Cucinotta wins Giro Rosa stage 4, Guarnier retains GC lead

Annalisa Cucinotta claims stage 4 of the Giro Rosa, as Megan Guarnier stays in the maglia rosa leader's jersey on a day for the sprinters.

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Annalisa Cucinotta (Ale Cipollini) claimed stage 4 of the 26th edition of the Giro Rosa, as American Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) finished safely in the peloton to retain the maglia rosa leader’s jersey on Tuesday.

The 103km stage from Piotello to Pozzo d’Adda was destined to finish in a bunch sprint. There were no QOMs on the day and it was likely the last chance for sprinters to have glory in this year’s race.

The peloton split briefly in the beginning of the stage after an opening circuit around Pioltello. Shortly thereafter, the race came back together, and after 29km, the day’s breakaway was established. The move included Silvia Valsecchi (BePink-LaClassica), Mieke Kroeger (Velocio-SRAM), Valentina Bastianelli (INPA Sottoli Giusfredi), and, for the second day in a row, Lindsey Williams (Orica-AIS).

The breakaway managed to gain a maximum lead of around three minutes before the peloton, led by Ale Cipollini, began to chase in earnest. The peloton had neutralized the break by the time it passed through the finish line for the first time in Pozzo d’Adda, before completing a single finishing circuit around town.

Cucinotta sprinted out of the peloton for her first win at this year’s Giro Rosa ahead of Marta Bastianelli (Aromitalian Valano Fondriest). Italian champion Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) rounded out the podium for the second day in a row in third place. Guarnier retained her leader’s jersey, as the top of the general classification remain unchanged for the second consecutive day.

Tomorrow, the climbers will stretch their legs, as the Giro Rosa enters the mountains. A 128.4km stage from Trezzo sull’Adda to Aprica will finally let the GC contenders show what kind of form they have brought to this year’s race. The climb to Aprica isn’t steep, but the riders will be facing a positive gradient for the last 30km of the stage.

Top 3, stage 4: Pioltello to Pozzo d’Adda (103km)

1. Annalisa Cucinotta (Alè-Cipollini) 2h46’44”
2. Marta Bastianelli (Aromitalian Vaiano Fondriest) +0″
3. Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) +0″
4. Tiffany Cromwell (Velocio-SRAM) +0″
5. Ilaria Sanguineti (BePink-LaClassica) +0″
6. Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM) +0″
7. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans ) +0″
8. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) +0″
9. Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Impa Sottoli Giusfredi) +0″
10. Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) +0″

General classification top 3 after stage 4:

1. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) 11h53’45”
2. Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) +2″
3. Ashleigh Moolman (Bigla) +5″
4. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) +12”
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) +13”
6. Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) +15”
7. Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv) +17”
8. Karol-Ann Canuel (Velocio-SRAM) +24”
9. Mara Abbott (Wiggle-Honda) +37”
10. Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) +39”

The jerseys of the 26th Giro Rosa after stage 4:

Maglia Rosa: Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans)
Maglia Ciclamino: Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv)
Maglia Verde: Carlee Taylor (Lotto-Soudal)
Maglia Bianca: Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv)
Maglia Blu: Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda)

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