McEwen Wins Stage 4 of Giro
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his second stage of the 2006 Giro.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his second stage of the 2006 Giro. The Australian snared a bunch sprint to win the rolling, 193-km run from Wanze to Hotton in 4:38:51. Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) finished second, and Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia) took third. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) remains the maglia rosa .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The last Belgian stage of this year?s Giro was ridden in fair conditions. The racing began early. At 13 km, Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux), Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Patrick Calcagni (Liquigas), Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step), and Alessandro Bertolini (Selle Italia) escaped. Initially, the peloton made no move to chase, and the fugitives led by 3:30 at 26 km, 5:00 at 50 km, and 6:20 at the summit of La Haute Levee (94 km). The break?s advantage maxed out at 6:55.
Gerolsteiner and Davitamon began to chase on behalf of maglia rosa Schumacher and McEwen, respectively. With 55 km left, 4:00 separated the bunch from the break. Ten km later, the combination of the pursuit and the headwind had reduced the escapees? lead to 3:00.
With 14 km left and 0:10 separating bunch from break, Niermann and Van de Walle attacked their companions. The effort was for naught. The peloton, led by T-Mobile, engulfed the break.
The sprinters? teams battled for control of the peloton. With six km remaining, Jens Voigt (CSC) escaped, but the bunch reeled him in 1.5 km later.
With three km left, Davitamon reappeared at the front. Milram and T-Mobile fought the Belgian squad. In fact, McEwen was behind the Milram train when T-Mobile started the sprint. For a time, the Australian was boxed in, but he found a gap and bolted into the lead. Bettini, who had McEwen?s wheel, tried to come around the Australian but without success.
In the overall, Schumacher leads Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) by 0:13 and Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) by 0:23. Stage 4 will change the standings. Will the flat-38-km team time trial from Piacenza to Cremona change them enough to take Schumacher out of the maglia rosa ? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!