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UAE Team Emirates’ climber Jan Polanc won stage four, the first of the mountain stages, solo at the 100th Giro d’Italia. Polanc also claimed the Blue Jersey (Maglia Azzurra) and will wear it on Wednesday May 10, 2017 as the leader in the mountains classification.

The Slovenian climber, who had previously claimed a stage win in the 2015 Giro, had recently undergone altitude training on Mount Etna in preparation alongside teammates Rui Costa and Simone Petilli.

“I am elated and so happy” said the 25-year old UAE Team Emirates’ rider Jan Polanc who had just celebrated his birthday on May 2. “Today’s stage was very demanding and the climb was challenging, especially after having been in the front of the peloton for most of the stage. Towards the end I was exhausted however was determined to give it everything I had. I would like to thank the team, management and sponsors for their unwavering support. I underwent altitude training on Mount Etna back in March and April and it feels nice to be back here with a victory. I will proudly wear the Maglia Azzura and hope I can retain it for the remainder of the Giro. After 2015, to repeat the victory on the first mountain stage, it’s incredible for me – I’m really happy.”

The fifth stage of the three-week long race starts in Pedara and takes in 159 km finishing in Messina. After the start in Pedara the road soon becomes hilly as riders reach the first climb – the Formazzo, 824 metres high with a maximum gradient of 4.9%. The second half of the route is flat with an intermediate sprint for riders to earn points for the Sprinter’s Jersey.

Stage result

1 POLANC Jan UAE TEAM EMIRATES 4h 55′ 58″ 0′ 00″
2 ZAKARIN Ilnur TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 19″
3 THOMAS Geraint TEAM SKY 29″
4 PINOT Thibaut FDJ s.t.

5 CATALDO Dario ASTANA PRO TEAM s.t.

General classification

1 JUNGELS Bob QUICK-STEP FLOORS 19h 41′ 56″ 0′ 00″
2 THOMAS Geraint TEAM SKY 06″
3 YATES Adam ORICA – SCOTT 10″
4 NIBALI Vincenzo BAHRAIN – MERIDA s.t.

5 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R LA MONDIALE s.t.