Joe Dombrowski comes good in stage 4 of Giro
Dan Martin jumps 52 places to 21st in general classification
Joe Dombrowski of UAE Team Emirates celebrates winning the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: EPA
American rider Joe Dombrowski finally delivered on his potential after various periods of injury, winning a rain-lashed fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday. The UAE Team Emirates competitor soloed in 13 seconds ahead of the Italian Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start Up Nation), with the latter seizing the pink jersey of overall leadership.
Both riders had been part of the day’s 25 man long-distance breakaway and made their move on the final climb to Sestola, overhauling Rein Taaramae (Intermarché - Wanty Gobert Matériaux) and Chris Juul-Jensen (Team BikeExchange). The latter lived in Wicklow for many years, but moved to Denmark as a teenager and declared for that country in 2006.
The 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal was the best of the main favourites on the first summit finish of the race, one minute 37 seconds behind Dombrowski. Fellow general classification contenders Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), Mikel Landa (Bahrain - Victorious) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education - Nippo] were also in this group.
Ireland’s Dan Martin came in 11 seconds later as part of another small cluster of race favourites, placing 19th. The Israel Start Up Nation rider didn’t feature as prominently as he would have liked but still displayed signs of strong form.
“I’m really happy with today, obviously,” said Dombrowski. “It was hard to know what was going to happen, if it was a group of GC riders [who would fight for the stage win] or if maybe the breakaway would have enough time. I was feeling good in the last 50 kilometres. I was just trying not to do too much work and be a bit conservative as I knew this last climb was very tough one.
“I was able to get the gap . . . it wasn’t enough for the pink jersey, but I think the stage win is a nice way to finish the day.”
Juul-Jensen and Taaramae rolled the dice with just under 50 kilometres to go and, with five kilometres remaining, were half a minute ahead of the first chasers and four minutes ahead of the peloton. Soon afterwards Dombrowski and De Marchi got up to them, with the American pushing on alone and taking the stage.
Behind, Landa lit the touchpaper when he surged, provoking a response from Bernal, Carthy and Vlasov and opening the first climbing gaps in the general classification battle.
De Marchi described taking the Maglia Rosa of race leader as “the dream of every cyclist, especially if you are Italian.” He said that he became worried in the middle of the race when others were out front. “I was scared it was too late, but the old rule worked perfectly: never give up.”
He ended the day 22 seconds clear of Dombrowski. Vlasov is seventh, one minute 24 seconds back and four places ahead of Bernal, while Martin jumps 52 places to 21st overall. He is two minutes and eight seconds behind heading into Wednesday’s flat stage to Cattolica.