Tour de Wallonie: Danilo Napolitano takes a second victory on stage four
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour de Wallonie: Danilo Napolitano takes a second victory on stage four

by Ben Atkins at 1:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Giacomo Nizzolo holds onto overall lead after another attacking day in the Ardennes

danilo napolitanoDanilo Napolitano (Acqua & Sapone) took his second victory in the 2012 Tour de Wallonie, as he outsrprinted the peloton at the end of the fourth stage between Huy and Oreye. The 31-year-old Italian - who had won the second stage of the race - beat Davide Appollonnio (Team Sky) into second place, just as he had done on stage two, with Klaas Lodewyck (BMC Racing) in third.

Despite missing out on the finish line bonus seconds, in 14th place, race leader Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) held on to his yellow jersey.

The hilly 207km stage began with the usual flurry of attacks, but none was able to stick in the early kilometres. Gianni Meersman (Lotto-Belisol) led the race over the first intermediate sprint, after 25.6km, ahead of Kevyn Ista ( Verandas). Nizzolo took third however, and took a single second bonus, which moved him ahead of second place Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM), who had been level on time.

Shortly afterwards though, Maurits Lammertink (Vacansoleil-DCM), Marco Haller (Katusha), Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-BigMat), Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Kévin Van Melsen (Accent Jobs-Willems Vérandas) escaped.

After 60km the six riders were 4’30” ahead of the peloton before Nizzolo’s RadioShack-Nissan team began to pull them back. With the gap less than a minute, and with just over 70km to go, Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) attacked from the peloton and tried to bridge across to the leaders.

In the break up ahead though, Lammertink crashed on a corner and, as Sijmens arrived at the same point, he came down too. Both riders were able to remount, but were pulled back by the peloton, which was now just 40 seconds back.

The next move came almost immediately from Bjorn Thurau (Europcar), and the German managed to bridge across to the five remaining leaders with 45km to go. The gap had reopened to 3’10” by this point, but RadioShack-Nissan began to close things down once again.

With 15km to go, and with the peloton on their heels, Haller tried repeatedly to escape his companions, but they were all back in the bunch with nine kilometres remaining. There were several attacks in the closing kilometres, but they were all closed down by the sprinters’ teams. Team Sky led into the final metres of the stage, but Napolitano was the fastest on the line once again.

Result stage 4
1. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
2. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Team Sky
3. Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
5. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team
7. Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
8. Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Crédit Agricole
9. Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin-Sharp
10. Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport-Biowanze

Standings after stage 4
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
2. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 1s
3. Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Katusha Team @ 2s
4. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto-Belisol @ 8s
5. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 10s
6. Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony @ 12s
7. Kevyn Ista (Bel) Verandas @ 13s
8. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
9. Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony @ 15s
10. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-BigMat


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