10/05/16 - 11:20
Catanzaro - Praia a Mare
Giro d'Italia • Stage4

Catanzaro - Praia a Mare

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Man of the day, Diego Ulissi of Lampre-Merida...


And here's the overall standings, with Marcel Kittel dropping out of the top 10 after being dropped towards the finish. Dumoulin is the main man now, and will look to extend that lead in the first time trial...


Here's how the stage finish panned out then... quite a top 10!


Ulissi held on by five seconds as Dumoulin led the rest across the line ahead of Kruisjwijk. The likes of Nibali, Valverde and Zakarin were all there in the top 10.


Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) will be back in pink but we just don't know yet what the fallout is from this chaotic stage... so stay tuned.


Euphoric scenes for Ulissi who is hugging his team-mates and celebrating wildly. A deserved win for the Italian, who went on the offensive in the finale and managed to make it stick.


VICTORY FOR DIEGO ULISSI! The Lampre-Merida rider holds on for the fiftyh Giro stage win of his career.


Kruisjwijk and Dumoulin are chasing Ulissi down - but they won't do it. The Dutchman will be back in pink though.


Under the flamme rouge goes Ulissi, who will get the win today - or will he? They're just behind!


Still 10 seconds for Ulissi as Jungels leads the chase for Etixx...


It will take a bit of time for the dust to settle and for us to know who's lost out today. But for now, Ulissi looks good, but it's a long struggle to the line with that fast group chasing...


Ulissi heads back into Praia a Mare and the Tuscan may be about to get a win in Calabria... 9 seconds now!


Ulissi is on the fast descent down to the finish. He's 15 seconds ahead - and there are 10 bonus seconds at the finish. Could he be in pink tonight?


It's Fuglsang who drives the pace in the small main pack, working for his team-mate Nibali. Andrey Amador has been caught out too, but Movistar still have Valverde in the main group.


It's hard to see who's who and where everyone is. Illnur Zakarin looks to have missed out - riders are all over the road.


Remnants of the break are being caught. Landa has just about caught this group of favourites. All the big guns are here now, but Ulissi still has 15 seconds to play with.


Pozzovivo has Fuglsang, Kruijswijk, Jungels and Valverde on his wheel, then Nibali. It's all stretched out as they approach the summit. Landa is not one of them...


Ulissi has edged clear of his fellow escapees and has Pirazzi in pursuit. Back with the pack, it's Pozzovivo who attacks! Nibali reacts, as do the others. Moser is caught.


Moreno Moser (Cannondale) attacks from the pack! The Italian has been talking up his chances of taking pink today - he's just 21 seconds down on GC.


Now Astana have taken it up ahead of the climb - and the break has hit it. Wow, it's steep! It's 1.6km at 8% but hits ramps of 18% at times.


They're over the last climb ahead of the final ramp. This leading group of 12 have 20 seconds over the pack, with the maglia rosa group about a minute in arrears. We have: De Marchi, Conti, Uliussi, Busato, McCarthy, Domont, Serry, Wellens, Cunego, Preidler, Kochetkov, Pirazzi and Lopez out ahead.


Confirmation that Alexander Geniez (FDJ) has abandoned the race after his second crash in three days. The Frenchman was hoping to build on his 9th place last year but the race has been a disaster for him.


Game over for Marcel Kittel! The pink jersey has been dropped again - along with a whole host of riders - and we will see a new race leader tonight.


Diego Ulissi has managed to get in with this leading group and they have 20 seconds to play with. That double-digit ramp comes with 10km remaining.


Movistar are drilling the peloton now on this stunning stretch of the Tirreno coast.


There's no co-ordination in this leading group and they've pretty much sat up. Some riders have darted out in pursuit while the GC riders have come to the front of the pack. it looks like Filippo Pozzato might now be with the leaders, who have just 10 seconds.


This seven-man group have only 20 seconds to play with over the pack, out of which Damiano Cunego has just edged. It's 12 years ago to the day that Cunego won his first Giro d'Italia stage...


Serry takes the intermediate sprint at Scalea but it's uncontested. The road now heads up for a series of small hills ahead of the finish. Seven riders ouyt ahead: Lampore-Merida's Valerio Conti is there too, and it's not Henao but David Lopez for Sky.


There's been a big reshuffle after the pace slowed when that duo were swallowed up. Six riders are out ahead now, including birthday boy Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Pieter Serry (Etixx-QuickStep) and Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF). Seb Henao (Sky) is here too, and De Marchi (BMV), plus one of the Ag2R riders who was out ahead, Domont I think.


Bonnafond and Domont are going to be joined by the chasing group very soon. And we're hearing news that Alexandre Geniez (FDJ) has abandoned the race - but wait until that's confirmed before taking it as the gospel.


There's about 15 riders in a chasing group now - and one of them is Bob Jungels of Etixx-QuickStep, who is only 20 seconds down on his team-mate Kittel on GC.


The race has exploded into life - there are numerous groups out ahead now. Nine riders chasing hte Ag2R duo and another three in pursuit. Plus others here and there. Our French duo have 45 seconds on the pink jersey group.


With Astana taking their foot off the gas, numerous riders have come to the front of the pack and are attempting to bridge the gap. The gap is just 15 seconds for the leading duo, while the Kittel chasing group have managed to rejoin the pack. Meanwhile trouble for Alexandre Geniez of FDJ, who looks like he's touched tyres with a Katusha rider and needs some mechanical assistance off the back.


ATTACK: Two Ag2R-La Mondiale riders - Guillaume Bonnafond and Axel Domont - ping off the front! The French team are trying to pick themselves up after losing captain Jean-Christophe Peraud on Sunday.


Perhaps I spoke too early: the Kittel group are now just 28 seconds down on the pack. Interestingly, Andre Greipel is still there on the front for Lotto-Soudal. He's not bad at these short and sharp climbs so could possibly be a factor today...


The chasers have managed to knock the deficit down to one minute on this descent. Meanwhile, on the front of the main pack it's Astana who take control. Get used to the sight of them on the front - once Nibali's in pink, it's what we'll see every day!


The undulating terrain from here to the finish will make it nearly impossible for Kittel to make it back into the pack before the finish - and if he does, that horrendous final ramp before the finish will be the final nail in the coffin. It's worth adding that Elia Viviani (Sky) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) are among the other big name sprinters in this distanced group.


The Kittel chasing group crests the summit 1:28 down on the Pirazzi-Cunego duo, who themselves were around 10 seconds clear of the main pack. So it's going to be hard going for the German to stay in pink today...


ATTACK: Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) bounds clear and takes Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) with him. It's Cunego who edges his fellow italian over the summit to take maximum points and with it - perhaps - the blue jersey (he's level with Nicola Boem on points).


It's the Giant-Alpecin team of Tom Dumoulin setting the pace - and that's because the Dutchman could be back in pink tonight at this rate. Kittel is almost one minute back now alongside Etixx team-mates Sabatini and Trentin. It will be difficult for them to fight back on now.


The break being reeled in would have been music to Maarten Tjallingi's ears - had he not also been among the riders tailed off the back. The veteran Dutchman will not get those two points to move back into the lead of the blue jersey competition today...


The peloton has been blown apart with the likes of Marcel Kittel and Andre Gripel off the back on this Cat.3 climb. Brandle has been caught and the three others will follow suit very soon.


The break has imploded! The gap is down to just 25 seconds and Brandle is the first to be dropped by the escapees on this climb.


We're approaching the next climb, the Cat.3 ascent to San Pietro (5.3km at 6.8%). The gap is back below 3mins.


Berlato must have come off in the crash that marred the finale of Sunday's stage - because he had that chin injury during the rest day according to this tweet...


Giacomo Berlato - the Nippo-Vini Fantini rider who was part of the break on both Saturday and Sunday - has dropped back for water bottles. He had a bandage and plasters strapped around his chin so he must have come off and landed face first at some point today. Either that is it's a mysterious rest day injury...


The break's lead has stretched back up to 3:50 so it's looking good for them for now - certainly for the next climb. Mohoric is stuffing his face with something from a foil wrapper - probably the remnants of his lunch.


Those seven points put Nicola Boem into the provisional lead of the blue mountains jersey classification. Overnight leader Maarten Tjallingi has just 5pts from those two breaks in the Netherlands, so it looks like Boem will be in blue tonight - depending on what happens on the next Cat.3 climb. Rosskopf followed him over the Bonifati to take 4pts - should the American take maximum points over the next climb and Boem come over in third or fourth, then it will be him and not Boem in blue.


Mikel Landa is currently off the back of the peloton with a Sky team-mate - he must have dropped back to the team car or something, because he doesn't appear to be in any discomfort.


BONIFATI SUMMIT: It's Mohoric who puts in the first attack on the climb! The Slovenian is reeled in but then has another dig before Rosskopf pulls clear - only for Boem to counter and then crest the summit in pole position to take the maximum 7pts.


Quite a few riders appear to be struggling off the back of the peloton, including (strangely enough) Ruben Plaza (Orica-GreenEdge) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC). The four leaders have 2:20 to play with and it's Mohoric who sets the tempo for now.


We spoke to Andrey Amador of Costa Rica this morning. The Movistar rider in in third place on GC just 15 seconds down on Marcel Kittel so he could well move into pink with a good finish today - provided he takes six seconds off second-place Tom Dumoulin as well. "I think we're all very happy to see italy. All the teams have worked really hard and today's stage will be really intense, especially the finale. Anyone could win today. Alejandro (Valverde) will have a go, I may have a go. The pink may change hands."


The four leaders are onto the first of two Cat.3 climbs, the Bonifati - it's the largest climb of the race so far (we had just two Cat.4 lumps in the Netherlands) and is 6km long with an average gradient of 6% and packed with hairpins.


The Etixx-QuickStep team of Marcel Kittel have five riders - including the pink jersey himself - on the front, while Fabio Sabatini, Kittel's lead-out man, drops back to the team car to pick up a banana and some bidons. The Astana team of overall race faviourite Vincenzo Nibali are tucked in just behind.


A reminder of the four riders in the break, who have been out since the 15km mark: Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF), Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Joey Rosskopf (BMC) and Matthias Brändle (IAM). They have 2:38 over the pack ahead of those two Cat.3 climbs.


Eurosport expert Juan Antonio Flecha has described today's final climb near the finish at Praia a Mare as "explosive and demanding". It peaks out at 18% and is narrow and twisting as it rises to give the race quite splendid views over the Mediterranean. Here's what it looks like from the riding perspective...


The leaders have been through the feedzone with around three minutes over the pack, who have managed to catch the lone chaser, Grosu.


Marcel Kittel spoke to Eurosport this morning: "I'm very happy to ride the first stage in Italy - it's a bit like the Olympic Games, I have the honour of bringing the pink jersey home. I will try and keep hold of it today but the finish is very tough so I cannot make any promises."


Now that the pace is down in the pack the atmosphere has chilled out a little - and it's nice to see Fabian Cancellara smile as he shares a joke (and pine cone) with Matteo Tossato. Spartacus has been struggling with illness but it looks like he's back in rude health now the race has left the Netherlands.


The riders have been over a little coastal lump and are now coasting their way towards the feedzone. Grosu us still stuck in no-man's land - he's a minute behind the four leaders but three minutes ahead of the pack.


It appears that the break has surged clear again so perhaps those reports that it was being reeled in were a little exaggerated. Zhupa is no longer in the equation so perhaps that was an error on the part of race radio. There is, however, one rider in pursuit - Eduard-Michael Grosu of Nippo-Vini Fantini. The Romanian is 1:20 behind the four leaders so some kind of comprimise has been reached: if Nippo can't reel the break back into the peloton then they'll at least chuck a man ahead of the pack to try and reach them solo. Grosu is 1:30 ahead of the pack and so it appears that the chase has been put off for the time being.


Marcel Kittel was all smiles this morning, decked out in pink sunnies, pink gloves and a pink wristband to match his maglia rosa. But will he still be sporting the same look this time tomorrow?


The riders are on the Calabrian coast now with the Med to their left and some rolling hills inland on their right. A fifth rider has managed to join the break - Albanian Eugert Zhupa (Willier Triestina - Southeast) - but it doesn't look like they're going to stay out for much longer, in all fairness.


We're hearing reports that Spain's Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) - who picked up the first blue jersey of the race by cresting the first categorised summit on Saturday - crashed earlier in the stage.


We join the race LIVE now and it's been a very fast start to the stage with an average speed of 50.1kmph thanks to the frantic chase by Nippo-Vini Fantini to reel this break back in.


After around 40km of riding the gap was down to 1:10 for the four leaders because of the chasing done by Nippo-Vini Fantini. Here's a picture of the break in action...


Nippo-Vini Fantini, who missed the break, started to chase frantically once the riders hit the coast. They had Giacomo Berlato in both breaks in stages two and three and clearly don't want to miss an opportunity for some TV coverage today. The gap came tumbling down...


The leaders were soon joined by Matthias Brändle (IAM) and the gap was up to three minutes at the 20km mark.


It was an uneventful start to the stage as the peloton negotiated a small climb before dropping down towards the coast. But three riders broke clear after 15 kilometres: Nicola Boem (Bardiani CSF), Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida) and Joey Rosskopf (BMC).


The riders rolling out of Catanzaro at the start of today's stage with Maarten Tjallingi (LottoNL-Jumbo) in blue, Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) in pink and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) in red. Viviani is actually third in the points standings but the two men above him are those guys occupying blue and pink, so the Italian wears it by default. The fourth jersey, the white jersey for the youth standings, is being worn by Tobias Ludvigsson of Giant-Alpecin.


Two non-starters today: Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2R-La Mondiale) withdrew from the race on Sunday after crashing badly on a roundabout while Swiss youngster Stefan Dillier (BMC) broke his hand in a pile-up towards the finish of stage three.


The sun was out for the start today as the remaining 196 riders took to the start. The temperature is in the mid 20s.


Today's stage is a different kittle of fish to what we've seen before: save for a flat opening third the road is very lumpy as it heads up the Mediterranean coast and after two Cat.3 climbs there is a double-digit ramp to Praia a Mare which could well thwart many of the big sprinters and see the 200km stage contested by a streamline peloton of riders, or perhaps even a break that manages to go the distance. Either way, we could see a new maglia rosa and we should certainly see a different winner than the man of the moment, Kittel.


On Sunday German sprint sensation Marcel Kittel won stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia at a canter in the Dutch city of Arnhem to move into the maglia rosa after the third and final chapter of the race's opening phase in the Netherlands. The in-form Etixx-QuickStep sprinter darted out of team-mate Fabio Sabatini's back wheel to soar clear of his rivals and secure his second successive win in the 190-kilometre stage from Nijmegen to Arnhem.


Hello and welcome to stage four of the Giro d'Italia - and after three days in the Netherlands, and one in transit, the race has hit Italian shores for the first time. We're in the south of Italy in the region of Calabria.