Démare pips Sagan to win stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia: Daily News Digest

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The Giro d’Italia rolled on without one of the biggest riders on the start list on Tuesday as Geraint Thomas pulled out of the race with a broken pelvis. Thomas had gotten off to a strong start and looked to be in form for his Giro campaign, making a withdrawal from the race all the more frustrating for the former Tour de France winner.

The rest of the Giro peloton continued with a stage 4 that culminated in a bunch kick where two big names went head-to-head in a close sprint battle.

Read on for more …

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s News

| Démare wins stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia

Arnaud Démare narrowly pipped Peter Sagan to win Tuesday’s stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia.

The 140-kilometer trek from Catania to Villafranca Tirrena came down to a bunch kick, where Démare proved faster by a tire width to nab his second career Giro stage victory. Sagan settled for second with Davide Ballerini close behind to take third on the day.

Overnight leader João Almeida finished safely in the peloton to retain his position atop the GC standings.

The 140-kilometer stage from Catania to Villafranca Tirrena featured the 12.4km POrtella Mandrazzi climb midway through the day, which proved too challenging for some riders to stick with the peloton, particularly with Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe squad putting in work on the ascent.

Elia Viviani, Fernando Gaviria, and Álvaro Hodeg were among those dropped on the climb. Viviani was able to catch back on after a chase but Gaviria and Hodeg were not, leaving a somewhat reduced field of sprinters to contest the victory.

Pulling at the front in the finale, Démare’s Groupama-FDJ teammate Miles Scotson opened a small gap that forced other teams to react, expending energy that might have been used for a lead-out to close him down. Sagan was then the first of the big names to launch, with around 200 meters to go. He jumped out to an early lead in the sprint but Démare pulled even and then narrowly bested him at the line.

Top 10, stage 4

1 DÉMARE Arnaud (Groupama – FDJ) 3:22:13
2 SAGAN Peter (BORA – hansgrohe)
3 BALLERINI Davide (Deceuninck – Quick Step)
4 VENDRAME Andrea (AG2R La Mondiale)
5 VIVIANI Elia (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)
6 OLDANI Stefano (Lotto Soudal)
7 CIMOLAI Davide (Israel Start-Up Nation)
8 MATTHEWS Michael (Team Sunweb)
9 FIORELLI Filippo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè)
10 BATTAGLIN Enrico (Bahrain – McLaren)

Top 10, GC

1 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 11:06:36
2 CAICEDO Jonathan Klever (EF Pro Cycling) 0:02
3 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain – McLaren) 0:39
4 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 0:44
5 VANHOUCKE Harm (Lotto Soudal) 0:55
6 NIBALI Vincenzo (Trek – Segafredo) 0:57
7 POZZOVIVO Domenico (NTT Pro Cycling) 1:01a
8 MCNULTY Brandon (UAE-Team Emirates) 1:13
9 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team) 1:15
10 KRUIJSWIJK Steven (Team Jumbo-Visma) 1:17

| Thomas withdraws from the Giro with broken pelvis

Geraint Thomas has pulled out of the 2020 Giro d’Italia after suffering a broken pelvis in a crash on Monday’s third stage.

The 2018 Tour de France winner went down hard after hitting a wayward bottle in the neutral zone in Enna, and although he remounted and continued in the stage, he lost touch with the pack early on the Mount Etna finishing climb and finished over 12 minutes down.

“Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday,” team doctor Phil Riley said Tuesday. “As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”

“It’s so frustrating. I’d put so much work in to this race. I did everything I could and feel like I was in just as good, if not better shape, than when I won the Tour. I was feeling really good. So for it just to end like this is gutting.

| Elvin retiring at end of season

Two-time Australian road champ Gracie Elvin has announced that she is retiring at the end of the season. Elvin, 31, has raced with Mitchelton-Scott since 2013, picking up two victories at Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik, an Oceania road race title, and runner-up honors at the Tour of Flanders, Ronde van Drenthe, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, and Dwars door Vlaanderen during her career, among other results.

“With the break in racing this year I was able to step away from my usual routines and realize that my values have shifted and no longer align with the demanding lifestyle of pro cycling,” she said in a statement on the Mitchelton-Scott website. “It has given me so many amazing years, and I am so glad I chased my dreams for so long. When I look back on my palmares I can see so much to be proud of, but I think I’m most proud of how I did it. If I go back 20 years to my 12 year old self just beginning to ride, I know she wouldn’t have imagined everything I achieved not just in races, but as a leader, a role model, and someone willing to stand up for what I believe in.”

| Pogacar calls it a season

Tadej Pogacar was originally planning to take on the Tour of Flanders this year, but he has decided to call it a season after a busy last few weeks.

“Tadej has had a busy period since the Tour, with the World Cup and the Ardennes classics,” UAE Team Emirates reportedly told Sporza. “He will now take a rest period. His season is over.”

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Today’s featured image of Arnaud Démare besting Peter Sagan to win stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia comes from Cor Vos.

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