The German Lennard Kämna sang victory on Tuesday in the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia played on the slopes of Mount Etna, while the Spanish Juan Pedro López took over the general leadership after the first day of the Italian round in the country.

Kämna, a rider for the Bora-Hansgrohe team, had enough time to raise his arms as he crossed the finish line just ahead of López.

Both staged a breakaway at the start of the stage, accompanied by Estonian Rein Taaramäe, who finished third at the end of the 172-kilometre (107-mile) distance from Avola, culminating in a climb up the volcano. It was the first big test of this year’s edition.

“It was a very tough day, especially the last climb,” said Kämna. “I thought it was over when Lopez was more than 30 seconds behind. When I caught him it was probably a tacit agreement, the stage for me and the pink jersey for him. I’m happy to have won a stage, it also takes a lot of pressure off the team”.

It was the second stage win on a grand tour for Kämna. The 25-year-old rider scored a partial victory in the Tour de France in 2020.

López took as a consolation to remain as general leader. He displaced Mathieu van der Poel, who had worn the pink jersey since he won the first stage in Hungary.

The 24-year-old Spaniard is 39 seconds ahead of Kämna and 58 over Taaramäe.

“I have worked hard all day to get the pink jersey,” said the Trek-Segafredo team rider. “I attacked on the hardest part of the climb, but Kämna managed to come back less than 3km. I tried to fight for success, but it was very difficult to win. I am very happy to have the pink jersey, I don’t know how long I will keep it, but I will enjoy it”.

Almost all of the contenders for the title crossed the finish line together, although the Colombian Miguel Ángel López — one of the favorites to win the stage and the overall victory — abandoned the Giro after suffering in the first kilometers of ascent due to a soreness in the back. left hip that he suffered at the beginning of the race.

Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) is 11th, 2:06 behind Kämna.

The race will remain in Sicily for its fifth stage on Wednesday, a 174-kilometre (108-mile) course between Messina and Catania, including two second-category climbs before the halfway point.

The Giro will end on May 29 in Verona.

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