After a lot of bad luck in the two first flat stages, the Aussie Champion finally did the miracle: he outsprinted the Lion King (this time bad luck was on Cipo's side, as he lost, for part of the last kilometres, his #1 leadout man Mario Scirea, who crashed and spent many enargies to regain to main bunch, so that he couldn't be as helpful as usual to his captain in the sprint) by the narrowest of margins and took stage 4 of the Giro.
It's McEwen's 62th win (just 110 less than Cipo) and the 11th so far in the Aussie's extremely successful season. "Bella Vittoria" ("Nice Win) were the first words the man from Brisbane said to Italian TV after the success.
1. ROBBIE MC EWEN (AUS - LOTTO-ADECCO)
2. MARIO CIPOLLINI (ITA - ACQUA E SAPONE-C.TOLLO)
3. ENRICO DEGANO (ITA - PANARIA-FIORDO)
4. GRAEME BROWN (AUS - PANARIA-FIORDO)
5. ALESSANDRO PETACCHI (ITA - FASSA-BORTOLO)
6. FABRIZIO GUIDI (ITA - TEAM COAST)
7. AART VIERHOUTEN (HOL - LOTTO-ADECCO)
8. SVEN TEUTENBERG (GER - PHONAK)
9. MASSIMO STRAZZER(ITA - PHONAK)
10. MORENO DI BIASE (ITA - FORMAGGI TRENTINI)
Mapei's STEFANO GARZELLI kept the Overall Lead, with a 9" margin on Guidi, Verbrugghe keeps the third place overall.
1. STEFANO GARZELLI (ITA - MAPEI-QUICK STEP) - 22h34'55"
2. FABRIZIO GUIDI (ITA - TEAM COAST) - at 9";
3. RIK VERBRUGGHE (BEL - LOTTO-ADECCO) - at 19";
4. JUAN CARLOS DOMINGUEZ (SPA - PHONAK) - at 21";
5. MATHIAS KESSLER (GER - TELEKOM) - at 27";
6. FRANCESCO CASAGRANDE (ITA - FASSA-BORTOLO) - at 31";
7. MYKHAYLO KHALILOV (UKR - COLOMBIA-SELLE ITALIA) - at 31";
8. MATTHIAS BIXHOFER (AUT - PHONAK) - at 34";
9. CADEL EVANS (AUS - MAPEI-QUICK STEP) - at 37";
10. DARIO FRIGO (ITA - TACCONI SPORT-EMMEGI) - at 41";
Mario Cipollini retained the Cyclamen Jersey (Points Ranking), the same for Massimo Strazzer and the Blue Jersey (Intergiro - Intermediate Sprints), and Francesco Casagrande's Green Jersey (KOM)
More detailed Stage report by Manny Samaniego to come ...
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