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"He showed on the final climb that he was the strongest in the break, something very promising for him at just 23-years-old and after a hard 10 days of racing," Reef says

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano

GEORG PREIDLER

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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SIMON GESCHKE

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TEAM SUNWEB

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21.05.2014 @ 18:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giant-Shimano may be mostly known for their sprinting but today they proved that they have some promising climbers as well when Simon Geschke sprinted to second and Georg Preidler animated the race in stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia. The latter was the longest surviving member of the early breakaway, nearly kept up with Julian Arredondo on the final climb and finally did his best to reel in Rogers in time for the sprint.

 

Simon Geschke has sprinted to second place on the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia, winning the sprint from a select lead group behind a lone leader that had formed over a tough 249km stage. Geschke was set in position at the end of the stage by teammate Georg Preidler who had spent most of the day in the breakaway up the road before being caught by a small front group on the descent of the final climb of the day.

 

After Preidler’s group was swallowed up, Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) took off on his own to solo his way to the line while behind Preidler tried valiantly to close the gap but without much help from others it was a step too far for the young Austrian. He did enough to keep the pace high for Geschke to position himself at the front in the run in behind Preidler before taking the sprint for second place.

 

Today’s 11th stage was, before stage 6 was diverted, the longest stage of the race but the peloton was in no mood to ease its way into the action. The pace was high from the off with most teams wanting to be in the breakaway as the stage presented a strong opportunity for an escape to succeed. The first hour saw over 48km covered and it wasn’t until the second category Passo Cento Croci after over 50km that the first splits started to form. Initially a group of 26 riders moved clear with Geschke there for Team Giant-Shimano but this was nullified as the road kept going upwards.

 

A crash on the descent saw some panic in the peloton as the race split but the BMC team of race leader Cadel Evans worked to bring it back together. Once regrouped Preidler was on the alert and jumped with a strong move of 14 to get a gap. This soon established an advantage and was the move of the day. Their lead went out to a maximum of five minutes but they constantly had to work had to maintain their gap as the bunch was chasing hard behind.

 

On the final climb of the day the break splintered and riders attacked from the bunch to come across before riding straight past. Preidler showed his strength here to follow these attackers as they came across, crossing over the top of the climb in second place with just 29km to race. The front two groups came back together here and Preidler was soon joined by Geschke in what was a select front group containing all the overall favourites.

 

Rogers attacked on the descent and soon got a 30 second advantage before any real chasing started. Not many teams were interested in bringing it back and it was up to Preidler and a few others to pull turns on the front to try to close down the gap but this proved too much in the end with Rogers holding a 10 second lead on the line over Geschke who led in the front group with a strong finishing sprint to the line.

 

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Marc Reef said after the stage: “Second is a nice result for Simon and the team but although he was close, the win was still quite far off in the end. It was a strong finish from the two and a great show of strength by Georg to keep pulling at the end for Simon after all his efforts in the break.

 

“The stage was a tough one today, getting off to a really fast start. The guys were attentive and covered the moves to make sure we were represented and it was eventually Georg’s move that stuck. He showed on the final climb that he was the strongest in the break, something very promising for him at just 23-years-old and after a hard 10 days of racing.

 

“Simon fought hard to get back on the descent of the final climb but once he was back Georg started working for him. It was an impressive ride and the team were at the heart of the action today so second is a near just reward.”

 

“The distance and profile of the stage suited me today, it was almost like a classic,” Geschke added. “Georg did an amazing job for me in the final. I had to go really deep on the final climb and even lost contact at one point but I managed to get back on down the descent and after that Georg just rode and rode and rode, showing the strength and talent that he has. The stage win would of course have been incredible but I am happy to have taken second.”

 

Luka Mezgec, who finished safely in the grupetto on the day, said on Twitter: “Super happy for my roomie @simongeschke to take 2nd! Such a nice guy! Also incredible performance of @PREIDI in the break! #Giro”

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