A good day for Jonathan Milan: the great hope of Italian cycling took the 4th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and the leader’s jersey in the general classification, Thursday in Giulianova (Italy). After his third place in the opening time trial on Monday and his second place on Wednesday, Milan, 23, hit the mark.

The strong man from the Lidl-Trek team became the first Italian since Elia Viviani in 2019 to win a stage of the “Race of the Two Seas”, excluding a time trial. But the 2021 Olympic team pursuit champion has come a long way: by his own admission, he was “in great difficulty” in the main difficulty of the day, the ascent of Valico di Castelluccio (1,521 m).

With the support of his teammates, Milan returned to the peloton, but he had to wait until the last 200 m of a 207 km long stage to absorb the final escape, the Norwegian Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X).

The Belgian Jasper Philipsen, winner of the 2nd stage on Tuesday, started the sprint, but was surprised on the line by Milan, third place going to the New Zealander Corbin Strong. “More than a personal victory, it’s a team victory, I owe it to my teammates who stayed by my side when it was difficult and who started the sprint perfectly,” explained Milan.

“The final was very difficult and very intense, I had achieved some great things in recent days and we wanted to do something big today. I didn’t expect to wear this leader’s jersey but I’m going to enjoy it,” continued the man who won a stage of the Tour of Italy last year.

Second in the general classification at the start of the stage, six seconds behind Juan Ayuso, he took on the blue leader’s jersey six seconds ahead of the Spaniard. But the 5th stage, 144 km long with the difficult San Giacomo (1,160 m) twenty kilometers from the finish, should reshuffle the general cards. Discreet until then, the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, fifth in the event 26 seconds behind Milan, has the ideal opportunity to attack.