he couldn’t slow down. Conci was playing at home and tried to scratch a few extra seconds on the final climb, but the rest of the escapees did not allow it, at the same time that Barguil was off the hook.
Paret-Peintre and Leknessund took the definitive lead in the last three kilometers, aware of what was at stake. The Frenchman and the Norwegian crossed the finish line one behind the other after a journey in which they had to suffer to share the stage and the overall lead. “It is super special to wear the Maglia Rosa. The only Norwegian who had worn it before me was Knut Knudsen, but if we look at who has worn the Maglia Rosa in recent days and the impact of this jersey, it is a great day for my career”, commented the new leader , which cannot be trusted, since Evenepoel is only 28 seconds away, a trifle for the world champion.
This is the classification of the stage:
|1||Aurelien Paret-Peintre||AG2R Citroen Team||4:16:04|
|2||Andreas Leknessund||Team DSM||+2s|
|3||Toms Skujins||Trek Segafredo||+57|
|4||Vincenzo Albanese||Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team||+57|
This is the general classification:
|1||Andreas Leknessund||Team DSM||14:35:44|
|2||Remco Evenepoel||Soudal Quick-Step||+28s|
|3||Aurelien Paret-Peintre||AG2R Citroen Teams||+30s|
|4||Joao Pedro Almeida||UAU Team Emirates||+1:00|
|5||Cousin Roglic||Jumbo Visma||+1:12|
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