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Giro d’Italia 2024: Jonathan Milan makes most of sprint chance to win stage four
Cycling Sport

Giro d’Italia 2024: Jonathan Milan makes most of sprint chance to win stage four

Italy’s Jonathan Milan went one better than the previous day to win the sprint and take the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia after an early breakaway was reeled in, with Tadej Pogacar maintaining his overall lead.

Milan of Lidl-Trek went to the front close to the line and, despite the best efforts of Australia’s Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), the Italian held on to make up for missing out on winning stage three when he was outsprinted by Tim Merlier. Germany’s Phil Bauhaus of Bahrain Victorious came in third on the 190km ride from Acqui Terme to Andora, which had featured a breakaway almost from the start, before the peloton brought them back to set up the expected sprint finish.

“I have so many emotions now,” explained Milan. “I said from the beginning we came here with one goal for everyone. So today the guys did an amazing job.”

Jonathan Milan celebrates on the line.View image in fullscreen

The race favourite, Pogacar, remains 46 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers, with Colombia’s Daniel Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe) a further second back in third.

Three riders, Lilian Calmejane (Intermarché-Wanty), Stefan de Bod (EF Education-EasyPost) and Francisco Muñoz (Polti-Kometa) broke away early and the gap opened to over five minutes. They had a four-minute lead at the top of the only climb of the day, but still had 100km left to ride, and on the descent Calmejane was dropped.

The peloton chipped away at the breakaway lead, and the pair were caught with less than 5km left to race before Filippo Ganna launched an attack. Ganna was unable to outrace the chasing pack and was caught in the final kilometre with Simone Consonni doing the hard work at the front for his Lidl-Trek teammate Milan, who powered to the line ahead of his sprint rivals.

“We saw Filippo Ganna going full gas in the last climb, we catch him with 900 metres to go,” Milan said. “He also helped us in a way, let’s say. And then Simone Consonni did just a fantastic lead-out. I just had to play my cards then.”

The Italian won a Giro stage last year where he also took the maglia ciclamino for the points classification, and Milan leads that category after overtaking Merlier who finished fifth. Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay of Intermarché-Wanty, who finished third in stage three, crashed in wet conditions and is out of the race.

Source: theguardian.com