‘Battaglin wins Giro thriller, Paolini in pink’

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Enrico Battaglin claimed his maiden Giro d’Italia stage on Tuesday with fellow Italian Luca Paolini retaining the leader’s pink jersey on an epic, rain-hit day of racing over 246km from Policastro to Serra San Bruno.

Battaglin, who rides for the Bardiani team, surged out of a small group of survivors from the day’s second and last climb to raise his arms in triumph after nearly 6hr 15min of racing.

Paolini, who took the race lead with victory on stage three on Monday, was just behind and came over the finish line in the company of Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans and Ryder Hesjedal.

Another race favourite, Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins, however, lost time in the final kilometres of the stage, dropping from second place overall at 17sec to sit 34secs behind Paolini and now three seconds behind Nibali.