WorldTeam Sylvain Moniquet finishes fourth in first Giro mountain stage
Lotto Soudal youngster Sylvain Moniquet has immediately shown himself during his Giro debut. The 24-year-old Belgian was part of a 14-rider breakaway that would battle for stage victory on the slopes of Mount Etna, in stage four of the Giro d’Italia. In a two-man sprint, it was eventually Lennard Kämna who took the victory, Spaniard Juan Pedro López had to settle for second place but became the new leader in the general classification.
In the first stage on Italian soil, the bunch immediately faced a tough mountain stage with a summit finish on Mount Etna, following an over 20 kilometres long ascent. After the start in Avola, attacks flew and eventually a breakaway of fourteen riders formed, which also included Lotto Soudal climber Sylvain Moniquet. The group worked together really well and also the peloton allowed the break an advantage of over ten minutes.
When the attackers reached the foot of the Etna with a comfortable lead, it became clear that the stage winner would come from the breakaway. During the long climb of the Etna, the best climbers of the breakaway emerged. The 24-year-old Belgian Moniquet impressed but winning the stage proved to be a bit too much. It was the German Kämna who took the win as he beat Spaniard López, who took over the maglia rosa. Moniquet sprinted to fourth place, just ahead of his compatriot Vansevenant.
Sylvain Moniquet: “Of course, I’m happy with this fourth place. The goal was to be in the breakaway today and that succeeded. At the end it was all about the 22 kilometres long climb of the Etna and all about having the legs. There weren’t any tactics involved, really. I could manage my effort in the last climb but the final three to four kilometres were a bit too much. It’s a pity to miss the podium spot but that’s life. This was only the first mountain stage and there are lots of opportunities to come. I hope the shape will improve day by day, I feel good and motivated to set some other great results. After two relatively flat stages, I will be ‘back in business’.”
Image: Photo News.