Giro d'Italia: Sir Bradley Wiggins slips back on wet Italian roads
Tuesday 07 May 2013
Sir Bradley Wiggins slipped down to joint fifth in the general classification after stage four of the Giro d'Italia, won by Italy's Enrico Battaglin.
Fabio Felline and Giovanni Visconti finished second and third respectively to complete an all-Italian top three for the stage, while their compatriot Luca Paolini retained the overall leader's pink jersey.
Wiggins, the race favourite completed the final climb with his rivals but lost time because of a split in the peloton at the finish. He came in 48th, 17 seconds down, after being caught behind a crash and is now 34 seconds behind Paolini, while Wiggins' Team Sky team-mate Rigoberto Uran moved to second overall.
The Colombian finished fourth in the second-longest stage of the Giro, which took six hours and 14 minutes, including a testing climb up the Croce Ferrata with 12km to go to the finish at Serra San Bruno. The stage was made even more problematic by the wet conditions, which made corners treacherous and threw up spray, resulting in poor visibility. In the final kilometre, a series of curves and cobbled streets only added to the strain on the riders.
Other fancied contenders Cadel Evans of Australia, the Italian Vincenzo Nibali and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal of Canada came home safe after a 246km (152-mile), undulating trek from Policastro Bussentino.
Paolini leads Uran in the general classification by 17 seconds, with Spain's Benat Intxausti in third, 26 seconds off the pace, for Movistar.
Nibali leapfrogged Wiggins into fourth while Hesjedal drew level with the Briton in fifth, 31 and 34 seconds off the pace respectively. Nibali survived a scare with 35 kilometres remaining when he suffered a mechanical problem but managed to get back into the bunch after Astana team-mate Valerio Agnoli gave him his wheel.
"I knew that this finale was tailor-made for me," Battaglin told TV channel BeIn Sport. "I knew it was now or never for me to win a stage."
Wednesday's stage is a mainly flat, 203km (126-mile) leg from Cosenza to Matera, where a sprint finish could result in British rider Mark Cavendish winning his 12th Giro stage.
1 Luca Paolini (It) Katusha 15:18:51
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky +17"
3 Benat Intxausti (Sp) Movistar +26
4 Vincenzo Nibali (It) Astana +31
5= Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin +34
5= Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky +34
7 Giampaolo Caruso (It) Katusha +36
8 Sergio Montoya (Col) Sky +37
Latest in Sport
Manchester United vs Sunderland match report: Wayne Rooney scores twice but referee Roger East sends off Wes Brown instead of John O'Shea
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Eden Hazard exclusive interview - All is rosy in the garden of Eden
Chelsea vs Tottenham combined XI: Hugo Lloris or Thibaut Courtois? Willian or Christian Eriksen? Who makes the final cut?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Carl Frampton vs Chris Avalos; Tyson Fury vs Christian Hammer; Dmitry Chudinov vs Chris Eubank Jr - boxing on TV this weekend
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...