The day following the second day of rest, another difficult mountain stage was identified at Giro Peloton. The first refugees were kept within range until the candidates decided among themselves who the victory would be. We thought. But the powerful warrior Dan Martin proved at the age of 34 that he had not been written off yet, and after a wonderful effort, Joao Almeida halted the persistence. Egan Bernal spun out of control in the final kilometers and lost nearly a minute to Simon Yates. The gyro is not over yet.
How was the victory achieved?
In a very inconspicuous way. It had been a struggle to get out of the peloton for a long time, but when it finally did – a group of nineteen including three Belgians: Hermans, De Bondt, and Serry – the race seemed to be spurred on for today’s victory. Even the BikeExchange team took over at peloton. The lead never rose for more than five minutes, and with the two climbing twice more difficult in the final, the chances of a breakup visibly diminished. BikeExchange maintained its pace in peloton while the flagship group has already exploded its penultimate climb, Passo San Valentino.
On his recent ascent to Sega di Ala, Dan Martin fought for the longest and, against everyone’s expectations, kept the naive Irishman the Divorced Ranking Knights away. Almeida finished second and Simon Yates third. Bernal had to drop 53 inches against Simon Yates, who advanced to third in the standings.
Who else was in the spotlight?
Unfortunately also Remco Evenepoel. Our compatriot was released by a peloton on Passo San Valentino but is back right below the summit. Destiny struck again to drop. There was a downfall of Evinbol and our fellow countryman had nowhere to go. Deceuninck Rider – Quick Step dived onto the railing and was happily able to continue his path, but for his self-confidence on the slopes, this again wasn’t the best thing that could happen to him.
Once again I congratulate Dries de Bondt. The Belgian champion came first on top of the first climb, won the intermediate race and appeared to be well on his way to crowning himself as the most aggressive rider in this gyro. Cyclocross Racer Quinten Hermans was once again part of the right ride. For Peter Serry (Dikkonink – Quick Step) this was the first time he could be allowed to attack. In recent weeks, he has had to mainly worry about Remco Evenepoel’s fate.
What have you done my favorites?
Even Egan Bernal could afford to send a foreman – Gianni Moscone – on the early voyage. That is how luxurious it is. Or so it looked. The battle for pink appears to be fought, but the places behind it have a tough fight. Dan Martin (12) was in the leading group that inspired Formolo (11) to counter attack. And Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) clearly wanted more than to regain some time in the fight on the podium. He wanted to regain time and stage victory and thus quickly put his team to work. On the descent of Passo San Valentino, she breaks down with Giulio Ciccone, number six in the overall rating, as the top victim. In the same recent ascent, fourth-placed Russian Vlasov was the first to go to sea, followed shortly afterwards by Julio Ciccone. Halfway through the last ascent, Karthy and Bardet also went to sea. And then! Suddenly, the light also went out a little too with the pink shirt of Egan Bernal as Simon Yates sped up a few times. The first sign of Bernal’s weakness.
Anything else you should know?
Dan Martin is the 102nd contestant in history to win a stage in three Grand Tours. And how!
Geoffrey Bouchard hasn’t got his blue mountain shirt yet, but by debuting at Paso San Valentino, he’s made an important choice. And he had to work hard for it. The Frenchman initially had to leave the Moscon-Martin-Pedreiro trio, but he fought back in character in the leading group and took the full booty. His biggest opponent? Egan Bernal.