Friday, July 19, 2024

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 4: Policastro – Serra San Bruno, 246km. Bravo Battaglin


HomeRaceRace ReviewsGiro d'Italia 2013 - Stage 4: Policastro - Serra San Bruno, 246km....

Just when I was about to write that there are few fairy tales in Grand Tours, as ‘re-born’ late escapee and former Baby Giro and Giro winner, Danilo Di Luca succumbed to a group of men desperate to put an end to their pain in the closing metres of the tough 246 kilometres from Policastro to Serra San Bruno, Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia, up popped 23 year-old Enrico Battaglin.

He rides for low budget Pro Continental squad Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox; who produce respectively, pneumatic valves for food and sanitary processing equipment, and centrifugal pumps – I’m not sure I want to know anything more about, ‘sanitary processing equipment’ though.

Battaglin won a true power sprint to take Stage 4. Photo©Daniele Bottallo

Ranked 11th in the UCI European Tour at the start of the season, they silenced any moans about their right to be in Naples last Saturday not just with

Enrico Battaglin
Enrico Battaglin.

Battaglin’s win but also with their aggressive riding to try and put Stefano Pirazzi in the mountains jersey. They failed on the latter count but after just four stages their Giro is a success. Battaglin enjoyed a stellar amateur career, including the GC in the hotly contested Giro delle Regione stage race.

As a stagiaire he took the 2011 Coppa Sabatini ahead of the likes of Visconti and Gerrans. Last season wasn’t so stellar with a third in the GP Lugano and a top ten in the Tour of Turkey as high lights. But this season is already a success after today’s rain sodden grind over those huge stone sets in the last kilometre.

Enrico’s uncle (and don’t believe CyclingNews when they tell you they’re not related – they are. ed) was one of my heroes. No one looked cooler on a Pinarello than Giovanni Battaglin and in 1981 he pulled off the magnificent double of Vuelta and Giro – and bear in mind that they came one after the other back then. He also won a Tour de France King of the Mountains title, the Pays Basque and a clutch of Italian semi-classics.

Another man with a famous name was in the mix, today – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia’s Matteo Rabottini who won the King of the Mountains and a stage in last season’s Giro.

Dad, Luciano was a solid pro with an overall win in the 1986 Tirreno-Adriatico to his credit; he has a bike shop in Citta Sant’Angelo in the Abruzzo, where Dave and I enjoyed a blether with him, a year or two ago. Young Matteo tried his hand in the break on the final climb but Katusha and Sky weren’t having it.

Wiggins looked very comfortable today, but lost time at the end of the stage. Photo©Ferrari
Vincenzo Nibali looks like he’s enjoying events thus far. Photo©Ferrari

Sky’s Colombians, Henao and Uran in particular look solid.

My man of the day was 37 year-old Di Luca – I know he was up to his rear mech in more than one of the messes which have plagued Italian cycling over the last decade – but we have to put it in context; who the hell wasn’t?

He attacked on the last climb, rode a good descent and was only caught within spitting distance of the line in a slow motion sprint, with Battaglin just having that wee bit more left than the rest.

Danilo Di Luca, ‘colourful’ as the Eurosport commentator would have it. Photo©Ferrari

Paolini retained his pink jersey; always at the head of affairs with his Katusha boys riding hard to make sure Luca hangs on to it until the inevitable happens on Saturday and Wiggins tears it from his back.

On the subject of Sir Brad – as we said t’other day, ‘it’s not just all about chronos and mountains,’ there are plenty of other places where a Grand Tour can trip you up.

The Knight of the Realm conceded 17 seconds to slip to seventh @ 34 seconds.

At time of writing there was talk that he may get the seconds back on the grounds that he was delayed by a crash.

But as this is Italy and there’s an Italian in pink it might be a mistake to look for ‘marginal gains’ from the judges panel on this one.

Evans looked sprightly again, as did Hesjedal – but hills are hills whilst mountains are mountains.

And nice to see the Italian champion’s jersey of Franco Pellizotti well up there.

The weather really closed in towards the end of the stage. Photo©Ferrari

Yesterday, Paolini said that he rode the finale as if it was a Classic; and that’s the thing about a Grand Tour; every day is like a Classic – today was a 6:27 day for the gruppetto.

It’s not just the ‘Bigs’ battling for time and prestige, it’s the young Italians like Battaglin who know that a stage win in the Giro means a much meatier contract for the following season.

Vini Fantini set Di Luca up perfectly today, but the finish line came just a little too late. Photo©Ferrari

Tomorrow, the race starts the long haul north, again – Serra San Bruno being the most southerly point the race reaches in 2013.

The next two days should be for the sprinters – but with lumpy bits in the finale tomorrow, it’s by no means certain it’ll be bunch gallops.

If you’re a sprinter team domestique it’ll be a hard old shift.

Time to stretch out the quads. Photo©Ferrari

And finally, every time there’s a break in the Eurosport reportage and the advert for Festina – who ran a team which prototyped US Postal’s systematic substance abuse – pops up, I remember what really matters in pro sport.

Dollars, nickels, dimes, quarters, hundred dollar bills; not forgetting Euros, of course.

Young Battaglin earned a great victory today. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

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Result - Giro d'Italia 2013 - Stage 4: Policastro - Serra San Bruno, 246km

Stage Result

1 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 6:14:19
2 Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
3 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
4 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
5 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ
6 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
7 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
9 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard
10 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
11 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
12 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
13 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
14 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
15 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
16 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha
17 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
18 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
19 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale
20 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
21 Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
22 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
23 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team
24 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
25 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
26 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
27 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
28 Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
29 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
30 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
31 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp
32 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
33 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
34 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia
35 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale
36 Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
37 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:10
38 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol
39 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
40 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
41 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
42 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia
43 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
44 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
45 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
46 Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale
47 Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida 0:00:17
48 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
49 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
50 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia
51 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack Leopard
52 Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ 0:00:21
53 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
54 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
55 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team
56 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
57 Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
58 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
59 Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha
60 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida
61 Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli
62 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
63 Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale
64 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
65 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
66 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:04
67 Nelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Por) RadioShack Leopard 0:01:32
68 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling 0:03:24
69 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
70 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:04:06
71 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia
72 Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
73 Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
74 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:04:13
75 Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard 0:05:05
76 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
77 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia
78 Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:05:43
79 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
80 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge
81 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol
82 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:06:14
83 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Argos-Shimano
84 Sylvain Georges (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:07:26
85 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol 0:07:30
86 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Sp