The stage winner Mathieu van der Poel said: “My celebration on the finish line is something that came from a MotoGP rider, I can’t remember who exactly [Fabio Quartararo]. We found it on Instagram and I promised my teammates that I would try to replicate it. Yesterday I was, for sure, a bit angry with myself. I made a mistake in the finale. Today, I really wanted to win. My team did an amazing job bringing the first group back. The gap left by Julian Alaphilippe wasn’t something I expected. Wout van Aert reacted immediately. It was perfect for me. It could have been a weird situation but it turned out well. Milano-Sanremo will be another story. It’s not comparable to today’s stage victory, but for me, personally, this stage win comes as a good sign.”
The Maglia Azzurra Wout van Aert, commented: “I think I missed out on the stage victory because of the gap left by Julian Alaphilippe to favor Zdenek Stybar. It was a surprise for everyone. I had to react to keep the possibility of winning the stage alive. Mathieu was on my wheel and I was at a point of no return. I led him out and he was in the perfect position. But I took a few bonus seconds, so it was not all negative today. Normally, it would be very difficult for me to retain the leader’s jersey tomorrow. This situation is completely new for me, but I’m ready to fight. My team is very strong and we saved some energy today. I’ll be hanging on as long as possible. I’ll try to not lose too much time when I’ll get dropped by the climbers and we’ll figure out tomorrow evening if I can still compete for the overall victory.”
Stage 4, Terni – Prati di Tivo (148km)
A stage with an uphill finish. The maximum altitude of this edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico is reached at the GPM in Prati di Tivo at 1450m. Stage 4 offers a short but very intense route. The riders will climb up to the Forca di Arrone to enter the comune of Rieti. The route then passes through the town of Rieti to face the Sella di Corno before a long descent towards the city of L’Aquila. The riders will subsequently face the climb to Passo Capannelle, classified as a GPM Superior. The following 30km descent is characterized by several curves and two long, well-lit tunnels. The last 14km are entirely uphill towards the ski resort.
The final climb is 14.5km long with an average gradient of 7% and peaks of up to 12%. It has 22 hairpin bends and is steepest in its first half, hitting the hardest gradients where the riders pass through Pietracamela (location of the intermediate sprint). The last three kilometers average 7%. The finishing straight is around 200m long and 7m wide on asphalt.