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"I am very motivated because everyone in Colombia is following me. For them I give the maximum, so I am very happy to win both mountain points today for the maglia azzura. It’s very important for me," Arredondo says

Photo: Sirotti






21.05.2014 @ 18:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian Arredondo showed that he intends to keep the mountains jersey in the Giro d'Italia when he scored maximum points on both climbs in today's 11th stage. In the end, the Colombian had hoped to do the sprint but had to settle for 11th.


Julian Arredondo, tranquil and recovering the last few days, appeared with his normal pugnacious panache for stage 11, winning both category two climbs to take the maximum points. He now has 75 points and a hefty lead in the mountain jersey classification.


“That was a big effort, now I am really tired again," he said." It was a very long and hot day. In the last kilometers Riccardo [Zoidl] was working for me for the sprint but I didn’t have anything left.


"I am very motivated because everyone in Colombia is following me. For them I give the maximum, so I am very happy to win both mountain points today for the maglia azzura. It’s very important for me.”


The 249-kilometer medium mountain stage changed little in the overall standings, but it was a day where the GC leaders still needed to be attentive with the pair of tough ascents, one in the early part of the stage, and one topping out 28 kilometers from the finish.


It was the second climb, Naso di Gatto (the cat’s nose), where the heated action began. The early 14-man escape group was caught at the bottom and Julian Arredondo attacked to crest the 8-kilometer climb solo. His effort gained him the valuable mountain points, but with still 28 kilometers to go, and the peloton close on his heels over the top, he was easily swallowed on the backside.


It was a plucky effort on the descent by Australian Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) that proved to be the winning move. He soloed in for a breath-taking win while behind Riccardo Zoidl abetted other teams in a thrilling chase, but to no avail. Arredondo sprinted to 11th, while Robert Kiserlovksi finished in 25th,  also in the same time.


“Everyone knew that today was a day for a breakaway and so everyone tried - it was a crazy speed at the start," sports director Ariano Baffi said. "For us, our strategy was to put [Fabio] Felline or [Fumy] Beppu in the break, and we tried full gas for that, but it was not possible. In the end the breakaway was under control so we focused on the final.


"Julian attacking was not for the points, but to activate the race. But he took the points so that made his position in the mountains jersey stronger. There was about 35-40 together at the finish and we believed that Julian could be good in the sprint so we had Riccardo help to try and close the gap.”


The first of two individual time trials is scheduled for tomorrow’s twelfth stage. It is the first vital test between the GC contenders ahead of the more difficult mountain stages still to come. Robert Kiserlovski, currently in 9th overall, will hope to have speedy legs for the decisive race against the clock.


“Tomorrow is one of the most important days for the GC," Baffi said. "Riccardo is very tired, but he is improving a lot, and from what I saw him do in Romandie, we hope he can make the top 15. For Robert, well, it’s simple: he needs to do the TT of his life. [Ivan] Basso is starting just in front of him and that will be a good reference.”



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