Paret-Peintre Wins Stage 4 of Giro d’Italia
Stage 4 of Giro d’Italia 2023 took the professional peloton on a 175-kilometer ride in mountainous terrain located on the roads between Venosa and Lago Laceno in Southern Italy. The stage featured three category 2 mountains with the final climb located shortly before the finish line.
Venosa is located in the Basilicata region of Italy and was known as the City of Venus to the Romans. The Romans believed Venosa to have been built by Diomedes to compensate Aphrodite for the destruction of Troy. The town is known for the Aragonese Castle, which was erected by Pirro del Balzo Orsini in 1470. The abbey church of SS. Trinità is known for its historic importance.
The Lago Laceno village, on the other hand, was founded in 1956 as a resort for outdoor sports. It is situated in beautiful surroundings.
Shortly after the start a multitude of attacks were launched by riders that were hoping to take part in the long breakaway of the day. Ben Healy attacked for EF Education-EasyPost. He was joined by Harm Vanhoucke (Team DSM), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Alessandro de Marchi (Jayco-Alula), and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates). The group did not manage to form a lasting advantage and the riders were reeled in by the chasing peloton.
Multiple attacks followed during the following kilometers, but none proved successful.
With 128 kilometers left of the stage, riders were still struggling to form a viable breakaway group in an attempt to secure a valuable stage victory. Healy was one of the riders who remained active at the front.
The stage was animated by aggressive riding and unfortunately multiple crashes occurred on the slippery descends in the rainy conditions.
With 90 kilometers to go a small group of breakaway hopefuls had finally established a viable advantage. The group featured the following seven riders: Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R-Citroen), Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa), Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM), and the Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier - Toms Skujins duo from Team Trek-Segafredo. With 50 kilometers left, the group had a 03:40 minute advantage on the chasing main peloton and the tarmac had dried up.
The breakaway group fought hard and managed to increase their advantage to 05:45 minutes with 30 kilometers left of today’s challenge.
On the final climb Skujins had attacked from the front group with 7 kilometers left. It did not take long for him to be caught though.
Leknessund counterattacked. He was joined by Paret-Peintre and Ghebreigzabhier. By winning today’s stage Leknessund could take the pink race leader jersey from Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep).
Meanwhile, in the main peloton, Ineos-Grenadiers had sent their riders to the front to set a fast pace. Their intense riding caused the lead of the front group to be reduced to 02:38 minutes with 4.5 kilometers left.
Leknessund attacked solo four kilometers from the finish. Paret-Peintre tried to catch up with the Norwegian rider. Frenchman Paret-Peintre had no intention of giving in and he rejoined Leknessund and looked incredibly powerful.
In the final kilometer Leknessund led the front duo to keep their advantage sufficiently large for him to take the pink jersey as leader of Giro d’Italia. Paret-Peintre stayed behind Leknessund until 100 meters from the finish and then launched a powerful sprint.
Paret-Peintre won the stage and secured an important stage victory for his AG2R-Citroen team.
“My main objection this year was the Giro and I’ve worked hard to achieve this success. We knew today’s stage was a day for the breakaway and we came here to obtain some stage victories. During the finish minutes I was super happy,” stage winner Paret-Peintre told Roadcycling.com shortly after finishing the stage.
In the general classification Leknessund now leads Giro d’Italia 2023. Evenepoel is 28 seconds behind the leader and Paret-Peintre is in third position, 30 seconds behind the leader.
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