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“Our goal for today’s stage was to ride for Simon, with Georg having a free role at the end to test his legs. The team focused on getting Simon, Georg, Tobias and Albert Timmer in position at the base of the first climb up the f...

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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TOBIAS LUDVIGSSON

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14.05.2014 @ 19:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After yesterday's disappointment where a dropped chain for Luka Mezgec saw the team miss a great opportunity, Giant-Shimano bounced back with a solid showing in less favourable terrain on today's fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia. The team played a prominent role in the hectic battle for position and even though leader Simon Geschke faded in the end, they ended the stage with a sense of accomplishment.

 

Atop the first hill-top finish of the 97th Giro d’Italia, Georg Preidler was the first Team Giant-Shimano rider home, finishing in 16th place. Tobias Ludvigsson and Simon Geschke were not far behind, finishing in 31st and 33rd respectively.

 

The finish came at the top of an eight kilometre drag to the line where the first major splits of the race occurred in the peloton. The eventual stage winner was Diego Ulissi (Lampre) withh a well timed sprint to jump out of the front group at the finish in Viggiano after 203km of racing.

 

The race started in dry conditions but the weather kept threatening to break and in the latter stages of the day it finally did, with more testing conditions on the descent off the first of two ascents of the finishing climb.

 

The day’s breakaway slipped away with relative ease and was formed of 11 riders, but their advantage never grew to much more than five minutes over the chasing peloton who were in no mood to hang around.

 

Team Giant-Shimano spent a relatively calm day making sure they stayed in position and out of trouble before the end of the stage and they managed this well, getting Geschke, Preidler and Ludvigsson up into position at the bottom of the final climb of the day. Geschke was well placed in fifth wheel coming into the final kilometre but as the road went up along with the pace he slipped back and had to let the leaders fight out the stage.

 

Preidler came through from further back to finish in the top 20, finishing in the first group, one second back on the stage winner, while Ludvigsson and Geschke finished 23 and 27 seconds back respectively.

 

Tom Stamsnijder, who was having stomach troubles on yesterday’s fourth stage, came home safely within the time limit. Overnight race leader, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) finished in the front group and retains the Maglia Rosa for another day.

 

Team Giant Shimano coach, Marc Reef explained how the day went for the team, saying: “Our goal for today’s stage was to ride for Simon, with Georg having a free role at the end to test his legs.

 

“The team focused on getting Simon, Georg, Tobias and Albert Timmer in position at the base of the first climb up the finishing hill. They did this well and only Albert lost ground over the top. On the final hill Simon just faded at the end, finishing just behind the first group with Tobias, while Georg rode well to finish in the top 20.

 

“I’m really pleased with how the guys bounced back from a disappointing day for them yesterday and refocused on getting the job done today. And Tom S rode a really gutsy ride after losing contact about 60km to go with the same stomach issues as yesterday. He hung in there and paced himself to finish within the time limit on a hard, wet day.”

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