Highs and Lows on Giro d'Italia Stage 49. May 2017, Mount Etna (ITA) — Road Team
Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia provided a day of highs and lows for BMC Racing Team with Tejay van Garderen testing his legs on a successful hit out in the mountains and Rohan Dennis forced to abandon due to side effects from his stage 3 crash.
Van Garderen crossed the finish line of the first summit finish of the 100th edition with a reduced General Classification group, 29 seconds behind solo stage winner Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates).
Earlier in the stage just four riders formed the day's breakaway and gained a solid advantage of more than eight minutes.
After feeling unwell at the beginning of the stage as a result of his stage 3 crash, Dennis withdrew at the 78km mark.
The riders forged on towards the first climb and started to bring the breakaway back over the next 80km of racing.
Up ahead the breakaway started to disband and by the time the race entered the final 12km, the peloton was three minutes behind Polanc.
Ben Hermans sets a scorching pace at the front of the bunch to put riders in difficulty behind.
Despite multiple attacks from the General Classification group, a strong headwind countered any progress and it wasn't until the last 1.5km of the stage when Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha-Alpecin) was able to go clear and finish ten seconds in front of van Garderen's group.
Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia sees the peloton race 159km from Pedara to Messina with an expected bunch sprint.
A medical update on Dennis will be provided as soon as possible.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“It was quite good. A bit of a hectic lead in to the mountain but I felt good on the climb. The last part was a pretty stiff headwind so it was hard. You saw a couple of guys make some moves and not really go anywhere. Zakarin got away in the final but for the most part everyone just cancelled each other out. It’s good to get some mountain legs in, just to test it but I think most of the action will come later on in the three weeks. The Giro d’Italia is really nice. I have to say, I’m really enjoying this Giro. It’s just a different flavor, a different feel.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“It was a day of good and bad. The bad side is obviously that we lost Rohan Dennis who was a key guy for our team. He had a big Giro ahead of him and had been riding well at the Tour of the Alps. Unfortunately, he crashed. You can’t do anything about a crash. He was lucky as he didn’t break any bones but I think the consequences became apparent after a couple of days, and not the day after. So, Dennis is a loss. The other side is we have a good Tejay van Garderen up with the main GC guys. He is looking good and this was the first test. We got through the approach to Mount Etna safely, which was very dangerous with a few crashes left and right. So we’re good.”
Stage 4 Cefalù > Mount Etna (181km)
Top 3: 1. Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), 2. Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha-Alpecin), 3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 15. Tejay van Garderen, 32. Ben Hermans, 63. Silvan Dillier
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.