Richard Carapaz avoids carnage before winning stage four at Giro d'Italia while Tom Dumoulin's race is left in jeopardy

John MacLeary
Richard Carapaz celebrates as he crosses the line to win stage four at the Giro d'Italia - AFP or licensors

Richard Carapaz (Movistar) sprinted to victory in the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday, while Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) extended his overall lead after avoiding a crash toward the end of the route.

Carapaz of Ecuador launched his sprint early and held off Caleb Ewan and Diego Ulissi on the uphill finish at the end of the undulating 235-kilometre route from Orbetello to Frascati.

Roglic was the only major favorite to avoid a crash which split the peloton inside the final six kilometres. Simon Yates and home favorite Vincenzo Nibali, who were second and third in the standings respectively, were caught up and finished nearly 20 seconds behind Roglic.

The Jumbo-Visma cyclist has worn the leader's pink jersey since winning the opening time trial on Saturday.


Carapaz: It was emotional 

Today's stage winner has been talking: "Yesterday was a bad day for me. Today I rode with a new mentality and set out to gain a few seconds. I knew there were fast riders with me.

"I made my effort 600m out and… well, it's very emotional for me!"


Yates loses 16sec on Roglic

Simon Yates, who started the day in second spot, managed to limit his losses after initially appearing to have been caught out by that crash. The Mitchelton-Scott rider, in the end, lost just 16sec to race leader Primoz Roglic which, by my calculation, means he will start stage four 35sec adrift of the maglia rosa, but still in second place.


Dumoulin loses over 4min on Roglic

Riders are crossing the line in dribs and drabs. Once again, another crazy end to what had looked like a fairly benign looking stage. Today, though, the damage done is much, much bigger than a rider simply having a stage stripped off them. Today was the day that some lost the Giro. Tom Dumoulin crossed the line 4min 5sec behind stage winner Richard Carapaz while also losing 4min 2sec to overall leader Primoz Roglic.


Dumoulin helped towards the line

Tom Dumoulin has blood poring down his left leg and is struggling towards the line, helped by a group of Sunweb team-mates. He doesn't look too good.


Carapaz wins stage four at the Giro

Richard Carapaz has won stage four at the Giro d'Italia after a huge crash 6km out from the finish line caused a huge split in the bunch with many of the general classification riders missing out.

The overall leader Primoz Roglic crossed the line with the same time as Carapaz. The Jumbo-Visma rider will be increasing his lead today.


1km to go

Just eight riders remain in the front group now. No Viviani.


2km to go

It appears that the crash was caused by an Ineos rider, perhaps Pavel Sivakov. UAE Team Emirates, Bora-Hansgrohe, Quick-Step and the maglia rosa are all in the leading group of around just 15 or 20 riders.


3km to go

Bora-Hansgroheand Groupama-FDJ are leading the stage, it's absolute chaos. Huge day for the general classification riders.


6km to go

Big crash! Quite a number of riders have been caught out. In fact, I think only 20 or so riders avoided the crash. Simon Yates and Vincenzo Nibali have been caught out. I think Tom Dumoulin went down, too. Primoz Roglic, though, is safe and could increase his lead here today.


6.5km to go

Remember folks, we have the 3km rule in place today so until we reach that point the GC teams will want to keep their riders safe.


8km to go

Deceuninck-Quick Step are dead centre of the speeding bunch, with four riders protecting Elia Viviani.


10km to go

Movistar has Andrey Amador on the front; Ineos are looking after their co-leaders Pavel Sivakov and Tao Geoghegan Hart, the 24-year-old Briton who crashed heavily yesterday in the frenetic finale.


10.6km to go

The breakaway have been caught. Gruppo compatto.


11km to go

Elia Vivianiand Deceuninck-Quick Step have got themselves near the front of the peloton now. Just 15sec behind that two-man break. Nervous moments for riders and their team managers. 


12.2km to go

Crash! The young Briton James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick Step) has hit the deck. As did new world hour record holder Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal).


13km to go

Groupama-FDJ, Sunweb, Jumbo-Visma, Mitchelton-Scott, Astana and UAE Team Emirates are all on the front, filling in the entire width of the road.


14km to go

Marco Frapporti and Mirco Maestri are hanging out in front, but the peloton is looming. Closing in fast. 


16km to go

Roger Kluge, a key member of Caleb Ewan's team, has had a mechanical I think. Either way, he's fallen off the back. Tom Dumoulin has now been shepherded up towards the front of the peloton by a small group of Sunweb team-mates. 


16.5km to go

Here's a reminder of what the finale to today's stage looks like: It's a twisty approach . . .

Final km

 . . . and an uphill finish.

final km climb

But who will take the line honours and who, if anybody, will be caught out and lose time in the race for the general classification? Stay tuned to find out.

Marco Frapporti and Mirco Maestri lead by 1min 10sec.


18km to go

Damiano Cima has been dropped by Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF). Remember this trio has been out in front for over 200km and so the legs will be starting to hurt. Frapporti and Maestri are hanging on to the lead: 1min 17sec.


23km to go

Katusha-Alpecin, who presumably are hoping to set up Enrico Battaglin, are near the front alongside Israel Cycling Academy, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto-Soudal and Mitchelton-ScottBora-Hansgrohe and Astana are there, too. The breakaway is under 1,000 metres up the road, the lead being just 1min 55sec now.


25km to go

The pace has really whipped up on the front. Irish national road champion Conor Dunne has taken things up on the front, not sure who his Israel Cycling Academy will be riding for but perhaps that will become clearer as the miles click by.

 Breakaway's lead has dropped to 2min 10sec.


30km to go

The breakaway's advantage just keeps on dropping – 2min 50sec now – while they head towards, what looks like, a potential storm. Dark grey clouds hang overhead, but will they burst? Katusha-Alpecin, now, are getting involved near the front of the peloton.


Last orders!

A rider was just spotted dropping back to his team car before loading up with bidons for his team-mates. But who will be ordering the prosecco shortly?

The breakaway's advantage has dropped further still, they're holding on for the moment though: 3min 29sec.


38km to go

Mitchelton-Scott are another of the general classification teams who have got up near the front. They, of course, are protecting Simon Yates who started the day second overall, 19sec sdrift of magila rosa Primoz Roglic. Some are saying today's stage may even suit the puncheurs or even, whisper it, a rider like Yates or Vincenzo Nibali.


42km to go

Bahrain-Merida, who will be riding for Vincenzo Nibali, have shuffled their way towards the front of the pack. I must say, they have been riding quite cleverly over the past few days, keeping their main man near the pointy end.

The breakaway's lead increased a little, but has dropped again to a shade below 4min.


You watt?

These are the sort of numbers you need to put out to ride on the front of the chasing group.  


50km to go

The leading trio's advantage is plummeting faster than something plummeting very fast. Jumbo-Visma may have considered giving up the maglia rosa today, but the sprinters teams clearly have designs on this stage. The gap between the breakaway and the peloton is now 4min 33sec. 


63km to go

Bora-Hansgrohe are getting things going on the front now. The breakaway's advantage has dropped to below six minutes now. That's the smallest it has been since a few hours ago now. By the way, as you would expect, the 3km rule has been put into place today.


70km to go

By the way, after doing much of the work earlier in the stage both Lotto-Soudal and Groupama-FDJ have taken a backseat, allowing Bora-HansgroheUAE Team Emirates and Deceuninck-Quick Step to take control of the chase.


78km to go

Deceuninck-Quick Step  have now sent Pieter Serry towards the front of the chasing pack. Meanwhile, towards the rear of the bunch another Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec​ rider (Matteo Montaguti) is having problems with his bike. His saddle has, somehow, fallen off.

Matteo Montaguti

The breakaway's advantage is 6min 54sec.


82km to go

Back in the peloton there has been a little bit of movement with teams sending riders to the head of the pack in an attempt to increase the pace and start to gradually wind the breakaway back in. Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates now both have riders near the front, with Jumbo-Visma riding in their wheels. That little move has seen the three-man breakaway's advantage slashed to below seven minutes.


Frapporti given minor scare

Marco Frapporti just punctured, or had a problem with his rear wheel, and needed to drop back to his team car where the old silver fox that is Gianni Savio – the Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec​ general manager – didn't appear too impressed. And nor did he help by giving Frapporti a little push before he started his chase back on.

The three-man break now leads by 8min 53sec. Jumbo-Visma are on the front of the bunch, but there doesn't appear to be any sense of urgency in their riding. Not yet, but I imagine that will soon change.


91km to go

During my extremely brief lunch break, the group of three Italian riders up the road – that's Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) for those that haven't been concentrating – has seen its advantage grow out to 8min 30sec. 

Not too shabby a backdrop, eh? Credit: GETTY IMAGES

By the way, Frapporti started the day 127th on general classification, 6min 19sec adrift of race leader Primoz Roglic. As it stands, the 34-year-old who won a stage at the 2010 Tour of Britain, holds the virtual maglia rosa.


110km to go

Groupama-FDJis now in control of the front of the bunch, but there's an awful long way to go yet. Jumbo-Visma are tucked in just behind the French team, making sure the maglia rosa of Primoz Roglic is protected and staying out of harm's way. I'm just popping out for a sandwich.

The three-man break attacked from the flag Credit: Getty Images

The breakaway's lead is still 6min 30sec+.


'VAR decision against Viviani was the correct call'

The story had been written, the website updated: Elia Viviani puts disappointment of the previous day behind him with a textbook display in how to win a sprint into a headwind.

Within minutes the framework of an article had started to form. "Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill," the great Italian Fausto Coppi is reported to have said during his pomp. This sprang to mind after Viviani had schooled Pascal Ackermann who the previous day had had the temerity to win the opening sprint stage at this year's Giro d'Italia.

And then Viviani's world, momentarily, came to an abrupt halt. Eurosport reported that the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider had been relegated; the Giro's website followed suit. "After consulting the television images of the sprint, the jury of commissaires have relegated Elia Viviani for an incorrect sprint," it said.

At first it seemed implausible. It was, after all, a perfectly executed sprint at the end of what was a tricky and technical – just ask those caught up in the crash during the windswept run-in to the line – conclusion to the largely benign third stage. Not according to video commissaire Bruno Valcic.

Read the full article here . . .

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Arrivederci Breschel

Another rider who will not be starting Wednesday's fifth stage is Matti Breschel. I'm not 100 per cent sure what has happened to the EF Education First rider, but a number of reports in Danish media – the 34-year-old is a Dane – have said he crashed and was unable to continue.

Matti Breschel has abandoned the Giro d'Italia Credit: getty images


Gaviria loses lead-out man 

By the way, if Fernando Gaviria is to win today's stage then the Colombian sprinter will have to do so without compatriot and UAE Team Emirates team-mate Juan Sebastián Molano. The 24-year-old lead-out man who won a stage at the Tour of Colombia earlier this year, failed to make the start line today after he was withdrawn by his team.

Juan Sebastián Molano pictured at last month's Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Credit: Getty Images

Reports say Molano showed "seemingly unusual physiological results" during internal tests, though what that actually means remains unclear. 

A team statement said: "Following team policy concerning the protection of our athletes’ health, the Colombian will be suspended to undergo further testing in the following weeks, in collaboration with the UCI, as we try to determine the cause of these unusual results.

"In order to protect the right to privacy, no further information regarding the matter will be released until results from the necessary tests come back."

The three-man breakaway is holding at around 6min 30sec.


Down, but not out . . .

Olivier Le Gac has been in the wars again. Some of you may recall, the Groupama-FDJ rider crashed in the finale to Sunday's second stage after the Frenchman had a bit of a coming together with Davide Cimolai(Israel Cycling Academy). The 25-year-old will be needing some new bibshorts tomorrow after he shredded a pair today during another crash.

Olivier Le Gac hit the deck early into Tuesday's fourth stage Credit: Getty Images

 The breakaway, meanwhile, has seen its advantage drop to 6min 15sec.


145km to go

Unsurprisingly, a breakaway is off up the road and it's made up entirely of Pro-Continental riders. The trio also happen to be all-Italian – Damiano Cima (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF). Earlier in the stage they led the peloton by over 11 minutes, but that's dropped now to 7min 15sec. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) is sat in his usual position – on the front of the peloton – and he has a few Groupama-FDJ riders tucked in behind him. From my limited knowledge of how bike races work that, to me, would suggest the two respective squads are expected their sprinters Caleb Ewan and Arnaud Démare to contest the stage later this afternoon.


Welcome all

Ciao, buongiorno  and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage four of the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia, the 228km run from Orbetello to Frascati.

Today's stage is another roller, with just one categorised climb, a category four affair, though the riders have already crested it and so, assuming the leader in that competition Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) completes today's stage within the time limit, the the Italian will wear the leader's jersey for a fourth consecutive day on Wednesday.

Stage four

Today is widely expected to end in yet another sprint finish, though having looked at the finale to this very, very long stage we may see a new stage winner at this year's Giro.

Final km

Once again, it will be a quite twisty race towards the line – these sprint stages at the Giro are almost always very nervy affairs – before the road rises in the final kilometre. It tops out at 7% in gradient and has an average of around 4/5%, so hardly a wall, but it may be one that plays into the hands of the smaller, slighter sprinters who also have the ability to climb. 

final km climb

The obvious pick today would be someone like Caleb Ewan  (Lotto-Soudal), though after Elia Viviani had his stage stripped off him on Monday, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider will be desperate to add to his palmarès later this afternoon. However, depending on how the day plays out it could end up being a day for the general classification riders, or even a breakaway rider.


Where are we? 

Here's a reminder of the route of this year's Giro d'Italia . . .

Giro 2019

   . . . and here are the details of each and every stage at this year's race:


As it stands . . . 

Here's what the standings look like in the general, points, mountains, young rider and team classifications after three days of racing.


The Cycling Podcast: re-cap of yesterday's stage

Stage three of the 2019 Giro d’Italia took the riders from the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci to Orbetello, with the wind and threat of rain making the peloton nervous.

Join Lionel Birnie, Daniel Friebe and Ciro Scognamiglio in Orbetello as they discuss the day’s big controversial moment – the relegation of Italian champion Elia Viviani for irregular sprinting. Viviani’s victory was handed to the second man across the line, Fernando Gaviria.

As tears of joy turned to frustration for Viviani’s dad, who was watching in his camper van at the finish, we ask whether it was the right decision. Mario Cipollini’s former lead-out Mario Scirea made a bid to be considered cycling’s Arsene Wenger, claiming not to have seen the incident.

We wrap up a tricky day for the overall contenders and their team-mates, hearing from Mitchelton-Scott’s Simon Yates and Luke Durbridge and Miguel Angel Lopez’s climbing domestique Dario Cataldo.

Gianni Savio reveals his cycling formation, we meet a former refugee turned professional cyclist and much more in a podcast that’s packed despite the relative lack of action in the stage.

  • The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science in Sport