Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale) narrowly outsprinted Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) to claim Thursday’s fourth stage of the Tour of the Alps.
The day came down to a high-speed bunch finish after a spirited break was brought to heel inside the last three kilometres. Pinot hit the front early in the ensuing sprint, leading into the final 50 metres of the finishing straight, but Montaguti surged past just before the line to take the win. BMC’s Rohan Dennis was a close third behind Pinot.
Geraint Thomas finished safely with the peloton to retain his overall race lead.
A trio of escapees almost almost managed to fend off the pack to contest the win amongst themselves. AG2R’s Hubert Dupont spent half an hour bridging to the last two survivors of an early break, Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani CSF) and Kilian Frankiny (BMC Racing), successfully linking up with the pair inside the final 10 kilometres.
However, a Sky-led chase rapidly closed the gap as the finish line neared, and it was soon all over for the breakaway as the pack swept them up only a few minutes later.
“After going seven years without a victory, it is fantastic to win this stage, and to take my first victory while wearing an AG2R jersey”, said Montaguti.
“The team has been working well together for quite a while, but we have lacked a little bit of success. Hubert (Dupont) really put in an amazing attack this stage. And then when the peloton caught back up to him, I knew that it would still be possible to do something special. I wanted to follow Dennis’ wheel, and in the final straight, I managed to pass on the righthand side of Pinot…it was very tight, and I thought I was going to crash just after I crossed the line! I am pleased to be able to put such a good ending on a strong day for the team. This is the best way to approach the Giro d’Italia that is coming in two weeks. Last year, I took second place in one of the stages. So now I will be arriving with even greater confidence…”
— CyclingHub (@CyclingHubTV) 20 aprilie 2017
Tour of the Alps 2017 – stage 4 results (Bolzano / Bozen – Cles):
|1||Matteo Montaguti (AG2R)|
|2||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)|
|3||Rohan Dennis (BMC)|
|4||Luis León Sanchez (Astana)|
|5||José Mendes (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|6||Damiano Caruso (BMC)|
|7||Lawrence Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport)|
|8||Iuri Filosi (Nippo – Vini Fantini)|
|9||Matteo Busato (Wilier Triestina)|
|10||Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)|
General classification after stage 4:
|1||Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)|
|2||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)|
|3||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)|
|4||Michele Scarponi (Astana)|
|5||Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac)|
|6||Mikel Landa (Team Sky)|
|7||Hugh Carthy (Cannondale-Drapac)|
|8||Damiano Caruso (BMC)|
|9||Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac)|
|10||Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)|