Ukraine’s Yury Metlushenko (Amore e Vita-McDonald’s) won a mass sprint finish to claim the fourth stage of the Coppi e Bartali over 162.8km from Massa Finalese to Finale Emilia on Friday.
Metlushenko edged out Italian pair Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) in the bunch sprint.
Former Giro d’Italia winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) maintained his grip on the leader’s pink jersey ahead of Australian Cadel Evans, who is 28 seconds back, and Italian Massimo Giunti, at 32 seconds.
Sergio Lagana, Alessandro Fantini, Martin Hebik and Luca Fioretti broke clear of the peloton after 3km and held a lead of more than five minutes after 70km but were reeled back in with 14km left.
Thereafter the sprinters’ teams controlled the race and the pace to set up the finale.
Saturday’s final stage should see Cunego come under attack as it is an arduous 178.5km trek from Scandiano to Sassuolo.