Landa sprints to win 4th stage, Caruso moves back into lead
SARNANO-SASSOTETTO, Italy (AP) — Mikel Landa won a thrilling sprint at the end of the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race on Saturday, while Damiano Caruso moved into the overall lead after a mechanical failure for previous leader Geraint Thomas.
After a fascinating tussle in the closing kilometers of the steep climb to the finish, Landa accelerated on one of the final bends of the mountainous 219-kilometer (136-mile) route from Foligno to Sarnano-Sassotetto. He held off Rafal Majka and George Bennett to clinch victory.
Landa rode a quiet race but broke free of the peloton with 2.6 kilometers remaining and caught up with Majka, Ben Hermans and Fabio Aru, who attacked earlier in the 14-kilometer climb to the finish, at the foot of the local ski slopes.
They were joined by Bennett but no one could respond when Landa charged for the line to claim his first victory for Movistar.
“I let other riders do the work and waited for the right time to go for a final attack,” Landa said. “I’m in a new team. I’m in a good shape.”
Caruso was the first leader of the race after BMC won the opening team time trial, and he reclaimed the blue jersey on Saturday. The Italian rider has a one-second lead over Michal Kwiatkowski with Wilco Kelderman a further 10 seconds behind.
Thomas is fifth, 26 seconds behind Caruso — and six behind Landa — after what looked like a dropped chain with less than a kilometer to go.
“I didn’t exactly expect to be back in the lead today but I felt good in the last climb,” Caruso said. “I was convinced I could have a good race today. It’s a big result for me to take the jersey at the top of a mountain like this.”
Tom Dumoulin is out of the race after crashing early in the stage. Team Sunweb said the 2017 Giro d’Italia winner didn’t need hospital treatment as he had no fractures but “sustained multiple bruises and abrasions to his chest, hand, arm and leg.”
The fifth stage on Sunday will pay a tribute to Michele Scarponi as it ends in his hometown of Filottrano after a hilly, 178-kilometer route from Castelraimondo.
Scarponi died after a collision with a van while training, shortly before the Giro last year.
The race ends on Tuesday.
This story has been corrected after race organizers amended their official standings to show Michal Kwiatkowski is second overall.