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Stage four of the Giro d'Italia saw the general classification race spark to life, and Team Qhubeka ASSOS' (www.TeamQhubeka.com) Domenico Pozzovivo able to test his climbing legs for the first time as he finished strongly in Sestola.
Pozzovivo crossed the line just over two minutes behind the day's winner and is now 20th in the general classification, just over two minutes behind the new maglia rosa, Alessandro de Marchi.
The stage was won by Joe Dombrowski in a late surge to the finish after a long, wet and cold day with Pozzovivo limiting his time loss to the main GC contenders in the final kilometre.
Earlier on it had been Victor Campenaerts who was among the early animators from the start in Piacenza and he spent the majority of the day in the breakaway before some of the sharp climbs took their toll in the latter stages.
Campenaerts and compatriot Quinten Hermans attacked from the start opening up a narrow gap which eventually saw 23 other riders join them in the day's breakaway, after which a trio rode away and nearly stayed away until the final stages.
Stage five from Modena to Cattolica is a flat 177km and should result in a bunch sprint with European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo once again taking the lead for Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
It was a hard stage because of the weather; five hours in the rain while the last 100km was all up and down and so you needed to be very focused throughout the stage to not make any mistakes in positioning, it was quite hard for me to hold my position in these conditions.
The feeling was not so bad but finally in the last kilometre when the GC guys, the best riders attacked, I just had to manage my own pace and I lost a few seconds. I think I can expect more in the next few days, my shape is not too bad and I think with the bad weather it (performance) was okay today.
We've just started this race and there are a lot of climbs in this first week, so we'll try to improve.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About Team Qhubeka ASSOS:
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is a purpose-led, high-performance team, fighting to win on the world's biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
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