Video: post-stage 4 interviews
Video: stage 4, the final km
The Colombian, 3rd in the stage at 29″ and 3rd in the GC standings at 35 seconds, in the same time as Van Aert, has had a good day. His climbing skills, capped with a razor-sharp turn of pace at the end, are a useful combination for picking up the time bonuses.
Van Aert (TJV) now lies 2nd in GC at 35″, with Sergio Higuita 3rd in the same time. Landa, Quintana, Almeida, Fuglsang, the surprising, and excellent, Simon Carr is 8th, with Matteo Frabbro 9th and Geraint Thomas 10th.
The man who turned 22 the day after his Tour de France win last season is now 22 years, 5 months and 20 days. But his is only the 13th youngest rider to win a Tirreno Adriatico stage. The youngest was Raniero Gradi, aged 20 years, 4 months and 18 days, at Nereto in 1981.
Fabbro (BOH) was 7th, Simon Carr (EFN) 8th, and 10th was Jakob Fuglsang (AST)
Behind him (these results are very provisional!):
- 241 Tadej Pogačar (UAD) Slo
- 1 Simon Yates (BEX) GBr (at about 6″)
- 91 Sergio Higuita (EFN) Col (at about 30″)
- 51 Mikel Landa (TBV) Esp
- 191 Nairo Quintana (ARK) Col (33″ish)
- 82 João Almeida (DQT) Por
Van Aert (TJV) came across the line 9th.
Yates is close, but not close enough. The Slovenian has this, with 250m to go now!
Van Aert leads the 8 chasers, and receives no assistance
The chasing group is 41″ behind the leader, with Bernal some way off the back now.
- 41 Jakob Fuglsang (APT) Den
- 51 Mikel Landa (TBV) Esp
- 65 Matteo Fabbro (BOH) Ita
- 82 João Almeida (DQT) Por
- 91 Sergio Higuita (EFN) Col
- 93 Simon Carr (EFN) GBr
- 131 Egan Bernal (IGD) Col
- 161 Wout van Aert (TJV) Bel
- 191 Nairo Quintana (ARK) Col
But Bernal is dropping back, unable to stay in contact.
Yates is now 11″ behind him. Van Aert is now 3rd on the road, just ahead of a group including Bernal, Almeida & Higuita, who are a further 20″ back.
The Maglia Azzurra Van Aert is out of the saddle, closing in on the Bernal-Landa-Yates group.
Landa goes after him, then Simon Yates. They close, as Almeida, Nairo Quintana and Higuita set off after them. Pog’s lead is 14″ and coming down.
He is with Geraint Thomas (IGD) in an instant, and now has Thomas on his wheel. What a stage this is! They will reach Würtz Schmidt (ISN) in a matter of seconds.
Geraint passses Benjamin. The welshman has a 15″ lead over the peloton. Würtz Schmidt hass pain all over his face, and Thomas is not 32″ behind him.
Incredibly, Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec rider Mattia Bais, in the breakaway earlier in the stage, goes with theml then attakes himself.
Würtz Schmidt (ISN)’s lead with 8 km to go is 2’30”, that is, 150 seconds, or 18.75 sec per kilometre.
Ciccone’s lead is just 10″ over the peloton, lead by Filippo Ganna (IGD).
Thibaut Pinot (GFC) and Ilnur Zakarin (GAZ) are both dropped from the peloton
Ineos Grenadiers lead the peloton. Those two riders, Würtz Schmidt (ISN) and Ciccone (TFS), are alone… althoug Ciccone’s advantage over the peloton is not huge.
With 11.6 km to go, Würtz Schmidt (ISN) has dropped Thomas (GFC)
Van Der Poel sits up, and tops up his energy levels with a bite to eat
Meanwhile, Benjamin Thomas (GFC), 43rd in GC at only 1’46”, opened up a small lead on the lower sloves of the final climb, which Mads Würtz Schmidt (ISN) quickly closed. Those two now lead. The leaders are 1.8 km ahead of the speeding peloton.
The mountains result:
- 1. 157 Mads Würtz Schmidt (ISN) Den – 15 Maglia Verde points
- 2. 31 Mattia Bais (ANS) Ita -10
- 3. 127 Benjamin Thomas (GFC) Fra – 7
- 4. 112 Marco Canola (GAZ) Ita – 5 (at 2;18″)
- 5. 216 Emil Vinjebo (TQA) Den – 3 (at 3’30’)
- 6. 141 Jan Bakelants (IWG) Bel – 2 (at 5’31”, leading the peloton)
- 7. 55 Mark Padun (TBV) Ukr – 1 s.t.
Mads Würtz Schmidt takes the privisonal lead in the mountains competition.With 17.8 km to go, the current gap is still 4’20”.
24 km to go now, and the gap is stil 4'50"
Video: pre-stage 4 interviews
Prati di Tivo is a historic ski resort located on the Teramo side of the Gran Sasso massif. It winds its slopes at the foot of the northern wall of the Corno Piccolo. From the Prati large square 2 chairlifts and 2 ski lifts leave as well as the vertiginous Arapietra cable car that climbs up to 2,015 m where the view ranges from the majestic slopes of the Corno Grande peak to the huge valleys below. The lifts serve 10 km of slopes of various difficulty. It is possible to practice ski mountaineering up to the late spring for exciting itineraries. For those who love cross-country skiing, the area offers a 3 km ring track that crosses a centuries-old beech wood. The area is very popular even in summer and it’san ideal destination for hiking, trekking, nordic walking and orienteering. Powered by ENIT
The two rivals are also friends… or at least friendly! Coming up, a words from the Italian nationl tourist board aabout the stage finish.
A winner of the Junior Paris-Roubais in 2012, and two-time world time trial champion, in 2011 among the Juniors and in 2015 among the Under-23s, he has been a professional since 2017. Born in 1994, the same year as his compatriot Søren Kragh Andersen, and a year before Mads Pedersen, he has always raced with and against them. Würtz Schmidt was eight years old when he started racing. In 2012, on the Danish national team, they won almost every Nations’ Cup race, including that Jr Paris-Roubaix, and the Peace Race in Czech Republic, won by another fabulous Danish talent, Niklas Eg, with Søren Kragh second on GC.
At km 98, i.e., with 50 km to go, Vinjebo trailed the other breakaway riders by 52″. His losses at km 101 is 1’25”. Canola also lost contact at km 102.
- 25 May 1971, Stage 5 : Pescasseroli – Campo Imperatore (198). Winner: Vicente López Carril
- 19 May 1975, Stage 3 : Ancona – Prati di Tivo (175). Winner: Giovanni Battaglin
- 31 May 1985, Stage 14: Frosinone – Campo Imperatore (195). Winner: Franco Chioccioli
- 28 May 1989, Stage 8 : Roma – Campo Imperatore (179). Winner: John Carlsen
- 22 May 1999, Stage 8 : Pescara – Campo Imperatore (253). Winner: Marco Pantani
- 13 May 2018, Stage 9 : Pesco Sannita – Campo Imperatore (225). Winner: Simon Yates
The Gran Sasso massif includes the western summit of Corno Grande, at 2912m the highest point in the Italian Apennines, the range of mountains that runs the length of the peninsula like a spinal column. The massife is about 50 km by 15 km with a 130 km perimeter. It stretches north-west and west to south-east, like mosst Apennine and pre-Apennine mountain groups. It is part of the easternmost ridge of the Abruzzo Apennines together with the Maiella to the south. It consists of two main parallel sub-groups: the first, more easterly and harsher, extends from Monte Corvo (2. 623 m; northwest) to Vado di Sole (southeast). The western sub-chain extends instead from Passo delle Capannelle and Monte San Franco (2,132 m) to Monte Capo di Serre (1. 771 m). There are a great many more peaks in the Gran Sasso group.
The SS 80 ‘Gran Sasso d’Italia’, an important road, entirely in Abruzzo, connecting the region with the Adriatic coast. The central stretch between Gran Sasso d’Italia and Monti della Laga, through the Passo delle Capannelle, is known as the Strada maestra del Parco and follows the original route of the Roman road Via Cecilia. The Passo delle Capannelle is the only pass connecting the two sides of the Gran Sasso, about which, more in a moment.
At km 75, the gap is 8'08"
24 years old, from Rovereto, in Trentino. No pro wins yet, but at the 2020 Milano Sanremo he joined the early breakaway, and, at the 2021 Giro d’Italia, he won the Fuga Bianchi competition with a total of 458 km spent in breakaways. He was a team-mate of Giovanni Aleotti (now BORA), Jonathan Milan (now Bahrain Victorious) and his brother Davide (now Eolo-Kometa) at the Cycling Team Friuli. Matteo Fabbro (also BORA) is another rider to come out of the Friuli club. Mattias started riding aged 9 at the Mori Cycling Club, with the help of a cousin who was already riding. His regular training rides include long climbs like the Folgaria, Passo Sommo, Monte Bondone and Monte Velo.
At km 72, the gap is 8'02".
As UAE Team Emirates work at the front, the gap begins to come down a little. As Vincenzo Nibali said before the stage, at inside 150km, the breakaway is not without hope today.
Beneath the much higher Monte Calvo to the north and Monte Nuria to the south, Sella di Corno (km 76.5, alt. 990m) is close to the border between Lazio and Abruzzo at Antrodoco. The pass connects the Aterno valley to the east (in the province of Aquila) with the Velino valley to the west (in the province of Rieti) along State Road 17, the direct road connection between Rieti-Antrodoco and L’Aquila. Straddling the pass there is a small plateau, used for grazing and, lower down, growing legumes and potatoes.
A bizarre story surrounds the town of Antrodoco (km 63.30. In April 2009, during the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, General Mu’ammar Gheddafi A bizarre story surrounds the town and visited Antrodoco. He was very taken with the beauty of the landscapes. In the years immediately preceding Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, the mayor of Antrodoco, a man named Maurizio Faina, forged a relationship with the Libyan dictator in the hope that he would help revive the economy, which was still suffering the closure, in the 1970s, of a pasta factory, a distillery and the spa. Their plan was to transform the thermal baths into a luxury hotel with wellness center. Gaddafi’s wellness ended permanently on 20 October 2011, and the plan came to nothing.
Km 53.6: the Aquae Cutiliae (or Aquae Cutuliae), also known as Terme di Cotilia, are thermal springs used in ancient times. They are midway between Castel Sant’Angelo where there is a modern spa complex, and Cittaducale, where the Roman baths are. Both towns are in the province of Rieti. Cutiliae is mentioned by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus (60 BC-7 BC) as an important center of the so-called Aborigines, who inhabit the areas before being supplanted by another tribal people known as the Sabines.
At km 56, the gap is 9'00" exactly.
25 years old, from Lavaur in the Tarn (Occitania, France), he is a track endurance specialist, twice the world Omnium champion (in 2017 and 2020), and the world Madison champion in 2017 with Morgan Kneisky. He was French national time trial champion in 2019, and he showed what he is capable of at the Etoile de Bessèges at the start of February this year, when he finished 2nd in the time trial, just 10 seconds outside the time of Filippo Ganna (IGD). He has been with Groupama-FDJ since 2018. Before that, from 2015 to 2017, he was with the French army cycling team, Armée de Terre (the team with whom Julian Alaphilippe won the french U23 cyclocrosss title in 2012).
With the stress on the ‘Ca-“, CAN-nola. Marco was a Giro d’Italia stage winner at San Martino di Castrozza in 2014. 7th and 8th in Giro stages in 2019. Earlier that year, he was 16th in Strade Bianche and the best Italian finisher. He’s the sort of rider who could certainly have had a WT career, but has perhaps preferred to be a slightly bigger fish in a succession of slightly smaller teams like Colnago, Bardiani, UnitedHealthcare, Nippo-Vini Fantini, and now GazProm. His cousin is Gelindo Bordin, the Olympic Marathon Champ at the Seoul OG in ’88.
Ave. speed for the first hour of racing, 40.1 kph
Rieti (km 38.8): A walled city full of historic buildings, Rieti is even more ancient than Rome. It was founded at the beginning of the iron age and became an important city of the Sabines, an Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains. Rieti was conquered by the Romans in 290 BC, and then, after the fall of the empire, by the Visigoths; under the Longobards it was annexed by the Dukedom of Spoleto. It became part of the Pontifical State, on the border with the Reign of Naples, and in the XIII century it often hosted the popes. After annexation in 1860 by the Kingdom of Italy, it was part of the province of Perugia, in Umbria, until 1927, when the province of Rieti was founded, in the region of Lazio.
The gap at km 22 was 5’00”, and at km 27 was 4’25”. Their current lead is 6’07”.A reminder of the 5:
- 31 Mattia Bais (ANS) Ita (133rd at 17’39”)
- 112 Marco Canola (GAZ) Ita (69th at 9’28”)
- 127 Benjamin Thomas (GFC) Fra (43rd at 1’46”)
- 157 Mads Würtz Schmidt (ISN) Den (98th at 11’48”)
- 216 Emil Vinjebo (TQA) Den (109th at 13’04”)
It is worth underlining that Benjamin Thomas (GFC) is just 1’46” donw in GC, so he is the Maglia Azzurra on the road.
Colli sul Velino is a place full of archaeological stuff, suggesting that it was settled in the Middle Bronze Age, and again in the early Iron Age. There are also the imposing and beautiful remains of the Roman villa of Quinto Assio which accommodated Cicero in 54 BC. Cicero, who was a Roman emissary,, heard a dispute in which the complainants, the people of Terni (km )), alleged that floods from the River Nera caused by the people of Rieti (km 38.8) submerged his fields. Cicero acquitted the accused of all responsibility. Thhe casse is told in Cicero’s Epistulae ad Atticum (Letters to Atticus) IV, 15.5, compiled by Tiro, Cicero’s slave (later his freedman) and personal secretary.
At km 16.4, Piediluco is a village of 523 in the commune of Terni on the shore of Lake Piediluco, close to a beautiful waterfall called “Marmore.” Lago di Piediluco straddles the Province of Terni in Umbria, and the Province of Rieti in Lazio. At 375 m altitude, is is fed by three Rivers: the Fuscello, the Velino and the Nera. The flow from the Fuscello is natural. The Nera and the Velino have been diverted, in Nera via a lengthy aqueduct and a canal system, built in the 1920s under Mussolini, which enters the lake at the north-western end of Piediluco. A canal of approximately 400 meters’ length was built, also in the 1920s, to divert the Velino. The goal of all this work was to provide hydroelectric power. Lake Piediluco is the home of the Italian National Rowing Center, which hosts training camps and international competitions.
At km 19, Canola and Vinjebo are together, 36" behind the 3 leaders
Fabbro is 30th in GC at 40′. “Today is a stage that lends itself to my characteristics and those of the team. We’ll see how the stage goes and what we can invent. Undoubtedly, all the climbers will be there or thereabouts today. We’ll see what happens, how my legs are, and what consequences come of it. I’ve been riding well. I didn’t fall yesterday, but it was close. There is some stress in the group, but my legs are good.
There are currently 3 leaders;
- 31 Mattia Bais (ANS)
- 127 Benjamin Thomas (GFC)
- 157 Mads Würtz Schmidt (ISN)
Rider 216 Emil Vinjebo (TQA) is lagging slightly behind at 12″.Meanwhile, there is a rider between the leaders and the bunch, giving chase (“en chasse patate”, as the French say!). He is Marco Canola (GAZ).
João Almeida (DQT) said before the stage: “If I have the legs, i will try for sure, but it’s been a really hard race, every stage. So we’ll see how the legs are , but for sure if I have the legs I’ll try something. We don’t have much pressure, we have a solid team, and we always fight for the win and that’s our spirit. GC and the stage! No, I’m only joking. I mean the stage. I think Julian has been really strong as well. I have good legs, I think I can be with the first guys. Let’s see how are the legs and what we can do.”
“I borghi più belli d’Italia” (Italy’s most beautiful villages) is a private association that promotes small Italian towns of “outstanding historical and artistic interest”.Arrone, at km 5.7, and Piediluco, at km 16.4, are both members.Km 5.7. Arrone is a village of 2 633 inhabitants next to Terni in Umbria. It is listed as one of the most beautiful town in Italy. Arrone castle, above the medieval town, a civic bell tower, the tower “of the olives”, the fourteenth-century church of St. Giovanni Battista with fifteenth-century frescos of Umbrian school, the sixteenth-century Parish of Saint Maria Assunta and the ex-convent of St. Francis.Km 16.4 Piediluco is a village of 523 in the commune of Terni on the shore of lake Piediluco, a short distance from the Marmore waterfall.
Jakob Fuglsang (APT) said before roll-out “It’s one of the decisive stages. Tomorrow too is difficult and hard. But today too. We don’t have a strong team to control the raace, but we’ll have to wait for the work of the others, and then we’ll see in the final what legs I have.”
Domencio Pozzovivo (TQA) described the final climb in some detail before the sstage:
“It’s a climb that is quite regular, around 7-8%. It’s a long climb, a 40 minute climb, so I think it will make some difference between the GC riders. I think that will be at some pace from the bottom, and then natural selection, K by K. I hope to follow the best GC riders, and maybe a top 10.”
Romain Bardet (DSM) said of the rae so far: “We can see a lot happened here already in Tirreno. The race has been very stressed at some points. So, yeah, I think, thanks to the team we have done a good race so far, but I hope the best is yet to come. It’s hard to say. I’m here, still waiting for what’s next so, yeah, for me I will try just to hang on with the best today. It’s my first stage race, also my first summit finish of the season. I don’t really known where my shape is at the minute. I think in the next two days I will have a really good indication.”
Before the stage, Mikel Landa (TBV) said of the race so far: “It’s been a little bit hard, no? The first day was an easy one, but the other two have been quite intense. I think I’m feeling good, I started a little bit later this year, but I think like most of the other riders, so I’m happy. Today I would like to see a nice final and have some advantage to other contenders. for a rider like me, [to win] I’ll need around a minute [over van Aert}.’
Riders 91, Sergio Higuita (EFN), 4th yesterday, anrrowly missed out on a 3″ time bonus and the Maglia Bianca yesterday. He reflected this morning: “Yeah, yesterday was a very good final for me. In the final kilometre I was in a good position, my team worked very well in the final. I tried to sprint to win the stage, but other riders were stronger. I’m happy because I’m up there with the best riders in the world. I hope today to be good on the final climb with the best riders, fighting for the stage. I try to stay strong. I’m fighting for the stage and for the GC.”
Rieti’s territory includes Monte Terminillo, (2216 m a.s.l.), the third highest peak in Lazio, a popular winter destination. In the thirties the fascist government built a ski resort with modern infrastructure and accommodation there, promoted as “Rome’s mountain”by Mussolini. The first mountain time trial in the history of the Giro d’Italia was held there in 1936 and won by Giuseppe Olmo. Giro stages there have also been won by Gino Bartali (1937), Giovanni Valetti (1938 and 1939), Jean-Claude Bagot (1987), Luís Herrera (1992), Pavel Tonkov (1997), Stefano Garzelli (2003) and Chris Anker Sørensen (2010). Joe Dombrowski won a stage there in the 2012 U23 Giro d’Italia. Nairo Quintana has won there twice in the Tirreno Adriatico (stage 5 in 2015 and stage 4 in 2017).
Signing in started at 10.25 am local time (CET) in Piazza della Repubblica, Terni. Roll out is at 11.45, with the racing start (km 0) scheduled for approx. 12.00 pm after a 7.1 km transfer. The intermediate sprint today is between the two climbs at km 142.1 (Pietracarmela).