(CNN) -- Former winner Danilo Di Luca claimed an emotional home success in the Giro d'Italia fourth stage on Tuesday when the race headed into the mountains during a 165-kilometer stretch from Padova to San Martino di Castrozza.
Di Luca dedicated his stage victory at the Giro d'Italia to the victims of the Abruzzo earthquake.
Sweden's Thomas Lovkvist of Team Columbia inherited the race leader's pink jersey after his seventh place finish with Di Luca second overall and Lovkvist's team-mate Michael Rogers in third.
Di Luca, who was born in the province of Pescara, dedicated his seventh event stage success to the victims of the Abruzzo earthquake.
"Today I wanted to win for my land, the Abruzzo. I'm delighted to have acheived that," he said.
The 2007 champion shaded a final burst for the line involving compatriots Stefano Garzelli and Franco Pellizotti while overnight leader Alessandro Petacchi was left trailing after his sprint success.
Colombian Mauricio Soler looked set to take the stage inside the last 1.5-km until the Barloworld climber was swept up by a closing bunch, finally finishing fourth just ahead of former two-time champion Gilberto Simoni.
Giro debutant Lance Armstrong stayed with the chasing pack until the final kilometer, but the seven-time Tour de France champion appeared to struggle and slipped to sixth overall.
Astana team-mate Levi Leipheimer fared better, finishing sixth behind Italian Simoni.
Italian favorite Ivan Basso, of Liquigas, also remained in contention, finishing the stage in eighth place ahead of former two-time Tour of Spain winner Denis Menchov of Russia.