12/05/15 - 7:10 PM
Chiavari - La Spezia
Giro d'Italia • Stage4

Chiavari - La Spezia
Giro d'Italia - 12 May 2015

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 19:10 on 12 May 2015. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Porte is in 10th place at 37 seconds, while Uran has dropped to 14th at 1:11. The Colombian came home in a second chasing group today, 42 seconds behind his big three rivals in Contador, Aru and Porte. Thanks for joining us today and see you tomorrow for the race's first mountaintop finish at Abetone.


So, comfirmation of the new top five: 1. Clarke, 2. Chaves +10, 3. Kreuziger +17, 4. Contador +17, 5. Aru +23.


Aerial replays show Clarke with his hands in his air before Visconti pats him on the back and tells him that Formolo's already won... Still, the maglia rosa is still quite a haul for the Australian climber.


Monsalve took third place with all those GC big guns - Aru, Contador and Porte - finishing in the main chasing group. What a day on the Giro.


Simon Clarke wins the sprint for second place - and the Orica-GreenEdge rider thinks he's won the stage! But those celebrations are not for nothing: he'll be in the pink jersey tonight...


Victory for Davide Formolo in La Spezia!


Under the kite for the young Italian - he can almost smell the victory now...


Moinard and Visconti have been caught, but Formolo is riding his way into the record books.


The GC is going to be turned on its head tonight, with Chaves or Clarke in pink provided they can hold on. Just 30 seconds for Formolo now.


Just 22 years old, Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) could well win a stage in his first Giro. He's never won as a professional but has been tipped for future stardom.


There's a fair bit of chatter in the chasing group, who are probably baffled as to how the big GC favourites found their way back into the fray. Formolo still rides solo on this descent with Moinard and Visconti in pursuit. He has about 35 seconds, while the Aru-Contador-Porte group are 12 seconds back on the two chasers.


Formolo still leads, with Visconti and Moinard in pursuit. The Italian crosses the summit of the Baissa with a gap of 33 seconds over the chasing duo. The Contador group pass over at 49 seconds. Aru has joined forces with Cataldo on the front for this descent.


ATTACK: Fabio Aru attacks for Astana, prompting a reply from both Alberto Contador and Richie Porte! Amazing stuff - this is a showdown of the race's big guns. And the trio catch the chasing group, with Jurgen van den Broeck in tow.


Formolo is riding like a man possessed - and perhaps towards a maiden Giro stage win in his debut race.


Formolo is clearly feeling sharp because the youngster is opening a gap on Moinard and Visconti on this climb. And back with the peloton, Contador is down to no helpers after Mick Rogers blows on this final climb.


Moinard and Visconti combine to lead the chase on Formolo just ahead of the Cat.3 climb to Biassa. So, BMC and Movistar each playing one of their cards.


Andrey Zeits has been caught by the pack, and instead of being spat out as you'd expect, he's pulling hard on the front for Astana. Meanwhile, Italian tyro Davide Formolo has broken clear for Cannondale-Garmin. Interesting that he attacked before the climb... time will tell is it's a wise choice.


The 14 leaders are: Monsalve, Moinard, Amador, Formolo, Monfort, Puccio, Atapuma, Chaves, Clarke, Visconti, Siutsou, Cataldo, Kreuziger and Colbrelli.


The bell sounds as the leading group crosses the finish line. Cataldo was on the front alongside Visconti. The Astana-led main 'peloton' crosses the line 1:40 down, setting the scene perfectly for the next half an hour of racing. Contador still only has Rogers, while Porte seems to have but one or two riders. Uran, remember, lost his second Etixx team-mate today with the retirement of Meersman.


After a zippy descent, the leaders are entering La Spezia and will soon cross the finish line ahead of the final circuit - which includes that climb. The gap is just two minutes now.


The 'peloton' has been reduced to less than 30 riders such is Astana's infernal tempo - and there's still one more climb to go! The gap is less than three minutes now for the leading group, which is starting to splinter up as the riders get nervous ahead of today's finale.


The riders are almost on the 17km finish circuit around La Spezia, the home town of Alessandro Petacchi. With the cut-off time estimated to be around 25 minutes today, Ale-Jet may have his work cut out to stay in the race, alongside a whole cluster of other suffering riders out there...


Monsalve is back with the leading group now, so we have 14 riders with just 3:15 over the pack, which is bring driven along at an infernal pace by Astana. To think that the gap was the best part of nine minutes now so long ago. As for Matthews, he's in a group nine minutes off the back! Brutal devastation on the Ligurian coast.


Andrey Zeits (Astana) has called it a day. He's worked incredibly hard today and will now be caught and swallowed by the pack. Astana still have Dario Cataldo in the lead group. Meanwhile, Franco Pellizotti has completely hit the wall. It looks like the Androni veteran has cramp. He's caught and passed by Zardini and Montaguti, refusing a bottle from Zardini in the process, and is then attended to by his manager Gianni Savio. He, too, will be caught by the peloton soon at this rate.


Jonathan Monsalve (Southeast) broke clear of the leaders on the last downhill segment and now has 10 seconds to play with on a small climb ahead of the final categorised climb of the day. The peloton is now just 4:20 back. It's not likely, but not inconceivable, that the race will come back together before the end - which would be an indictment for all the crazy action that has taken place since the start...


Today's undulating route was always an open invitation for some interesting racing, but it really has been quite intriguing out there. To recap, Michael Matthews, the pink jersey, is now about five minutes behind the peloton and so he is waving goodbye to his maglia rosa. But with two team-mates in the break - Chaves and Clarke - the race lead could still lie with Orica-GreenEdge tonight. In the pack, Astana drive the pace, while Alberto Contador has just one team-mate left, in Mick Rogers. But it could still yet be smiles for Tinkoff-Saxo, who have Roman Kreuziger in the main group and poised to pounce.


Those two leading groups have come back together on this descent so we have 15 riders out ahead: Zeits, Moinard, Amador, Formolo, Montfort, Puccio, Atapuma, Chaves, Monsalve, Visconti, Colbrelli, Clarke, Siutsou, Cataldo and Kreuziger. The Pellizotti-Montaguti-Zardani trio is still chasing back. The peloton rides at 5:55.


Astana have ridden a very clever race today, with men ahead and, now, a fierce pace to isolate Alberto Contador, who only has Mick Rogers left alongside him.


The gap back to the peloton has tumbled to under six minutes now, such is the pace of the Astana team. The six leaders have 25 seconds on the second group, with a Pellizotti-Zardiani-Montaguti trio chasing a further minute back.


So, to recap, we have six riders out ahead: Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), Moinard (BMC), Amador (Movistar), Puccio (Sky), Monfort (Lotto Soudal) and Zeits (Astana). They have 30 seconds over the chasing group.


The likes of Kreuziger, Siutsou, Chaves and Clarke are still in the second chasing group. The GreenEdge pair just need to stay with Kreuziger to ensure the pink jersey stays inside their team today.


Colbrelli has been dropped by the leading group, which is now six strong. Pellizotti has been distanced by the chasing group. There are so many plots and subplots playing out today, it's quite staggering.


Aru, Contador, Porte and Uran are all there in this whittled-down peloton. Aru has four Astana team-mates, Porte has two Sky team-mates (with two up the road, like Astana), but Contador has just the one... They trail the leaders by eight minutes.


The peloton has completely blown apart on this climb, with Michael Matthews, the pink jersey, one of the many riders to be distanced. Jon Izagirri and Ryder Hesjedal have also been dropped, Henao too. It's Astana who have done the damage with their hefty pace-setting.


The leaders are now onto the second categorised climb of the day, the Cat.3 Passo del Termine. The eight-man leading group has split up completely, with Zeits, Colbrelli, Moinard and Amador leading. Puccio is chasing them down and manages to make the connection. Monfort and Formolo will soon catch them.


Astana have now brought six riders to the front of the peloton to lead the chase into the feedzone. The gap is down to 7:50. It will certainly come down before the finish, but the break should stay out all the way. Weening has just been caught by the pack.


We now have eight riders leading the race with a gap of 25 seconds over the remaining 20 escapees. They are: Montaguti, Zeits, Colbrelli, Moinard, Amador, Haga, Puccio and Keizer.


News coming through that Gianni Meersman of Etixx-QuickStep has abandoned. The Belgian was dropped on the first climb of the day and has been suffering in the saddle since a heavy crash yesterday. Talking of crashes, everyone will be relieved to hear that Domenico Pozzovivo has been released from hospital following his horror crash yesterday. The Italian fell heavily on his face and has severe facial trauma, but remarkably he suffered no broken bones.


It looks like Colbrelli just pips Keizer for the intermediate points and time bonus seconds, despite a late charge from the Dutchman. Moments later, Chad Haga has to skid and then mount a piece of traffic island in a bid to avoid disaster on the tight right-hander.


Visconti and Keizer have joined Colbrelli and Moinard on the front of the race as the leaders descent towards the coast and the town of Levanto, where we will have the second intermediate sprint of the day.


Attack by Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani-CSF. There's no response until Amael Moinard finally jumps on the pedals in pursuit of the Italian. He watches him as they go over the top of this climb. They will drop down to the coast for the TV intermediate sprint ahead of the second categorised climb of the day. The peloton is 8:35 back.


Visconti and Formolo have a dig, but it's covered by Moinard and once again the leading group is back together. Two Sky riders there in Puccio and Siutsou, two Astana riders in Zeits and Cataldo and two GreenEdge riders in Chaves and Clarke, who were on the offensive yesterday. But the dangerman is the solitary Tinkoff-Saxo rider, Roman Kreuziger.


Montaguti has dropped Pellizotti and is now being chased down by Amael Moinard of BMC. But it will all probably come back together soon. Yes, it does.


Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin) have ridden clear in pursuit of Montaguti and Pellizotti. They're onto a small climb ahead of the descent to the feed zone. We'll then have the second of three categorised climbs.


The two riders from that second group who were dropped before the leaders came together were Alessandro Bisolti (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge). They're still in no-man's land.


Tom Danielson has an issue with his chain and has been dropped by the break on this descent. Tinkoff-Saxo have two men on the front of the pack, ahead of a cluster of Etixx-QuickStep riders, and then another yellow fluo block.


Pellizzoti and Montaguti crest the summit with a small lead over the other escapees. They gap back to the peloton is now 8:15. Keizer is back with the leaders after his collision.


CRASH: Keizer collides with a young spectator on the side of the road. He's back on his bike, but the fan is being atended by the race doctor. Let's hope they're ok.


Maxim Monfort of Lotto-Soudal momentarily rode clear of the break - primarily because this group is disorganised and too big. Once back, a spliter move came from Pellizotti and Montaguti, who have stolen a mark on the other escapees. Meanwhile, Kreuziger is back with his team car picking up a bidon and having a chat with his directeur sportive.


The Kreuziger chasing group have caught the Cataldo/Pellizotti group and so we have around 29 riders leading the race with over 10 minutes on the peloton.


The Etixx-QuickStep team of Rigoberto Uran - runner-up for the past two years - sets the pace in the peloton alongside Tinkoff-Saxo.


It's Kreuziger who's riding hard and leading the chase for the second group, which has shed a few riders as the gradient gets a little steeper. They're on the Passo del Bracc, which isn't categorised, but it's no stroll in the park either. The gap is 1:15 now, with the peloton another 9 minutes back.


Tinkoff-Saxo have men on the front of the peloton working hard - which is odd, given Kreuziger's position further up the road. Perhaps they're concerned that the Czech rider may get too much time on his team-mate Alberto Contador, then make things complicated in the coming days...


With the peloton another eight minutes back on the chasing group, we have a fascinating situation on the road. Should these groups come together, Kreuziger would be a big danger man. It seems Orica-GreenEdge are prepared to relinquish Matthews' pink jersey today - but are banking on either Clarke or Chaves taking it.


The 14 riders in the chasing group are: Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF), Maxim Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Simoni Stortoni (Androni-Giocattoli), Alessandro Bisolti (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi), Estaban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), Sergey Lagutin (Katusha), Salvatore Puccio (Teak Sky), Kanstantin Siutsou (Team Sky), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo). They trail the leaders by two minutes.


Cataldo manages to bridge the gap and so we now have a leading group of 17 riders as the road starts to edge uphill again. They have three minutes over the chasing group of 14 riders - and a huge 10 minutes over the peloton.


Astana's Dario Cataldo - formerly of Team Sky - is riding 'chasse patate' between the two leading groups and it looks like he will soon join team-mate Zeits in the first group.


CORRECTION: So, Simon Clarke's presence in this group means that he - and not Kreuziger - is the virtual maglia rosa, because the Australian is currently second on GC, six seconds behind his team-mate Matthews.


Once Zardiani was reeled in, the leading break split into two towards the bottom of the long, gradual descent. The 16 leading riders are: Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani), Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida), Andrey Amador and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Jonathan Monsalve and Mauro Finetto (Southeast).


A crash in the peloton brings down Calvin Watson and Eugenio Alafaci of Trek Factory Racing and Tinkoff-Saxo's Chris Juul Jensen. Nothing too serious, and they are all on their way.


So, Kreuziger is still there - making him very much the danger man for Orica-GreenEdge and the current pink jersey, Michael Matthews. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider is currently in fifth place on GC, 17 seconds down - and the highest placed rider who does not belong to the Australian Orica team, who won Saturday's opening team time trial.


Confirmed riders in this break are: Franco Pelizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) Andrey Amador (Movistar), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Mauro Finetto (Southeast), Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Kanstantsin Sioutsou (Team Sky), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Simone Stortoni (Androni Giocattoli), Dario Cataldo (Team Sky), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Sylwester Szmyd (CCC Sprandi), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom Danielson (Cannnondale-Garmin), Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin), Sergey Lagutin (Katusha), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky).


Zardini took the points at the top of the first climb - as he did yesterday. The Italian clearly has his sights set on the blue mountains jersey, which Russia's Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) secured yesterday. Kochetkov, sensing the threat, attacked from the podium and is trying to catch the escapees.


Those four riders were pegged back before Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) broke clear, chased by Pellizotti. One of the big name riders in the break was Roman Kreuziger of Tinkoff-Saxo, although the Czech soon dropped back to the peloton.


The men in orange from CCC Sprandi Polkowice forced an early break with around 10 riders managing to break clear. That break then split on the climb, with Franco Pelizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Andrey Zeits (Astana) and Mauro Finatto (Southeast) edging clear.


We pick up the race with 110km remaining and it's been all action, with a leading group holding a 15 second advantage over a chasing group, and the peloton just over three minutes back. We'll now run through what happened over the first 40km, which included the first of two Cat.3 climbs.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia - an undulating 150km ride from Chiavari to La Spezia featuring multiple peaks and three categorised climbs.