Giro d’Italia 2024: Stage 4 Preview – Sprint Showdown in Andora

Stage 4 of the 2024 Giro d’Italia unfolds over 190 km from Acqui Terme to Andora, tracing the Ligurian coast with a setup reminiscent of Milan-Sanremo. The stage promises a blend of scenic routes and strategic sprint opportunities, making it a day for the fast finishers to shine.

Route Analysis

The stage profile is predominantly flat, though it incorporates the Colle Melogno—an 8.8 km climb with a 4.3% average gradient—in the central section. Following the ascent, a lengthy descent leads to Savona, after which the route mirrors the familiar paths of Milan-Sanremo towards Andora. This transition introduces the potential for both strategic play and a high-speed pursuit towards the finish.

Final Kilometres

The concluding segment of the stage is mostly downhill after cresting Capo Mele. The riders will navigate mild bends before hitting the urban stretches of Andora. The final 800 metres are dead straight and perfectly flat, concluding on 8m wide tarmac that sets the stage for a dramatic sprint.

Contenders

  • Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek): With his extraordinary power and less taxing run-in to the finish, Milan is a top favourite. He narrowly missed out in the previous sprint and will be keen to capitalise on a route that suits his strengths better.
  • Tim Merlier (Soudal–Quick-Step): Fresh off a win on Stage 3, Merlier’s confidence and ability to navigate chaotic sprints make him a strong contender yet again.
  • Caleb Ewan (Jayco-Alula) and Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck): Both sprinters are looking for redemption after underperforming in Stage 3 and could find this less challenging parcours more to their liking.
  • Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease a Bike): Despite a modest debut in Grand Tour sprints, Kooij’s proven quality in smaller races could see him improve on his initial outing.
  • Ethan Vernon (Israel-Premier Tech) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty): Both had strong showings in the first sprint and will be ones to watch if the sprint unfolds as expected.

Tactical Insights

Teams with sprinters capable of handling short climbs will likely control the pace up the Colle Melogno to keep their leaders well-positioned. The descent and flat run to the finish will be crucial for setting up the sprint trains, with positioning in the final kilometres paramount to success.

This stage offers a classic sprint setup with a twist, courtesy of the coastal route and the short climbs that could shake up the sprinters’ rhythm. It’s a critical opportunity for sprinters to claim a stage win before the race hits more challenging terrain.

Andora

Prediction

The straight and flat finish in Andora is tailor-made for sprinters like Jonathan Milan, who can leverage his raw sprinting power in a drag race to the line. Expect Milan to edge out his rivals in what promises to be a fiercely contested sprint finish.

Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia is set to be a spectacular affair, combining the beauty of the Ligurian coastline with the thrill of high-speed, tactical sprinting.