Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.
The general classification of the Giro d’Italia was thrown into disarray Tuesday when a large crash in the peloton with 6km remaining on Stage 4 split the bunch and left 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) injured and down four minutes on race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
The crash, after nearly 230km of racing, caused a split in the field, with about 25 riders pushing on toward the finish line in Frascati.
From that group, Movistar’s Richard Carapaz launched a solo attack that stuck, just holding off a hard-charging Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).
“I didn’t expect to win today,” Carapaz said. “It was a long stage with some hills towards the end. Our plan was just to protect Mikel Landa to not lose time but a crash at the end changed everything. I was up against sprinters for the stage win so I had to anticipate their action. The moment I chose to attack was perfect.”
Roglic crossed the line two seconds behind Carapaz, the highest-placed of the GC contenders; Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) yielded 16 seconds to Roglic. Yates now sits second overall, at 35 seconds, while Nibali sits third, 39 seconds behind Roglic.
“In a Grand Tour, it’s important to avoid all the unnecessary bad things that can happen,” Roglic said. “In the time trials and in the mountains, you know what is coming, it’s easy to control. It’s harder on stages like this, that are super nervous. In the end we only want to come home safe to the finish.”
Dumoulin crossed the line over four minutes down, surrounded by his Sunweb teammates, cradling his left arm while blood streamed down his left leg from a large gash on his knee located just below a clear chainring mark on his thigh. Though he finished the stage, it was not immediately clear the extent of his injuries, or if he would continue in the race.
Katusha-Alpecin team was most affected by the crash, which appeared to be caused when Salvatore Puccio (Team Ineos) touched wheels with another rider and went down first. Four Katusha riders hit the ground, with Dani Navarro forced to abandon and Marco Holler, Reto Hollenstein and Kuznetsov Viacheslav all affected but able to finish the stage.
“Puccio from Ineos crashed, I think he touched a wheel or something and he took me and Izaguirre with him,” Dumoulin said. “I was in the front of the bunch and just couldn’t avoid it. There are no fractures which is good, but my knee is very swollen. I wasn’t able to push any power in the last few kilometres so I don’t know how I will be tomorrow. The GC is for sure gone.”