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"It was a shame that Tobias and Georg came down, as well as the others, they were feeling good today. Both recovered well and to finish under two minutes down is a sign of what they could have been capable of," Engels says

Photo: Team Giant-Shimano








15.05.2014 @ 19:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Giant-Shimano were keen to see what youngster Georg Preidler and Tobias Ludvigsson could do in today's summit finish of the Giro d'Italia but it all came to nothing when both went down in the big crash that split the field. Luckily they both escaped the incident without any serious injuries and they both bounced back to finish just behind the big chase group.


A late crash at the base of the final climb on the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia put an end to the hopes of a stage win for much of the peloton including Team Giant-Shimano. The first rider home for the team was Tobias Ludvigsson in 32nd position at just over one minute behind the stage winner.


After all the chaos with riders in groups up and down the road following the spill, the win eventually went to the overall race leader, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) after breaking away in a small group at the base of the climb.


Stage 6 was the second longest of the whole Giro at 247km and once again the weather gods were not shining on the riders with rain coming down for the sixth stage in a row. Four riders broke away early on and built up a lead of over 14-minutes but with just four riders out front on such a long stage they never looked like staying clear.


It was a steady day for Team Giant-Shimano until after the breakaway was caught in the final 20km with a large proportion of the peloton hitting the deck on a dicey section just before the final climb. This crash saw a few of the team come to grief, including Georg Preidler and Ludvigsson, but everyone was able to get back on and get going again without any real problems.


It did mean however that the race situation changed considerably and a small group pulled ahead of the bunch containing race leader Matthews. These riders ploughed on ahead and eventually finished with 49-seconds advantage over the first chase group. Ludvigsson finished just behind these chasers with Preidler recovering well from his fall to finish less than a minute behind Ludvigsson.


“Everything was going pretty smoothly today until the crash of course, then it was mayhem,” said Team Giant-Shimano coach Addy Engels who was in the first team car today. “The peloton was controlled and steady behind the four leaders and the guys were able to stay calm, sticking together and concentrating on the basics – eating and drinking, but still staying focused. Days like this are still important to keep learning and getting better at doing the basic but important things during a long race like a Grand Tour.


“After the crash it was chaos with riders everywhere. It was a shame that Tobias and Georg came down, as well as the others, they were feeling good today. Both recovered well and to finish under two minutes down is a sign of what they could have been capable of. But this is a long race and to be finishing as the young guys have been on these first uphill finishes sets them up well for the rest of the race when the stages become much harder.


“Stammie [Tom Stamsnijder] was feeling a bit better today after his stomach problems and was able to stay with the peloton to the base of the final climb them pace himself up. He’s getting better day by day now and with another good nights sleep he should be well on the road to recovery. Now we focus on tomorrow, another day and another opportunity for the team to do something.”



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