LAGO LACENO, Italy (AP) — Aurélien Paret-Peintre won the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday for his first Grand Tour stage victory, while Andreas Leknessund took the leader’s pink jersey from pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel.
Leknessund, who rides for Team DSM, became only the second Norwegian cyclist to hold the pink jersey and the first in 42 years.
“It’s super special,” Leknessund said. “Obviously I went for the stage and also knew that pink was possible. I had one attack where I went all-in to drop him and I made it but he came back. And my legs were hurting so much, but it’s super special to be in the pink.
“That was the goal before the stage but as everyone knows it’s hard, cycling is not so easy and to actually make it is unbelievable.”
The 23-year-old Leknessund attacked from a breakaway at the end of the 175-kilometer (109-mile) route from Venosa to Lago Laceno, as the Giro hit the mountains in a stage with hardly any flat sections.
Paret-Peintre was the only one who could follow the Norwegian on the second-category climb up Colle Moella and, after catching him, the Frenchman crossed the summit slightly ahead of Leknessund.
They rode together toward the finish but Paret-Peintre launched his sprint with 150 meters remaining and had time to sit up and raise his arms over his head as he crossed the line two seconds ahead of Leknessund.“My main objective this year was the Giro,” said Paret-Peintre, who rides for AG2R Citroën Team. […]
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