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“I know that this way to race is very hard but that’s me and I think also is the only way to keep this jersey until Brescia”.

Photo: Sirotti






22.05.2013 @ 12:00 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) further strengthened his grip on the overall lead of the Giro d’Italia mountains classification in yesterday’s sixteenth stage, between Valloire and Ivrea, as he once again played a major role in the main breakaway.


Pirazzi was beaten to first place on both of the day’s climbs as Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) outsprinted him on the Col du Mont Cenis and Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale) attacked from the peloton over Andrate but nevertheless Pirazzi enhanced his KOM lead over stage 15 winner Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).

“What a day!” exclaimed Pirazzi at the finish according to the Bardiani-CSF website. “I made an incredible effort to conquer these points, especially in the last climb. On the Mont Cenis Rodriguez surprised me and I finished second, while the points of the second climb were too important and I pushed with all of my energy until the top.”

Pirazzi now enjoys a 37 and 38 points lead over Visconti and Rodriguez respectively. However, Pirazzi has so far been unable to stay with the GC contenders on the major climbs of the Giro and so he will be compelled to continue his strategy of joining breakaway attempts to take the KOM points on offer if he is to cling on to the maglia azzurra all the way to Brescia on Sunday.

“I know that this way to race is very hard but that’s me and I think also is the only way to keep this jersey until Brescia”.

“Pirazzi today was super with an incredible tenacity,” said Bardiani-CSF directeur sportif Roberto Reverberi. “On the second climb I think he attacked more than five times, he chased all the riders and at the end when the Maglia Rosa group caught him, he found the final energy to sprint. Awesome! Also I saw a good performance from [Edoardo] Zardini who helped Pirazzi a lot in the first part of the stage and then [Francesco] Bongiorno who stayed with the best climbers during the final climb. He’s growing day by day and as neo-pro it means so much.”



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