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"There are only a few stages left, but we will do our best to show ourselves again. We'll aim to be protagonists as a team. I hope to recover from this breakaway attempt, and in the next days we will try to show Etixx - Quick-Step...

Photo: © Etixx - Quick-Step / Tim de Waele






26.05.2015 @ 20:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step rider David De La Cruz did his best to play protagonist out of a 12-rider breakaway in the 177km Giro d'Italia Stage 16 on Tuesday, but the race was decided by attackers from the maglia rosa group. Rigoberto Uran was the top finishing rider for the team, in 21st place.


Mikel Landa (Astana) won the stage after accelerating with 4km to go on the last climb of five — the Category 3 Aprica summit finale — and crossing solo. Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) finished 2nd, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) arrived in third to defend his leadership in the overall classification. Contador did so despite a mechanical on the first Aprica descent. Contador was able to bridge back on the Category 1 Passo de Mortirolo climb and ride away from Aru along with Kruijswijk and Landa. Kruijswijk and Contador arrived 38" down on Landa.


Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) and Andrey Amador (Movistar) crossed 2'03" down to Landa, and Fabio Aru (Astana), who lost contact with the lead group and then also suffered a mechanical requiring a bike change on the final climb, finished 2'51" down to Landa. Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) was the only rider from the original breakaway to be in contention for the stage, as he attacked on the first ascent of Aprica and he quickly distanced his former break mates including De La Cruz.


Rigoberto Uran's top 25 arrival means he is now 14th overall (+22'12") going into Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia. Contador remains the race leader by 4'02" on Landa, 4'52" on Aru, and 5'58" on Amador.


The 17th Stage of the Giro is a 134km medium mountain stage, from Tirano to Lugano. There is only one categorized climb early in the stage, but there are some lumpy sections before the arrival.


"The task of today was to enter into the breakaway," De La Cruz said. "We knew there would be a few attacks in the first part of the race and we decided I could try my chance, and also be a point of reference for Rigo in case he has a good day.


"In the end it didn't work out, The breakaway was caught. But we tried to go for the stage today. Not only me, but also Maxime Bouet who was active in the morning on the first climb. He was unlucky because he had good legs today, but the peloton didn't let the group he was in get an advantage and turn into a breakaway.


"Considering me, I had a feeling that my condition is improving day-by-day. The first days were tough for me, with really high speeds and nervous stages. But I am feeling better now, in my element in the mountains.


"There are only a few stages left, but we will do our best to show ourselves again. We'll aim to be protagonists as a team. I hope to recover from this breakaway attempt, and in the next days we will try to show Etixx - Quick-Step at the front of the race."



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