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Brent Bookwalter enjoyed an easier day to help with his recovery from a crash before Stage 1. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Brent Bookwalter enjoyed an easier day to help with his recovery from a crash before Stage 1. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Giro d'Italia, Stage 4: Unusual Day

13. maggio 2014

The return of the Giro d'Italia to its homeland Tuesday was marked by short stage featuring rain at the start, a neutralization by race leader Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) and an eventual sprint finish.

Neutralized For Safety
The first three days of the race in Northern Ireland were also marked by rainy conditions. But Matthews said he saw things differently as the 112-kilometer stage steadily rolled 45.8 km from Giovinazzo to Bari, where seven of the eight laps of an 8.2-km circuit were completed in parade-like fashion. "We decided to neutralize the race, just for our safety," Matthews said. "Ireland is different. Their country and roads are used to the rain. Here in the south of Italy, they don't get much rain here. So the roads and the city aren't used to these weather conditions. So it made sense to go neutral for the race." Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr.) won ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Veelers (Team Giant-Shimano).

Kept Position
BMC Racing Team's Manuel Quinziato said riders were concerned about the wet conditions. "Here it doesn't rain that often and when it rains, it is very slippery. It was a hard decision not to race. I told them to keep going. Then, when the decision arrived the race would be neutralized until the last lap, everybody had more legs. So we kept the position and the sprinters did their job in the last lap." Daniel Oss, who sits in third place overall, 10 seconds off the lead, was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher in 27th place. Teammate Cadel Evans remained in 14th place overall, at 21 seconds.

Listen to complete comments on the BMC Racing Team's special Giro d'Italia Audio Line:
bit.ly/ZXNX6Y

See photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team Flickr gallery:
bit.ly/1mCUPnP