Formolo Takes Stage 4 of Giro d'Italia; Clarke Takes Maglia Rosa
Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin protected by POC) has won Stage 4 of the 2015 Giro d’Italia. Formolo surged away from his breakaway companions on the day’s last climb and held on to win the hilly, 150-km ride from Chiavari to La Spezia in 3:47:59. Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) outsprinted Jonathan Monsalve (Southeast) for second at 0:22. Clarke is the new maglia rosa.
As was the case in Stage 3, a huge break formed early. In the stage’s first hour, Tom Danielson and Formolo (both from Cannondale-Garmin), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela); Clarke, Pieter Weening, and Esteban Chaves (both from Orica-GreenEdge); Andrey Zeits and Davide Malacarne (both from Astana); Arnaud Courteille (FDJ); Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin); Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale); Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo); Sonny Colbrelli and Eduardo Zardini (both from Bardiani-CSF); Mauro Finetto (Southeast); Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida); Andrey Amador (Movistar); Monsalve (Southeast); Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank); Amael Moinard and Darwin Atapuma (both from BMC Racing Team); Eduard Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini); Salvatore Puccio and Kanstantsin Siutsou (both from Sky Pro Cycling); Sylvester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi-Polowice); Simone Stortoni (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha); and Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal) jumped away from the peloton. Initially, the bunch did not lift a pedal to stop the escapees, who forged a 10-minute lead.
Eventually, Astana and Etixx-Quick Step began to chase. On the Category 3 Passo del Termine, with the fugitives’ advantage down to six minutes, Astana began to apply pressure.
Astana’s pressure made itself felt. Maglia rosa Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) was dropped, and the teammates of Etixx-Quick Step captain Rigoberto Uran were dropped. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) found himself with only one teammate, Michael Rogers, at his side. Cannondale-Garmin captain Ryder Hesjedal was dropped. On the descent, the break led the bunch by about 5:30.
On the approach to the day’s final climb, the Category 3 Biassa, the break’s lead was three minutes. Formolo attacked. Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Moinard chased the Cannondale-Garmin man, but they could not get to grips with him. At the summit, Formolo led the pair by 0:30. Ten seconds behind the pair were the remnants of the break.
Behind, Astana applied more pressure. Fabio Aru (Astana) attacked, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) and Richie Porte (Sky) joined him. Uran, however, was dropped and would lose 0:42 to the pair.
The peloton, which was reduced to 15 riders, overtook Visconti and Moinard. With 4.3 km to go, the chase group trailed by 0:33. Two km later, he led the pursuit by 0:30. The Italian held on to take his first professional victory.
Formolo was elated to take his first professional victory. The 22-year-old said, “It feels amazing to win. I’m 22 years old, and I’ve dreamed of this for 22 years.”
For his part, Clarke was thrilled to take the maglia rosa for Orica-GreenEdge. At the finish line, he celebrated as if he had won the stage. "It's a pretty special moment,” Clarke said. “You could see the emotion on the line.”
“I'm stoked to keep the maglia rosa in the team. I couldn't hold it back, keeping it at Orica-GreenEdge. It has been an awesome start to the Giro for us.”
In the overall, Clarke leads Chaves by 0:10 and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) by 0:17. Stage 5 will probably change the standings. The 152-km ride from La Spezia to Abetone will feature the Category 2 climb to the finish. Aru, Contador, Porte, and Uran will battle for the stage win and the maglia rosa. Who will prevail? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!