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"It was like I was doing a mountain time trial. At 3 km from the top I caught the break, but at the end I paid for that effort. Also on the last climb my allergies were kicking in," Losada says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

ALBERTO LOSADA

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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30.05.2014 @ 11:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With a focus on stage wins, Katusha found themselves in a poor position when they had missed the break that went away on Passo San Pellegrino in stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia. Alberto Losada did a fantastic job to bridge the gap but on the final climb he paid for his efforts.

 

As the 97th Giro d’Italia moves into the final days of this year’s Italian tour, there are still a number of mountains in the way before seeing the finish line in Trieste on Sunday. Today’s serving of climbs was three, including the category 1 climb of the Rifugo Panarotta at the finish.  Team Katusha’s Alberto Losada found himself chasing on the first climb before joining a large breakaway.

 

“The San Pellegrino was very hard," Losada said. "I was in a small group of riders not really interested in closing the gap, so I decided to do it on my own. It was like I was doing a mountain time trial.

 

"At 3 km from the top I caught the break, but at the end I paid for that effort. Also on the last climb my allergies were kicking in. Every year in this time I cannot breathe. On the final climb I did the best I could.

 

"We originally came here with one goal – to help Purito and we worked hard to be ready for that. So now we try to get in the breaks. A stage win remains our goal.”

 

At 171 km, today’s stage began in Belluno. After tackling the Passo San Pellegrino and then the Passo Del Redebus, Alberto Losada participated in a large break that held a wide advantage of more than 8-minutes along the way. Efforts broke down on the final climb when Thomas De Gendt attacked at the foot of the climb with 16 km to go. After 10 km of chasing he was joined by Julian Arredondo (Trek) and Fabio Duarte for a brief time. But it was Arredondo who broke away for good near 3 km to go, all but securing the King of the Mountains climbing competition by dominating all of the day’s climbs and taking the victory at the finish line after almost five hours of racing. Second place went to Fabio Duarte (Colombia) and third to Philip Deignan of Sky at 17- and 37-seconds respectively. Alberto Losada finished at 15th position.

 

While Nairo Quintana (Movistar) kept his 1:41 gap to Rigoberto Uran, Cadel Evans dropped to 9th, losing third place to Pierre Rolland. Only a few seconds separate GC places three through five and will see another shake-out Friday and Saturday’s stages.

 

Tomorrow’s stage 19 brings the exciting uphill time trial. The 26,8 km mountain ITT begins in Bassano del Grappa and ends on the Cima Grappa. A time check near the 7 km mark signifies the start of the climb that has sections at 14%. 

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