Andreas Leknessund new maglia rosa of the Giro d'Italia 2023
The Norwegian takes the lead of the race after the first mountainous stage, marked by rain and wind where the strong pace of the first half of the stage gave an attractive day of cycling to the fans. No changes among the favourites for the final victory, who signed a draw in view of the rest of the Corsa Rosa.
No movement among the favourites on the first mountain day of the Giro 2023
The fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia was the first possible duel between the riders who will conquer the race with a route between Venosa and Lago Laceno that featured three climbs classified as 2nd category, the last of them, Colle Molella, which was crowned just 3 kilometres from the finish line.
It was a day that dawned with rain and cold but, nevertheless, it looked like a great day for a breakaway. Therefore, the fight for the escape of the day was fierce from the start, giving us a spectacular beginning of the stage with riders like Ben Healy and Brandon McNulty tremendously active trying to sneak into each breakaway.
None of them succeeded, as the peloton rode for more than 50 kilometres, with an astonishing average speed in the first hour of 45.6 km/h despite the twisty road and the rain that gave no truce. Not even the first of the climbs, the Passo della Crocelle, managed to break the race, something that, however, would happen on the descent where they finally managed to break away.
7 riders achieved their goal of getting into the lead group: Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Nicola Conci, Vincenzo Albanese, Warren Wargil, Andreas Leknessund, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Tom Skujins, quickly gaining 4 minutes of gap until Soudal-QuickStep took the reins of the peloton to prevent the differences from shooting up.
However, the hardness of the day and the lack of collaboration meant that at one point Soudal-QuickStep lifted their foot and let the breakaway build up a gap, leaving the outcome of the stage in front, which could also have the extra prize of the maglia rosa given the 6-minute difference with about 40 kilometres to go.
On the final climb, there were several skirmishes, but in the end it became clear why Leknessund was the best-placed rider in the general classification. A couple of kilometres from the top of the climb, he launched himself forward in search of the double prize of the overall and the stage. However, he did not count on a willing Paret-Paintre who came back and chased him down just before the top of the climb to make the most of his greater speed in the final metres, sharing the spoils of the stage for the Frenchman and the pink jersey for Leknessund, a jersey that, in view of the stages to come, he will probably be able to keep for a few days.
Behind, it was INEOS Grenadiers who set a hard pace on the climb. The group was selected but the powder was wet and the favourites were limited to complete the stage grouped together and simply save this hard day arriving 2 minutes behind the Norwegian cyclist.
Stage 4 Classification
- Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) 4h16’04”
- Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) +02″
- Toms Skuji?š (Trek-Segafredo) +57″
- Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) +57″
- Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +1’02”
- Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo) +1’07”
- Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) +2’01”
- Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +2’01”
- Eddie Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) +2’01”
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-hansgrohe) +2’01”
- Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) 14h35’44’’
- Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) +28’’
- Aurélien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) +30’’
- Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1’00’’
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1’12’’
- Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +1’26’’
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1’26’’
- Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) +1’29’’
- Tao Geoghegan Haart (INEOS Grenadiers) +130’’
- Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) +1’36’’