All good things come in the form of three: after Leonard Kamna sparked an attack in the first stage final and had the best time in the trial the next day, he now had the desired success when the Giro hit Italian soil.
At the end of more than 22 kilometers of climbing on the sides of Mount Etna, the 25-year-old claimed his first German victory in the Giro since 2019.
Behind them, the power struggle between the candidates in the overall standings has given rise to some nasty first thoughts and surprises for the previous winners of the Tour.
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It finally turns out that one of the high-ranking pilots was human.
Three things figured out in stage 4:
1.) Bora can cheer three times
Kama’s victory on stage was the culmination of a perfect day for the German racing team. As not only was the 25-year-old convincing on Mount Etna, his teammates were also up to speed on the final climb. Three Bora shirts featured in the 17-man pool of candidates, and only Bahrain was represented by a trio.
With that said, Wilko Kieldermann, Jay Hindley and Emmanuel Buchmann are right on target, which not all top riders can claim after their first test climb (see below). Buchmann drew attention to himself in particular with an attack on the final climb, raising hopes of further German success among the crowd.
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The team’s strong performance put Bora at the top of the standings and in the current situation the team can stay there for a long time. The same goes for our latent in the mountain rating: he replaced Rick Zabel and has a very comfortable ride in the climbing rating. It will be interesting to see how important the race team is to the special classifications in the later stages, and in any case you won’t want to give up the lead without a fight.
2.) The Brazen Awakening of Previous Winners
This is certainly not how Vincenzo Nibali imagined his home match in Sicily. The two-time overall winner only finished 31st on Mount Etna, behind Kamna by about five minutes. With an impressive performance on time trial in Budapest, he revived hopes in Tifosi that the crowd favorite will once again have a say in the overall standings.
It was even worse with 2017 Giro winner Tom Dumoulin, who was 53rd behind by more than nine minutes – although in the fight against the clock he almost won on stage two.
Jiro analysis: Dumoulin and Nabali’s “lucky sacks” on the Etna explosion
A number of other strong climbers also experienced a nasty upset on Mount Etna: Frenchman Guillaume Martin, Dutch veteran Bock Mollema, Norwegian Tobias Voss and Austrian Felix Gall came to the mainland by an unexpected wide margin from their competitors.
3.) Van der Poel is only human
Whether it’s a road bike, cross or mountain bike, whether it’s a classic, time course or sprint races – Mathieu van der Poel shines on every cycling terrain. For almost everyone. Because anyone who thought the Dutchman would be able to defend the pink jersey over “Rollerberg” Etna with his lobe and stamina, learned a lesson.
But the star of Alpecin lived up to his reputation, because he did not give up without a fight. At the beginning of the stage he tried to get away with a splinter group, but the field did not allow him to do so. So he enjoyed his last day at Maglia Rosa as much as possible on the “nice but difficult climb” and took a look at a different T-shirt:
Because the MVDP is still in the lead in the points classification and there he just doesn’t want to give it up, as he explained to Eurosport: “I’m already here to win a stage, but if the shape is still OK in the final week, Magella Ciclamino can become a target” .
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