09/05/12 - 9:25 PM
Finished
Verona - Verona
Giro d'Italia • Stage4
avant-match

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Verona - Verona
Giro d'Italia - 9 May 2012

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 21:25 on 9 May 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Highlights 
 
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16:18 

The new top five of the GC: 1. Navardauskas, 2. Farrar +10, 3. Hunter +10, 4. Hesjedal +11, 5. Phinney +13.

16:17 

Confirmation of the top five today: 1. Garmin 37:04, 2. Katusha +5, 3. Saxo Bank +22, 4. Astana +22, 5. Omega Pharma-QuickStep +24.

16:15 

Ramunas Navardauskas moves into the lead in the GC, with Phinney dropping to fifth, 13 seconds down.

33km

Yes, Phinney loses his pink jersey as BMC cross the line in 10th place, 31 seconds down on winners Garmin.

16:04 

BMC still have eight riders together, including Taylor Phinney. But the American will surely lose the pink jersey today. They're approaching the finish in Verona now...

33km

Garmin-Barracuda take five seconds off Katusha's time and will surely win the stage. We'll have to confirm if Navardauskas was one of the six who crossed the line together.

16:01 

Navardauskas is suffering: he's a few bike lengths off his Garmin team-mates. He needs to stay there if he wants the pink. They're approaching the finish...

33km

GreenEdge cross the line 20 seconds behind Katusha in 5th place. What a ride from the Russian-based team - it looks like they will hold everyone off with the exception of Garmin. Rodriguez will be chuffed with that one.

15:58 

Garmin have eight riders after shedding Rasmussen. The man who could well be in pink, Navardauskas, is on the back - the Lithuanian youngster seems to be struggling a bit.

15:56

The RadioShack Nissan team of Frank Schleck cross the line to set the 6th best time, 23 seconds down on Katusha. That's pretty respectable.

15:55 

Orica-GreenEdge are shedding riders, including Jack Bobridge.

33km

Team Sky were 23 seconds down at the second check, way down in 10th place. They're approaching the finish now, but it will be no pink for Thomas. They set the sixth fastest time, 25 seconds behind Katusha.

33km

Astana cross the finish line to tie Saxo for second, 17 seconds down on Katusha.

15:50

CLOSE SHAVE: Phinney rides off the road and across a grass verge. Some how he manages to stay up despite the slope down to a vineyard. But he has long grass in his pedals and spokes, plus his team is all over the place.

15:49

Taylor Phinney is struggling to keep with his BMC team-mates. He will surely lose the pink jersey tonight. Geraint Thomas is just 9 seconds down in the GC, but Sky were 3 seconds down on BMC at the first check. Navardauskas is the man to watch for Garmin - he's 18 seconds down on the GC.

9km

BMC set the fifth best time at the first check, 11 seconds down on Garmin. So, the top five now that all the teams are through the first check is as follows: 1. Garmin 9:56, 2. Katusha +7, 3. Orica GreenEdge +7, 4. Astana +11, 5. BMC +11.

15:45 

If Alex Rasmussen doesn't rejoin his Garmin team-mates then he'll have no chance at taking the pink jersey tonight. It would go to Ramunas Navardauskas - provided, of course, BMC don't put in a good TTT.

33km

Katusha still lead at the finish. Saxo Bank are second, +17. Liquigas third, +21. Movistar fourth, +27. Lampre fifth, +29.

15:41

CLOSE SHAVE: GreenEdge's Sven Tuft almost goes down on a tight bend, but manages to control his skid. It's forced the Australian team to lose a bit of momentum though, and they'll have to regather.

15:40

Garmin are roaring along, but they're paying a big price: they're less than half way through, but have already lost two riders, including Dane Alex Rasmussen.

9km 

Orica GreenEdge, who got their first grand tour win on Monday with Matt Goss, have matched Katusha's time at the first check. The Australians are 7 seconds down on Garmin. Just BMC to come now.

33km

Rabobank are down to five riders and are being led over the line by Stef Clement. They're 56 seconds down on Katusha, in sixth place.

9km

Garmin set the fastest time at the first check, shaving 7 seconds off the benchmark set by Katusha. They mean business.

9km 

Surprisingly, Team Sky have only set the fifth best time at the first check: the British team of Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas are 8 seconds down on Katusha after 9km.

15:29

The pink jersey of Taylor Phinney rolls down the ramp alongside his BMC team-mates. He had a nasty gash to his left ankle after that big fall on Monday. We'll soon find out if it affects his performance.

33km

Here come Katusha down the finishing straight. They have dropped two riders and set a stellar time of 37:09. That's 29 seconds faster than Lampre, which means both Scarponi and Damiano Cunego lose the best part of half a minute to Rodriguez.

15:25 

Garmin-Barracuda down the ramp. They're the big favourites for today after their solid display individually on Saturday's ITT.

22km

Katusha have kept the momentum going, setting the fastest time at the second check. Looking good for Joaquim Rodriguez. Top five: 1. Katusha 25:19, 2. Lampre +20, 3. Farnese Vini +31, 4. Lotto Belisol +35, 5. Colnago + 38.

9km

Astana and Saxo have gone through the first check ahead of Movistar but behind Katusha. Top five: 1. Katusha 10:03, 2. Astana +4, 3. Saxo Bank +5,4. Movistar +6, 5. Liquigas +9.

33km

Lotto Belisol set the second fastest time at the finish, 31 seconds down on Lampre. Colnago then come home 38 seconds down in third. Lampre's benchmark for the 33.2km time is 37:38.

33km

Here come Lampre, with five riders (including Scarponi) crossing the line to set the best time so far. The Italian team have taken 1:10 off Androni, who themselves just took one second off AG2R's previous benchmark.

15:11 

Astana's Roman Kreuziger will be hoping for a good time from his team. The Czech was the highest placed of all the major GC contenders in the opening individual time trial, so he'll be in a decent position against his rivals tonight should Astana excel.

9km 

Rabobank are 12 seconds slower than leaders Katusha at the first 9km check. Interestingly, AG2R were the slowest at this first check, so they made up a lot of time on Euskaltel in the second part of the race.

33km

As Astana drop down the ramp, Euskaltel cross the line with just five riders. The orange Basque boys are 37 seconds slower than leaders AG2R.

33km

AG2R-La Mondiale drive down the cobbled finish straight, shredding a couple of men in the process. The French team are the only ProTour outfit not to notch a win in 2012. They set the target time of 38:49 for the 33.2km course.

9km

At the first check, Katusha have gone through fastest with a time of 10:03. Movistar are 6 seconds back and both Lampre and Farnese at 12 seconds.

22km

Lampre have gone through the second check, also at Nassar, at 22km with a 27 second lead over Androni. There are going to be some big time gaps today.

14:58

Today's stage starts in Piazza San Zeno and finishes in the spectacular Pizza Bra near the Roman arena. The 33.2km course will leave Verona, rise for a slightly technical climb and then descend through vineyards. The middle section includes a few roundabouts, then climbs slightly on narrow roads before the second check. It then returns to Verona, using the same road - meaning the teams will actually pass each other while racing.

14:55

Katusha down the ramp, followed by Movistar. The teams are running in reverse order, so the remainding outfits will leave thus: Team NetApp, Rabobank, Saxo Bank, Liquigas, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Vacansoleil-DCM, Sky, RadioShack, Orica-GreenEdge, BMC, Garmin.

9km

Current times at the first time check at Nassar, 9km: 1. Lampre 10:15, 2. Lotto +10, 3. Androni +14, 4. Euskaltel +29, 5. AG2R +32.

14:48 

Lotto Belisol, FDJ and Farnese Vini are all on the road now too. You can't miss the bright yellow boys of Farnese Vini, that's for sure.

14:45 

Lampre have set the fastest time at the first check so far. Times and details coming up.

14:40

So, who are the favourites today? You'd have to say Garmin-Barracuda have the best chance of winning, seeing that they placed five riders in the top 21 of Saturday's opening time trial. If they do win, then Alex Rasmussen could be in pink. Orica-GreenEdge and Team Sky should also figure, but it remains to be seen how race leader Taylor Phinney's BMC fare given the American's injured ankle.

14:38 

Scarponi will be keen not to lose more time today after his shambolic individial time trial on Saturday, in which he lost 30 seconds to rival Ivan Basso and finished in lowly 135th place amongst the also-rans

14:35

The Lampre team of defending champion Michele Scarponi are the fourth team to start. They have just left the ramp three minutes after the Androni Giocatolli outfit of much-maligned sprinter Roberto Ferrari, who caused that huge pile-up on Monday after taking out Mark Cavendish.

14:35 

After the cold of Denmark we have the heat of Italy: temperatures are around 25 degrees celsius in north Italy, with the sun out. The riders will like that.

14:30 

It's a largely flat course in and around Verona today, with a slight bump about 12km in. It's not very technical and there aren't many bends, so expect cruising speeds of around 60km/h.

14:30

The first team to start today's team time trial is the Ag2r-La Mondiale outfit of French climber John Gadret. They are now down the ramp, to be followed by Euskaltel in three minutes' time.

14:25 

A reminder of how we left things on Monday: Mark Cavendish suffered a nasty crash in the final sprint as Matthew Goss gave Orica GreenEdge their first win in a Grand Tour with victory on stage three of the Giro d'Italia in the Danish town of Horsens.

14:20

Welcome to live coverage of stage four of the Giro d'Italia, which is actually taking place in Italy of all places. Following a rest day on the back of three opening stages in Denmark, the riders now have a 33.2km TTT in Verona to ease themselves back into the race.