Lennard Kämna wins stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia.

The break shines on Etna: Kämna wins Giro stage 4 and the GC lead changes hands

A quiet day for most of the GC contenders nevertheless sees a few pink jersey hopes dashed.

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After three Giro d’Italia stages in Hungary, racing in Italy got underway on Tuesday with a stage 4 to the slopes of Mount Etna. The first major mountain finish of this year’s race was a day for the breakaway, as Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) added to his already impressive résumé with the stage victory and Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) took over the pink jersey from Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).

López was solo out front into the last few kilometers, but Kämna chased up to him and the pair entered the last several hundred meters together. López never really had a chance to take on Kämna in what might have been a final sprint, however, as the 24-year-old Spaniard had to pump the brakes to stay upright in the final corner. That left the 25-year-old German to take a comfortable win ahead of him.

Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) was the next best-placed rider more than 30 seconds back.

Behind the surviving breakaway riders, most of the GC hopefuls – but not all of them – finished together a little over two and a half minutes behind the stage winner on what turned out to be a quieter day for the overall contenders. The two biggest race favorites, Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange) were comfortably in the group, with Carapaz leading the way over the line.

Nevertheless, there were those who saw their pink jersey hopes dashed on stage 4.

Miguel Ángel López (Astana-Qazaqstan) abandoned the race with what his team specified was a hip injury. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), the former Giro winner who came into the race eyeing a return to GC contention, dropped off the pace early and finished more than nine minutes back.

Other notables losing time on the day included Vincenzo Nibali and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Jumbo-Visma up-and-comer Tobias Foss.

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