Giro d'Italia: Sir Bradley Wiggins slips back on wet Italian roads

 

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.

Overall standings

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

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?