Rome - Spanish
climber Mikel Landa crowned a marathon six-hour slog with a majestic
late charge to clinch victory at the summit finish on stage four of the
Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday.
Recently signed with Movistar, the former Sky man Landa timed his run
late and finished the day in a strong position to challenge for the
overall victory, trailing new blue jersey holder Damiano Caruso by 20
The stage was marked by overnight leader Geraint Thomas of Sky
suffering an untimely mechanical problem and having to change bikes on
the final climb, he lost 40 seconds on the day while his muted team
leader Chris Froome was 1:10 off the pace on Saturday too.
The race also suffered the loss of Giro d'Italia winner and world
champion Tom Dumoulin, who fell and pulled out early and was later
reported to have suffered only cuts and bruises.
For the pure climbers, Dumoulin's demise takes much of the fear out
of Tuesday's final-day time-trial and the effects that would have on the
Landa took 6:22:13 to complete the challenging stage by outsprinting Rafal Majka and George Bennett to the line.
"I'm in a new team. I'm in good shape and when you start like this in
a new team I think that it gives you more confidence," said the
28-year-old, who many pundits feel could win a Grand Tour.
In a chasing group, six seconds adrift, Italy's Fabio Aru and French hope Romain Bardet kept their hopes alive.
Sunday's stage also culminates in a summit finish at Filottrano.
1. Damiano Caruso (ITA) BMC Racing Team 17hrs 14mins 49sec, 2. Michal
Kwiatkowski (POL) Team Sky at 01sec, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED) Team
Sunweb 11, 4. Mikel Landa (ESP) Movistar 20, 5. Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Team Sky 26, 6. Rigoberto Uran (COL) EF-Cannondale 31, 7. George Bennett
(NZL) LottoNL-Jumbo 33, 8. Davide Formolo (ITA) Bora-Hansgrohe 34, 9.
Tiesj Benoot (BEL) Lotto Soudal 36, 10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA)
12. Fabio Aru (ITA) Team Emirates 45sec, 13. Romain Bardet (FRA) AG2R
at 50, 15. Chris Froome (GBR) Team Sky 59, 16. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
Bahrain-Merida 1min 01sec