Davide Formolo was the best finisher for Cannondale-Garmin on another fast and filthy day at the Giro d’Italia. The Italian crossed the line in 13th place in Vicenza, six seconds behind stage winner Phillippe Gilbert (BMC) and three seconds behind the five-rider maglia rosa group. Formolo’s strong ride is even more impressive given his involvement in a crash on the wet descent off the penultimate categorized climb during the final hour of the race.
“Davide crashed and immediately got back on his bike as quickly as he could,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “He did a super climb and an extremely good descent to get back on and really showed his class coming back like that on a day like today. It wasn’t easy to do. It was quite impressive. Andre Cordoso waited and helped Davide. Without Andre, it would have been really difficult for Davide to make it back to the front.”
Ryder Hesjedal was the second Cannondale-Garmin rider to make the elite front group selection.
“It was a really good ride in some really terrible conditions,” said Wegelius. “It was another tough day. A lot of teams rode very hard today. Add that to the weather and the nature of roads. It wasn’t easy.”
The pan-flat profile for the first 125km of the 180km day suggested that perhaps the peloton would enjoy a subdued start to the day. Those who anticipated a reprieve were in for a shock to the system.
“The first part of the stage was hotly contested,” Wegelius noted. “It took 70 kilometers to send the break away. There were a lot of guys in the peloton who thought they had a chance to get a good advantage. Tomorrow’s stage – it’s almost impossible to see the break making it, so everyone was trying today.”
Five riders eventually escaped up the road. The quintet had trouble stretching its advantage. The peloton reeled the group in on the slopes of the day’s first climb. From there, the roads were up or down until the finish.
“We were pretty confident that the race would be controlled by the stage-hunters or the GC teams, so we didn’t have interest in participating in the breakaway,” explained Wegelius. “As expected the GC teams came to the front. They rode extremely hard into the climbs.”
Several riders countered the catch of the breakaway, some in pursuit of mountain classification points. The relentless attacks kept the pace high and riders on alert as the peloton continued to disintegrate from the back. Under the flamme rouge, two riders had a slim advantage on the reduced bunch. Their lead was nullified in the finishing stretch as Gilbert lunged toward the line.
“It was another really good day for the team,” said Wegelius. “I’m happy with the work I see the team doing.”
The Giro d’Italia continues tomorrow with a flat 147km stage from Montecchio Maggiore to Lido di Jesolo. Stage 13 looks like a day for the sprinters on paper, but this Giro has repeatedly shown that anything can and will happen out on the road.
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