The German professional cyclist Lennard Kämna took the lead in the overall standings on the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico long-distance cycle race.

On the longest stage of the race at 218 kilometers, it was enough for the 26-year-old to place in the first chasing group to replace Italian Filippo Ganna. Primoz Roglic secured the day’s win. In the overall standings, Kämna is six seconds ahead of the Slovenian.

“I’m super happy to take over the overall classification,” said Kämna, adding with a view to the blue jersey: “It will be very, very difficult to defend that. It’s a beautiful snapshot. I’m very happy to wear it to be allowed.”

Roglic had the best legs in the sprint of a small leading group on the final hill and relegated former world champion Julian Alaphilippe to second place. Kämna reached the finish a few seconds later. “I fought for myself and tried to lose as little time as possible. It was a full-throttle fight in the end,” said the North German.

On Friday it will be difficult for Kämna to successfully defend the lead. The mountain finish at 1451 meters in Sarnano-Sassotetto should suit him, but Roglic is favoured. Kämna’s team Bora-hansgrohe also has two strong climbers at the start, the reigning Giro winner Jai Hindley and Alexander Wlassow, who are sixth and seventh in the overall standings.

Race website