Preview: What you need to know about stage 4 of the 2022 Giro d’Italia

The first proper GC battle of the Giro could also be a day for the breakaway.

by Dane Cash

Date: Tuesday May 10
Start: Avola
Finish: Mt. Etna
Distance: 172 km

After a day off for the long trip down from Hungary, the riders are greeted with the race’s first mountain-top finish in Sicily. Mt. Etna is Europe’s largest volcano and a popular destination for Italy’s most important race. While there are multiple routes up the mountain and possible finish locations, this year’s Etna visit ends with 22.8 km at 5.9% – a proper test.

Who’s it for: Hard to predict, but probably the breakaway. In the last three visits to Mt. Etna, all three have been won by a breakaway rider. Stage win aside, this is an important first test for the GC men.

Dane Cash’s picks: This was always going to be a tricky stage to predict, being breakaway-friendly, but it is even more so given the current standings. Few of the top climbers in the race are so far out of the GC picture so as to be obvious picks to get into a long-range move, making it particularly difficult to determine who could win from afar. It’s a rare Grand Tour stage where even the riders with shortest odds on the day are higher than 10 to 1 with some oddsmakers.

Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Lorenzo Fortunato (EOLO-Kometa), and Joe Dombrowski (Astana-Qazaqstan) are among the names meriting mention as breakaway candidates. Really, there are plenty of riders in the peloton who could do it, but it feels like a bit of a dart throw at this point. With that in mind, the GC riders seem like decent picks too, as they are at least a bit easier to classify. For obvious reasons, I like Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco), Pello Bilbao, his Bahrain Victorious teammate Mikel Landa, and Miguel Ángel López (Astana-Qazaqstan).

When to tune in: If you’re just interested in watching the final climb up Mt. Etna, you’ll want to tune in around 4pm local time (7am PDT / 10am EDT / 12am AEST). That’s the earliest the riders are expected to reach Biancavilla just before the climb begins.