Elia Viviani (Quickstep-Floors) sprinted to his 2nd stage win at the Adriatica Ionica Race, winning today’s 4th stage. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) finished in 2nd place and Alvaro Hodeg (Quickstep-Floors) was 3rd.
The 4th stage of the Adriatica Ionica Race was the longest of the race, spanning over 229km from San Vito di Cadore to Grado. 6 riders went off into the early break of the day, but the pan flat final 100km meant the sprinters were always going to be hunting them down in the final.
2 dirt road sectors in the final 20km of the stage kept things interesting, with many riders losing contact on the dusty roads. It also resulted in taking longer than expected to catch the break but in the end, with 5km to go, the race was all together for a big bunch sprint.
Our African Team was racing to set up Mark Cavendish, but the Manxman was not in contention for the final 300m and it was up to leadout men, Mark Renshaw and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to bring it home. Viviani was just too fast for everyone and took the win, Renshaw and Janse van Rensburg picked up 5th and 6th respectively for our African Team.
Mark Renshaw – Rider
The 2 sections of dirt really bust the race up quite a bit. The gravel was pretty loose, so coming off the dirt the peloton was only about 50 guys. We were still alright with 4 guys for the sprint, and we had actually rode the stage well. Nic rode the front all the day to ensure a sprint and Jay and Ryan controlled through the dirt. Reinie took us into the last corner and I started my sprint with around 350m to the line. I ended up having to go all the way to line as Cav wasn’t able to get through the final corner still on my wheel, so I ended 5th. I’ve been a bit banged up since crashing in Slovenia but today was the first day I started to feel somewhat good again, which is positive.