A tough day for Patrick Konrad on the Etna in the Giro d´Italia.
The 4th stage of the 100th Giro d´Italia started in Sicily today, where the peloton faced the first mountain finish of this year´s Corsa Rosa. Unfortunately, Patrick Konrad had some problems after the first rest day. He had a tough day and couldn’t show his full climbing ability, while suffering to limit his losses.
When stage 3 ended, the whole peloton traveled from Sardinia to Sicily, took a rest day and started the 4th stage in Cefalú today. This stage covered 181 kilometers with the first summit finish in this year´s Giro d´Italia, but before the peloton climbed up to the finish on the Etna, a medium mountain stage with one KOM on the “Portella Femmina Morta” (Cat.2) awaited the peloton. Next to the KOM a long and manageable descent leaded to the two intermediate sprints. The route went around the Mount Etna and headed afterwards to the finish on the top of the climb, with an average gradient of approx. 6% on the finale 14 kilometers.
After some kilometers of racing a group of 4 riders escaped and built the breakaway of the day. These four riders had an advantage of over 6 minutes to the main bunch, where Quick-Step Floors took control and tried to keep their gap low. BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the peloton and saved energy for the final climb, but also with the upcomes stages in mind. The break group was gone for most of the stage and the peloton didn’t make any move to catch them.
On the final climb the gap started to drop steadily, but one rider was able to hold off the group of favorites to take the stage win. BORA – hansgrohe leader Patrick Konrad finished ten minutes behind the winner after a hard day in the saddle. The young Austrian didn’t have the best legs after the first rest day of the Giro, which is always a difficult day. Unfortunately, Matteo Pelucchi crashed in the descent after the first KOM, but no injuries were recorded. He lost the contact to the other riders and crossed the finish line behind the Grupetto.
“After the great start of our sprinters in Sardinia, our climbers wanted to show also their skills. But today wasn’t the best day for them. The boys knew, they should save energy but Patrick and also José hadn’t the best day today. Tomorrow it´s again a day for the sprinters and I think Sam, who is in shape again, could make something.” – Christian Pömer, sports director