Sunday, March 13, 2011
2011 Tirreno-Adriatico, Stage 4
Michele Scarponi was once more crowned king of the Chieti finish. It was Scarponi followed by Cunego, Evans, Basso and Di Luca. The blue leader's jersey is now on the shoulders of Dutchman Robert Gesink, who leads Evans (by 10 seconds), Basso (12 secs), Scarponi (15 secs) and Cunego (19 secs). But the overall leader was struggling at the end and admitted: "It wasn't my day."
Today: another 240 km and 3200 metres of climbing await, and the most gruelling stage of all looks set to be accompanied by rain right from the start in Chieti. There is a climb up the 1455-metre Sassotetto (2°C at the top), which is 90 km before the end, and a finale that takes in the rolling hills of Marcerata before a 2% finish in Castelraimondo. "Everybody expects me to keep doing better and better," explained 31-year-old Michele Scarponi, in his first season with Saronni's Lampre-ISD. "This hill brings me luck and it was harder this time too. But I did push my luck a bit. Damiano and I raced really well together. What we have in common is our desire to win. What would it be like to pass through my home in Filottrano with the leader's jersey? Great, but it's important to take the jersey in the final stage in San Benedetto: that's where I lost it to Garzelli last year."
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