Agonisingly close for Schmid
Victorious on the opening day of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, when he managed to hold off a strong chasing group after attacking 20 kilometers from the finish, Mauro Schmid was keen on making the most of the hilly local laps in Montecatini Terme, where stage 4 concluded, and once again rode all-out in what was another thrilling finale at the Italian race.
The day originally belonged to a breakaway until with ten kilometers to go, when the last member of that move was reeled in. As soon as that happened, Mauro burst away from the pack, was joined by one other rider and together they built a ten-second gap over the bunch. Two kilometers from the finish, the advantage continued to look promising, but the peloton mounted a strong chase and brought the duo back under the flamme rouge.
The victory went to Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), from a reduced bunch sprint, while Czech ITT Champion Josef Cerny finished as the best Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider, in 14th place.
Photo credit: ©Dario Belingheri / Getty Images