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"His performance was in line with what we were expecting from him prior to the Giro, which of course will be super difficult. It's also a good performance considering this is his first race after a period without competition."

Photo: Sirotti






02.05.2015 @ 21:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran finished 8th (+53") in the 166.1km 5th Stage of Tour de Romandie on Saturday, which puts him in 6th GC (+1'01") going into the final 17.3km ITT on Sunday.


Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) won the stage solo, 7 " ahead of Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and 20" ahead of Romain Bardet (AG2R - La Mondiale). Bardet was in a group along with many GC favorites such as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Chris Froome (Sky), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Simon Spilak (Katusha). Zakarin is the new race leader after the queen stage from Fribourg to a Category 1 summit finish on Champex-Lac (14.2km, 7% average gradient, max ramp 13%). There was an abundance of rain on the final climb.


The action that decided the race, and shook up the GC, began as a select group formed with 7km to go. Quintana, Uran, and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) went to the front, and a few accelerations by Quintana dropped some riders as the race progressed. Then several attacks by Bardet started to further split up the group. Zakarin was able to get a gap with him with a little more than 5.1km to go. Pinot decided to attack with 4.9km to go, and it would be that move that won the stage. Meanwhile, Froome accelerated out of the elite selection. Uran and Nibali were unable to stay with the pace. Michele Scarponi (Astana) was also there with the two riders who lost contact with the select group. Pinot remained solo until the finish with only Zakarin within seconds of the French rider, and the Froome group finishing next.


Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to the final Stage 6 ITT in Lausanne on Sunday. This time trial will be one for the powerful specialists, as there is only 230m of climbing in the middle of the parcours. The rest of the stage is flat, with no technical concerns. There is no doubt three-time UCI World ITT Champion Tony Martin is eyeing this stage, and Uran will look to also contest the stage and move up in the GC in the process.


"Today was an important test in function of the Giro d'Italia," Sport Director Davide Bramati said. "Rigo stayed with the best almost until the end. His performance was in line with what we were expecting from him prior to the Giro, which of course will be super difficult. It's also a good performance considering this is his first race after a period without competition.


"As for the rest of the team, everyone did their job. We have a few guys who will also ride the Giro along with with Rigo. So even they well considering. All our guys did what we expected from them today, so we are happy.


"Tomorrow there is a time trial and we will try to do well with Tony and also with Rigo, to try to defend his position in the GC."



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