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Gallery: Kämna smokes breakaway on Giro d’Italia Stage 4 as GC battle stays dormant on Etna

Juan Pedro López takes the maglia rosa on Mount Etna but gets pipped on the final corner by German Lennard Kämna

Will Strickson
11 May 2022

After three days in Hungary and an early rest day, the 2022 Giro d’Italia finally got underway in its home country on Stage 4, a 172km affair finishing with a hell of a long climb up to Mount Etna in Sicily.

Fireworks were expected on the first mountain stage of one of the most mountainous overall parcours in recent Giro history as maglia rosa wearer Mathieu van der Poel already ruled himself out of trying to hang onto the jersey.

It was all going by the book as the large breakaway established itself with an array of strong climbers who, for the good of their careers, prefer to go for stage wins over GC contention.

Rein Taaramäe, Lennard Kämna, Mauri Vansevenant, Juan Pedro López, Gijs Leemreize, Stefano Oldani, Sylvain Moniquet, Lilian Calmejane, Rémy Rochas, Davide Villella, Erik Fetter, Diego Camargo and Alexander Cataford got their gap and the peloton let them keep it, going into Etna with enough of a margin to be confident one of them would win the stage and with it the leader’s pink jersey.

Italian Oldani attacked first, knowing there were stronger climbers in the group – an attempt surely to get something for Alpecin-Fenix on a day when they lost the overall – and blew up most of the break.

While host broadcasters struggled to get live data with time gaps on our screens, Trek-Segafredo's López left the others, quickly catching and passing Oldani.

López has never won a pro race but as the second best placed breakaway rider on GC – with best-placed Vansevenant left behind – he looked set to complete a famous win and get himself into pink.

Sadly for the Spaniard, King Kämna was koming. The Bora-Hansgrohe man caught Lopez and they had a brief discussion, seemingly agreeing to let Kämna win the stage given that Juanpe was better placed overall.

However, they both looked up for a sprint to the line… until López slipped in the final bend and Kämna breezed his way to a second Grand Tour stage victory after taking one at the Tour de France in 2020.

Behind, there were a couple of GC casualties, mainly for Astana. Miguel Angel López – no relation to our new leader – stepped out of the race with a hip injury and Vincenzo Nibali was dropped by the main peloton. Tom Dumoulin also lost a huge chunk of time. He’ll be back though.

As for everyone else, it’s as you were. No GC eruption on the volcano. Simon Yates is still in prime position among the favourites. Wilco Kelderman is still in prime position among the Dark Horses. And Ineos Grenadiers are still running a mountains train to little effect.

Onwards to Messina. Maybe that’s why Nibali lost time… 

While you contemplate the likelihood of that on a sprint stage, here’s photographer-extraordinaire Chris Auld’s gallery from Stage 4.

As the race arrived in Italy, the tifosi showed appreciation for the star of the show.

The detail on this maglia rosa is quite something.

Benvenuto in Italia.

The Sicilian authorities have their looks sorted.

These glasses are excellent.

Dark horse Guillaume Martin lost time but had a nice set of Corima wheels.

It could be a Corima curse as Vincenzo Nibali also got dropped, losing time before the race heads to his home of Messina.


The pronunciation of Gijs Leemreize’s name is pure music.

Mauri Vansevenant couldn’t keep up with the front pair but finds himself fifth on GC.

Maybe the body language gave the game away for López.

Or maybe he was just uncomfortable riding on a volcano. Who wouldn’t be?

Matteo Sobrero lost the white jersey to Juan Pedro López but Mauri Vansevenant will be sporting it for the Spaniard, who has bigger fish.

Juanpe takes over Mathieu van der Poel’s pink leader's jersey.

Van der Poel takes the ciclamino from Biniam Girmay though.

Finally, Rick Zabel loses the maglia azzurra KOM jersey to Lennard Kämna.

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