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Giro d'Italia Stage 4: Jan Polanc wins on Etna, Bob Jungels leads overall

British riders Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates move to second and third overall

Jan Polanc of UAE Team Emirates has taken the second Giro d'Italia stage win of his career, the Slovenian being the sole survivor of the day's break ahead of the first summit finish of this year's 100th edition of the race on Mount Etna.

Ilnur Zakarin of Katusha was second, 19 seconds behind, with Geraint Thomas third a further 10 seconds back, the Team Sky rider moving to second overall with fellow Briton Adam Yates of Orica-Scott third on General Classification.

Also in the group containing Thomas were defending champion Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida, and past Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana of Movistar.  The new race leader, however, is Quick Step Floors rider Bob Jungels who is the new race leader.

There was huge support for Nibali as the race resumed on his home island after yesterday's rest day, and the Sicilian attacked on the slopes of the volcano with 2.5 kilometres left, but was swiftly brought back.

Shortly after the Etna climb began with 15km remaining of the 181km stage from Cefalu, another rider from Sicily, Paolo Tiralongo, had tried to ride away to what would have been an emotional win to pay tribute to his Astana team mate and friend Michele Scarponi, who was killed last month but his move too was quickly shut down.

Instead, it was the 25-year-old Polanc who took the victory, adding to his 2015 win on Stage 5 in Abetone.

Afterwards, he said: “It’s amazing. Probably nobody expected the breakaway to succeed. We were only four guys to make it work and we didn’t have a big gap for the last climb. It was probably the hardest day of my life. I’m very happy. To repeat the victory I got in 2015 in the first mountain stage is wonderful.”

New overall leader Jungels said: “I didn’t really believe [Quick Step Floors team mate] Fernando Gaviria when he said I’d take the Maglia Rosa over from him. It’s always a dream but you have to be a bit lucky.

"The team did a great job. We had be clever. I would like to keep the jersey for longer than last year but we have a big stage on Sunday at the Blockhaus. It will be more for true climbers like Quintana but I hope to stay in the lead as long as possible.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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