Enrico Battaglin of the Italian Professional Continental team Bardiani Valvole has won Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia at Serra San Bruno, beating Fabio Felline of Androni Giocattoli into second place and Movistar's Giovanni Visconti who finished third after a tough finale to the stage, played out in driving rain.
Katusha's Luca Paolini keeps the maglia rosa, but Team Sky's Bradley WIggins lost 19 seconds to him in the finale, and now lies 38 seconds down on the Italian.
Danilo Di Luca of Vini Fantini-Selle d'Italia, winner of the 2007 Giro d'Italia but stripped of his second place in 2009 for doping, had looked a strong contender for the win after attacking with Colombia rider Robinson Chalapud on the final climb of the Croce Ferrata.
The pair overhauled the lone rider in front of them, AG2R's Sylvain Georges, the last man left from the day's break and of the two, Di Luca looked stronger, but not strong enough to prevent being swept up with half a kilometre left.
Today’s stage was long, at 246km, and it packed a punch in the finale with that tough last climb of the Croce Ferrata, whose summit came 6.7km in the rain.
The race had exploded before the riders tackled that ascent, however, with Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali, together with Bradley Wiggins the pre-race favourite, having to chase back on after a puncture just after the top of the penultimate climb.
With his team car not available, the Sicilian had to change wheels with team mate Valerio Agnoli, and then put in a typically expert descent from Vibo Valentia, which had been crested 40km out, to rejoin the GC group.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.