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"Before the time trial I wasn't very well on account of intestinal problems, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want my rivals to know it I had some intestinal problems but I tried to put it to the back of my mind a...

Photo: ANSA - PERI / DI MEO / ZENNARO

GIRO D'ITALIA

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
29.05.2016 @ 23:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) took a hugely controversial first grand tour stage win on the final stage of the Giro d’Italia. The German had crossed the finish line in second place behind Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) but when the Italian was relegated due to irregular sprinting, the Giant-Alpecin rider could step onto the podium as the stage winner. Due to the wet conditions, the times were taken at the first passage of the line and so Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) could roll slowly to the finish to take his second Giro d’Italia victory, with Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) rounding out the podium.

 

We have gathered several reactions

 

Vincenzo Nibali: I fell ill before the mountain time trial

"We have lost a battle but not the war,” said the general manager Alexandr Vinokourov a week ago at the end of the uphill ITT. "The Giro ends only in Turin,” he said - and he was right.

 

Vincenzo Nibali won the 99th edition of the Giro d'Italia with a comeback that will remain in the history of cycling.

 

The Italian champion, at his fourth Grand Tour victory, said: "It's been an extremely difficult tour but there is great joy now.

 

"The hardest day was the uphill time trial, it did not go as I wanted, the feelings were not great.

 

"In the last week I started to feel better and now I'm at the top of the GC. To be here with all my family is amazing and it's hard to express everything that I'm feeling.

 

"It's a beautiful emotion. Today I win my second Giro d'Italia. I'm speechless. The crowd on the final circuit was enormous and showed me great affection. My family is here so I've been able to hug everyone. At the beginning of the race we've had a bit of rain but with the nice weather at the end, my joy is complete. I've loved that moment.

 

"It was a wonderful stage with fantastic crowds and it was great throughout the day. Unfortunately, there was a little bit of rain at the start. I couldn't be happier with how the Giro d'Italia has ended here in Turin.

 

"Before the time trial I wasn't very well on account of intestinal problems, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want my rivals to know it I had some intestinal problems but I tried to put it to the back of my mind at the time. Maybe that was what weakened me slightly. But the rest day was useful for putting me right.

 

"But I never said I wanted to go home. It was you who wrote that.

 

"It would have been difficult [to beat Kruijswijk without the crash. But I can say that on the last three kilometres of the Agnello, I was the one who attacked. I noticed something that maybe the others hadn't spotted: I saw the maglia rosa was suffering near the top and breathing heavily. I understood that I could attack and put pressure on him on the descent.

 

"The descent is a place to attack for me, just like a climb. If I hadn't put him under pressure on the descent, nothing would have happened and maybe Chaves would have tried something on Risoul. But at the top of the Agnello, I realised I could turn it all around.

 

"When I was warming up before the stage yesterday, I was sneezing a lot because of my allergies, but the problem doesn't exist at high altitude. On top of that, I've trained a lot at altitude, so I'm quite used to making big efforts up there.

 

“I always remained in the high part of the classification. Steven Kruijswijk had a good advantage after the Dolomites but I knew the highest mountains were yet to come. Riding above 2000 metres isn’t easy for anyone but I found myself in good shape.

 

”Everyone was watching me and I wasn’t used to race guys like [Tom] Dumoulin, Chaves and Kruijswijk. I don’t often look at my palmarès but when I do, I realize it’s rich of great successes.

 

"I feel a lot of emotions. There's a huge audience here in Turin and it is hard to explain, it's all great. I'm happy, my family is here and I will celebrate with them. Today I enjoyed the stage and the spectators, unlike yesterday. It was a more difficult day, today has a special flavor. "

 

“I’m very happy. Winning this Giro was very difficult but maybe it was a stronger feeling to take the jersey so late,” sport director Giuseppe Martinelli said. “Andalo [stage 16] was the most difficult moment because Vincenzo thought he would start his comeback that day. The rest is history. The team was magisterial, and they followed our orders perfectly. But it was a question of legs more than tactics.”

 

Astana Pro Team also won the teams classification.

 

Nikias Arndt: This is not how I wanted to win a Giro d’Italia stage

Team Giant-Alpecin maintained a presence at the front supporting Nikias Arndt. In the sprint, Nizzolo though he ended a series of second places to finally take his first-ever Giro d’Italia stage on the final day as Arndt sprinted to second place. However, the jury decided after the stage, that Nizzolo moved off his line in the sprint and was later disqualified. Therefore, Arndt took his first victory of the season.

 

Nikias Arndt said: “It was again a really hard day. Before the final laps, everything was straightforward but once the final circuit started every team was fighting for positions and it became quite nervous. There was still a break of two riders and the team did a really good job at the front of the peloton.

 

“In the finale, I had the whole time support from my teammates. The guys did an incredible job to put me in the ideal position and without their help I am not sure if I would have been able to sprint. It wasn’t my decision, the jury has got their reasons to take that decision as I just focused on my sprint. I will enjoy this victory with the team and we will make the most of it.

 

"This is not the way I would have wanted to win a stage at the Giro. I wish I had won one before today: I've been hunting a win for three weeks. But the jury has made its decision and there's nothing we, as riders, can do about it. I'm happy that I have a Giro stage win under my belt. I did a good sprint today anyway.

 

"It's a good feeling to get the stage win. It was a hard race today and I think the team worked really hard for me. It was difficult to stay the whole day in position. In the end, it was a nice race with a good finish. I got a nice extra victory.

 

"It was a difficult decision. It was a hard sprint with two hectic corners beforehand. Everyone was very nervous and pushing each other. In the end, it was a decision of the jury about whether it was safe or not. For me it was a hard race.

 

"I went behind the podium and I saw him there, and he was not looking happy. I thought ‘Should I go to him and speak to him?' But I was just there and waiting, it was not my decision.

 

"So I did not speak to him yet, and I can imagine he is really disappointed. If I was in his position, I would be disappointed, no question. But I hope he can enjoy what he got here, the red jersey for the second time. He did a good Giro.

 

"I crossed the line in second and I thought I was second. But afterwards it turned out I'd won the stage. It was a surprise for me.

 

"I didn't really see the incident. They were on the left and I was on the right. I was more focused on my own line. I saw that he closed it on the left but I didn't see by how much. I didn't see the video yet.

 

"For sure it's the biggest win of my career. I came here to go for the sprints. I had two good results but no win before today. It feels different with the decision of the jury but in the end I'm just a rider and I did my sprint. I did my best, I tried to win the sprint. The team worked hard and it was hard to do what I did. We will enjoy the victory.

 

“I'm happy that I have a Giro stage win under my belt. I did a good sprint today anyway.

 

"It was an incredible race, there were many people. I do not know how many there were, but it was crazy. The stage was very nervous and difficult. We worked hard, it was a good race. "

 

“The end was tricky. It was not an easy sprint and i was very nervous. The team did a great job to position me in the final and I sprinted for victory.

 

"The victory was missing until now. Finally I have my victory after a second place in Catalonia and several good stages in Yorkshire. My form was good, the level was higher and I hope to continue like this. My next race is the Rund um Köln which is a good race for me. "

 

Coach Marc Reef added: “The goal was to sprint with Nikias. It was a hard final lap and it was difficult to control. While heading to the final circuit, together with the other sprinters’ teams, we took over and controlled the bunch. We were able to keep Nikias in a good position. The team did some great pulls at the front and then we took over on the final lap and did a really great job as we kept the pace high in the bunch. It is a bit strange to win like this but every victory counts. It was a great display of teamwork, the team worked hard for a victory and we deserved it.”

 

Esteban Chaves: I have learnt that dreams can come true

An incredible three weeks of racing and excitement came to a close at the Giro d’Italia today with Colombian Esteban Chaves finishing in second place overall.

 

The result gives ORICA-GreenEDGE, Australia's first and only WorldTour team, its best result and first ever general classification podium in a Grand Tour.

 

26-year-old Chaves brilliantly won the mountainous Queen stage to put himself into contention and followed up by taking the race leader's pink jersey on stage 19 before battling hard against race winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the penultimate day to seal the spectacular second place.

 

“I have learnt that dreams can come true,” said the smiling Chaves. “If you keep working and never give up then your dreams can come true. That is what myself and ORICA-GreenEDGE are going to continue doing.

 

“I would not be in this position without the magnificent work and support of my teammates and everyone involved with ORICA-GreenEDGE, I would like to thank all of them.

 

“These last few days have been the best of my life. This is just the beginning, that is what I told my teammates and this is what I believe.

 

“Yesterday and today were two of the most important days of my life. Yesterday I said to the team: ‘This is only the beginning. We have to keep working and we can achieve big things in the years to come.’ The thing I won’t ever forget from this Giro is when my parents arrived on the race yesterday.”

 

"We have done three weeks and this was the first competitive goal. We won the queen stage and ended up on the podium and we are delighted with that, but we want to stay down-to-earth. This must be the starting point for many things that will happen in the future. From tomorrow we turn the Giroy page and begin to think about the next goals.

 

"Now I am sure sure that I am grand tour rider after having demonstrated it in both the Vuelta and the Giro. We must now continue working and keep doing things right as we have done so far.”

 

From the ‘Big Three’ of Svein Tuft, Sam Bewley and Michael Hepburn to the trio of climbers Ruben Plaza, Damien Howson and Amets Txurruka the whole team were outstanding over the 21 long stages.

The fast men of ORICA-GreenEDGE also played vital roles with 21-year-old Caleb Ewan coming close to a first Giro d’Italia stage win, finishing second on stage 12 before leaving the race as it headed into the high mountains.

 

Ewan’s second place came after a perfect lead out from Slovenian Luka Mezgecwith the two riders developing a great relationship in the sprints. Mezgec unfortunately broke his right scaphoid on stage 11 and after bravely riding on through the pain for five days, was eventually forced to abandon on stage 16.

 

Sport director Matt White echoed the sentiments of Chaves by looking at the result as a sign of great things to come.

 

“Twenty four hours ago we were disappointed that we had come so close to winning the Giro d’Italia,” said White. “However, twenty four hours later with everything in perspective no one is more content or proud of the achievement of Esteban (Chaves) and the team.

 

“Three weeks ago nobody thought we were going to be in this position, but the preparation for this started last year. Esteban is a home grown talent which is the most exciting thing for us.

 

“He has been part of ORICA-GreenEDGE since the beginning and I agree that this is the start of the journey and we’re going to see some incredible battles in future Grand Tours.”

 

“The special moment for me was when Esteban won the Queen Stage,” explained White. “That was the first indication that we had the potential to win this race. It’s been an incredible three weeks and I am immensely proud of all our guys.”

 

Etixx-QuickStep: The Giro d’Italia os one of the best races we have ever done

Three magical weeks for Etixx – Quick-Step came to an end on Sunday, in Torino, where Matteo Trentin capped off the team's hugely impressive Giro d'Italia by taking second from a reduced sprint. Shortly after the 99th edition of the race was completed, the riders made several visits to the podium, where they were celebrated and rewarded for their fantastic achievements during the past three weeks: winner of the U25 standings, Bob Jungels received the white jersey, Matteo Trentin was awarded the prize for the most aggressive rider, while the entire squad climbed on the top spot for taking the victory in the Super Team classification.

 

The season's curtain-raiser Grand Tour began in Netherlands, where Marcel Kittel stomped his sprinting authority by bursting out from his rivals and racking up two stage wins, which brought him the coveted maglia rosa for the first time in his career. After the opening week-end, in which the German emerged as the fastest sprinter of the race, Gianluca Brambilla stole the show a few days later, on the roads to Arezzo, where he made the best of Matteo Trentin's work – who pulled hard for his fellow countryman on the tough slopes of Alpe di Poti – and scored a memorable win on his way to the first place of the general classification.

 

After keeping the lead for two days, Brambilla showed that he's not just a strong rider, capable of fighting until the end for success, but also that he can revert roles and help back his teammates. On the complicated finish to Sestola, the 28-year-old sacrificed himself for Jungels and dug deep, so that Jungels could take the pink jersey at the end of the day. Thanks to the superb effort of Brambilla, the 23-year-old lived the dream and donned the famous jersey, thus becoming the first Luxembourger in more than half a century to top the overall rankings at the Corsa Rosa.

 

Not only that Jungels was leading the GC in the second week of his first ever Giro d'Italia, he was also in possession of the white jersey, which he seized at the end of stage 4, following a powerful and surprising sprint on a day suited to the fast men of the peloton. Motivated, resilient and showing a maturity well beyond his age, Jungels fought hard even after losing the maglia rosa on the stage to Cividale del Friuli and always stayed in contact with the riders in the top 10. An impressive ride in the uphill time trial to Alpe di Siusi helped the Luxembourg champion jump four positions in the general classification and book a place in the top 10, which he didn't leave anymore until the race was over.

 

Etixx – Quick-Step, which lined up for the Corsa Rosa a young team, continued to play a major role regardless of the terrain, every rider bringing his valuable contribution to the overall success. Another extra proof of the team's fantastic spirit and unity came on stage 18, when Gianluca Brambilla was a key man in one of the best team tactical efforts seen in recent years at a Grand Tour, which ended up with Matteo Trentin's intelligent and well-deserved victory in Pinerolo, his maiden win on home soil.

 

As the Giro d'Italia progressed and entered in its final phase, Jungels became stronger and stronger, displaying a scintillating form and a solid confidence, which took him to 6th place in the standings, a result which few would have predicted at the beginning of a competition that served also as a learning curve for him:

 

"At this moment it's hard to say what this jersey means for my career. What I do know is that I've been working really hard for this and that it will take a week or so until I'll asses my performance. Right now, I'm speechless. For me, the most important thing in this Giro was the team, without the guys I wouldn't stand here today. I am proud of my result, of the entire team and I will continue to work hard.

 

"Today we were lucky with the weather here. Gianluca Brambilla was working for Matteo Trentin and I couldn't let the guys do it alone. So, I wanted to do everything for them.

 

“I'm super happy, in the end. I knew that I could climb, a little bit before. I did lots of training in the mountains, altitude training, so I've been preparing for the Giro d'Italia since the first of February, and I'm super happy to have more than achieved my goal."

 

Another man who couldn't hide his joy in Torino was sport director Davide Bramati. Following the riders from the car since Apeldoorn, he witnessed the team performing strongly across the three weeks and delivering many quality performances, and at the end of this very successful campaign in Italy, had words of praise for each and every one of Etixx – Quick-Step's riders.

 

”There's no doubt about it, this is one of the best races in the history of our team. We were always there and knew how to adapt to the course and the various situations we faced. Four stage wins with Marcel, Gianluca and Matteo was already something incredible, but to wear the pink jersey for a total of six days and to win the best young rider classification is really a magnificent achievement.

 

”Bob passed an important exam and if he will continue to improve, then he can aim really high at a Grand Tour. His impressive ride kept everyone motivated in the closing stages of the race, but the real difference was made by the team's fantastic spirit. That is what's really great at Etixx – Quick-Step: it doesn't matter what your name is, here everybody is always ready and willing to work for the others", concluded Bramati after the first Grand Tour of 2016.

 

Patrick Lefevere, Etixx – Quick-Step's CEO, congratulated the riders in Torino, where the Giro d'Italia concluded for the second time in history, and predicted a great future for the riders who flew the flag high for the team at the Corsa Rosa:

 

"I'm very happy and extremely proud. This is a young team, with a huge potential, and I'm sure the riders will continue to grow in the years to come. Our results were extraordinary and the victories were great also because of the way we got them, showing panache, confidence and an incredible team spirit every time."


Alejandro Valverde one podium shy of Indurain’s Spanish grand tour podium record

Turin witnessed Vincenzo Nibali's (AST) celebration as winner of the 99th Giro d'Italia, the second in his career, following a wet 163km finishing stage from Cuneo, which Nikias Arndt (TGA) won in a bunch sprint. The day's racing also confirmed a fantastic third place overall in the 'Corsa Rosa' for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), in a more-than-successful debut in the race at 36 years old. The squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena and Chente García Acosta went through all states of mind in the Italian grand tour: the (brief) pink dream by Andrey Amador; the disappointment of seeing their chances almost ruined in Corvara; the jpy after their performances in both the Alpe di Siusi TT and most notably Valverde’s win in Andalo; and the final rollercoaster in the Alps, fighting for a podium place that wasn't confirmed until the final kilometers of Saturday's stage twenty towards Sant'Anna di Vinadio. The best proof that Valverde never surrenders.

 

This third place in the Giro d'Italia makes Alejandro Valverde become the 16th rider ever - six from those born in Spain - to have stepped onto the podium of all three Grand Tours, just one short (8) from Miguel Indurain's 'national record' of nine. The Movistar Team, which climbs into second place in the 2016 UCI WorldTour standings, has already claimed nine consecutive Grand Tour finishes within the best four in the individual classification - ever since the 2013 Tour de France - six of them on the podium. Quite a streak for the only squad in this Giro to have placed two of their members - Andrey Amador was 8th overall l- in the GC's final top ten, three into the best 15 - Giovanni Visconti was 13th.

 

The day's racing also brought some bad news as Jasha Sütterlin crashed in the final circuit in Turin. The German debutant was moved to the Giro's portable clinic next to the finish line, with his right knee and left arm and shoulder hurt. No fractures were signaled after checkups, yet Sütterlin sadly missed the final general classification after not being classified due to the incident.

Here are Alejandro Valverde's post-race reflections:

 

Overview: "It's been a great Giro d'Italia for our team. We've worn pink with Andrey, won a stage, fought for some more with second and fourth places... and at the end, after so many sacrifices, we took that third spot overall. Personally, I'm really happy with how the season is going for me so far, and also to have claimed that podium finish in my first-ever Giro d'Italia."

 

Not without huge efforts: "We had many days of pure struggling, but we knew how to stand up, bounce back and get to the place where we wanted to me. I knew that after Corvara - a bad day for me, due to the altitude and difficult sensations - there was still much to be ridden in this Giro. What normally happens in this race is that the final week turns so hard that changes can happen everywhere. Plus, all big favourites had at least one really bad day. That made things so exciting for the fans. My victory in Andalo was a huge relief for the team, and showed that we had recovered well from such misfortune."

 

A difficult race for the whole squad: "All my team-mates, from the first to the last one, gave everything they had. Bad luck stroke us twice, early in the race with Javi Moreno's abandonment on stage five and later on with Carlos Betancur, who struggled for a whole week with his stomach, and had to leave the Giro two days before Turin. Those who remained here gave all they had, and the reward for such efforts was pretty beautiful."

 

In love with the Giro: "I really liked it. I enjoyed so much to race here. It's a race completely different to the Tour, more similar to the Vuelta a España, way more calm and with different stress to what you suffer from in France. Why not coming back next year?"

 

Dedication: "This is for everyone who always relied on me and believed I could do well. For my family, my wife, my kids. Those who haven' been able to join us here due to crashes, like Malori and Castroviejo. Plus, Xavi Tondo, who always remains in my mind."

 

A message to the Movistar Team's fans: "Thanks so much for keeping your strength coming and supporting both me and the whole team. I hope you've seen during this Giro that we always keep trying, we're always fighting for success. The Movistar Team is falling and getting back on the bike, struggling and yet keeping giving everything, in good and bad times. When you do that, victory is always assured."

 

Next goals: "My next big objective from now is mainly the Rio Olympics. We will go to the Tour in order to support Nairo Quintana. I want to make it clear, from this very moment, that I will be losing time in the first week and take things easier so I can help Nairo out and give my best in the mountains. Also, if it's possible and it doesn't compromise the team's goals, I'd like to chase some stage wins or make it into the break and help the team from there. Our motto for the Tour remains the #SueñoAmarillo, winning the Tour with Nairo at last, and then, the Rio Games."

 

"I've achieved eight podiums in the Tour and the Vuelta, and now at the Giro d'Italia, so I couldn't be any happier. I will take six days of rest then the national championships, and the Tour de France with Nairo Quintana - for the yellow dream."

 

"I always said that I was here with two goals. I wanted to win a stage and podium. If I had been first, it would have been better, but I fought and I tried. That's okay.  

 

"The Giro has been a great impression. It is really beautiful. I enjoyed it. The weather was good and we were lucky. The Giro is a great race. "

 

This is the balance of Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué:

 

Another great Giro:  "We won a brilliant stage, had a great experience with the Maglia Rosa for Andrey and Alejandro was again on the podium. Having the Movistar 'M' everywhere has been a satisfaction that compensates for the bad luck and misfortune of losing Javi after his crash and Carlos due to his illness. I think the attitude has been fantastic during the three weeks. It is complicated that you all work 100% as a team and in my opinion, we only missed that some stage win options for Alejandro and Visco had been fruitful. I have only good words for the group. We are good in the Giro, as evidenced by the victory of 2014. For six years in a row, we have won stages. I am proud to have contributed to the great show that we have had this year ."

 

Valverde and  Amador: " Alejandro came to discover a race like the Giro and he has delighted us this May. He just had one bad day in Corvara, a bad day in the third week and again demonstrated what he has: the great competitiveness and commitment. Andrey was in a great moment in the second week, very aggressive, and in the high mountains he has been at his level. I have no objection about his performance, neither individually nor in terms of the team,where he has also been an important man.”

 

Nibali’s win: "He was favorite and lived up to it. He returned to win the race probably due to the great value that this Giro has: it was the closest fight that we've seen for some time, and it will push to the popularity of the sport. Kruijswijk has been the surprise even though we had already seen his strength. He had never been at the level of this Giro. Chaves has consolidated hisworth, and what about Jungels, another pleasant and striking revelation?”

 

Sacha Modolo: I think you all saw what happened in the sprint

The ambitions for Modolo of a victory in the 21st stage of the Pink Race were built on the strong basis of his good condition and on the impressive support from the blue-fuchsia-green team but they were shattered 100 from the finish on the left side of the final straight.


Modolo was trying to pass Nizzolo when the red jersey swerved to the left, closing the space for LAMPRE-MERIDA's rider who was forced to brake and to say goodbye to the chance of victory.

"I apologize for the strong expression of disappointment that I made when I saw that Nizzolo had closed the gap. I was forced to brake to avoid ending up against the barriers or on the ground, but at that moment I had a feeling of great regret,” explained Modolo. “I regretted not being able to use my good condition, but above all, I regret not being able to repay the hard work and devotion that my teammates have shown throughout the Giro.”

 

"I think everyone saw what happened. I touched his wheel with my wheel and almost finished in the barriers," Modolo toldCyclingnews and Gazzetta dello Sport just seconds after the sprint. "It's okay to change lines during a sprint but not to close me like that, when I had my head down. I think it was a dangerous move. I was coming through at about 60 kilometres an hour. I think from the video that everyone can see what happened."

 

"I almost hit the barriers. I was closed when I was coming, and we did 70 km/h. I touched the wheel of Nizzolo and I almost went into the barriers. It's okay to change the line but to move in that way was dangerous.

 

”Unfortunately, we had this situation. In the sprints it happens and unfortunately I was the unfortunate one today: I was going very well and I think I had a good chance of winning.”

 

Eight riders of Lampre-MERIDA completed the Giro, including the four rookies Conti, Koshevoy, Mohorič and Petilli. 
 

Diego Ulissi: I have tested my limits at the Giro d’Italia

The best blue-purple-green athlete in the overall standings is Ulissi in 21st at 56'59". Ulissi is 3rd in the points competition.

 

"I am pleased with the Giro that has just ended,” said Ulissi. “I knew I would have good opportunities, I'm really happy to be able to seize them and to celebrate two victories with the teammates and sponsors.
 

The two successes were built with the contribution of all team members. I was more proactive than in the past and that has made ​​the results even more exciting. 
 

”We also tried to create opportunities to get a result in the stages in which, on paper, I was not among the favorites, delivering a good performance: I tried new limits, now I know myself better than before.”

 

Steven Kruijswijk: I failed to take an unexpected opportunity to win the Giro

Steven Kruijswijk finished fourth in the Giro d’Italia today in Turin behind winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s race began with three impressive days in the Netherlands, Maarten Tjallingii wore the blue jersey one day, Primoz Roglic won a stage and Steven Kruijswijk was the race’s leader four five stages. Nikias Arndt (Giant - Alpecin) won the final stage.

 

“The Giro began beautifully,” Sports Director Jan Boven said. “The start in Apeldoorn was amazing. Primoz Roglic delivered an unexpected second place. There was disappointment about Jos van Emden’s crash on the other hand. Because of the fan’s support on the roads, we had two great days afterwards. We raced better than we thought we were able to and we were focussed. We were able to keep on doing that when we entered Italy.”

 

Tjallingii wore the blue jersey during the first stage in Italy. He grabbed took it by winning the mountain sprint on the Posbank, during the first Sunday.

 

“That was my personal highlight of this race,” Tjallingii said. “We experienced a lot of highlights in these three weeks and fought for the victory, every day.”

 

That fight earned a victory in the ninth stage of the race, with Roglic’s time trial in Chianti.

 

“I didn’t know what to expect from my first big tour, but it was an amazing experience,” the Slovenian said. “A lot happened. It started with my second place in the prologue. That was more than I expected. There was a little bit of disappointment because I was so close to the victory. My crash in the third stage wasn’t too frustrating for me. I didn’t aim for the general classification, but winning the second time trial was a very special moment. I have no words to say how beautiful that was.”

 

Six days later, Kruijswijk delivered another strong mountain stage in this race and rewarded himself with the overall lead.

 

“The day I grabbed the pink jersey and gave a knock to my competitors, was my highlight this Giro d’Italia,” Kruijswijk added. “I felt great the whole day. I actually planned to save as much energy as possible to be as fresh as possible during the uphill time trial the day after, but because everything went so well, I decided to attack. I’m proud of the way I was able to race in this Giro. The leader’s jersey brings another sort of joy. Everyone’s watching you and wanting to take that jersey from you. There is nothing more beautiful than beating the favourites and riding in that position.”

 

Kruijswijk held his pink jersey until the 19th stage. In the descent of the Colle dell’Agnello, he crashed and lost a lot of time.

 

“I knew that Nibali was going to go strongly on the descent,” Kruijswijk continued. “I wanted to follow him, but wasn’t able to look through the turn very well because of the snow. I made a mistake, slipped away and rode into that wall of snow. Before this Giro, I might have been happy with this fourth place, but you have to take the chances you get. I failed at doing that in this race and that’s a shame.”

 

Kruijswijk experienced team-mates praised their leader.

 

“Let’s hope that Steven will have more of these highlights in his career and that he will be able to finish it off beautifully with a pink jersey,” Tjallingii said. “Steven might be able to learn from this. The team will grow because of this race, as well.”

 

“It’s very unfortunate that he didn’t take the Giro victory, but I have to take my hat off for Steven,” van Emden added. “Every rider knows how hard it is to move on after such a crash. I think that he delivered a great final part of Friday’s stage when you look at the circumstances.”

 

“Kruijswijk showed strongly, but it’s really disappointing that he didn’t win the Giro,” Bram Tankink added. “That’s the predominant feeling now, but still we must acknowledge how beautiful this Giro was.”

 

“I’m tired,” Enrico Battaglin said. The Italian was one of the most important team-mates for Kruijswijk during the mountain stages.

 

“We did a great job this Giro. Steven’s crash is very unfortunate. That was a hard moment. We did the best we could as a team. That’s why I’m disappointed about missing the victory. It was a dream to win the Giro with the team, and we were so close to making this dream come true.”

 

“I think that we delivered a very strong Giro,” Martijn Keizer added. “What happened in the final week is tough. You don’t want to lose the jersey in a way like that. We can be proud of ourselves, though. We really rode like a team. I’ve prepared for this Giro at altitude together with Steven and Primoz. During the race, I did what I was able to to help Steven. The whole team was very strong this race and we can be happy with that.”

 

Twan Castelijns made his grand tour in this Giro.

 

“It was my first big tour and a very beautiful one. The way it turned out with Steven is a shame. We fought for it so that was tough for me. I wasn’t in my best form anymore during the final days of the race. That I’m able to finish this Giro is a personal highlight. I wanted to give everything I had for the team, but I wanted to complete the race myself, as well.

 

“The days in the Netherlands were impressive. The passion with the Italian fans was quite intense, too. Those things, and the publicity around Steven’s pink jersey and riding through the highest mountains, made this a very special experience for me.”

 

“We delivered a fantastic Giro with the team,” Addy Engels added. “We should absolutely be proud of that. We were so close to the victory, but we reached our goals. Steven finished fourth and we won a stage. We weren’t expecting Steven to do such a great job after Friday’s stage. It’s a pity that he fell out of the top three, but fourth place is a lot more than we were counting on.”

 

Katusha: Ilnur Zakarin could have been on the Giro d’Italia podium

For Team KATUSHA the 99th Giro d’Italia was marked by the stage win of Rein Taaramäe in the queen’s stage as well as by the superb performance of Ilnur Zakarin. Zakarin was 5th in GC when he crashed out two days before the end of the Tour of Italy.

 

Vincenzo Nibali (Team Astana) finished safely in the bunch in the 21st and last stage from Cuneo to Torino (163 km) to officially wrap up the Giro d’Italia general classification victory. Giro points champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) meanwhile crossed the finish line first in the last stage but was relegated for an irregular sprint. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin was awarded the victory instead. Team KATUSHA’s Aleksandr Porsev got the 4th place. 

 

”Today I did not feel great. I felt tired and the last local circuit was hard for me, especially that small hill. I did my best and tried to do a good sprint but I really did not have super legs. My top-5 place was really the best I could do today,” said Aleksandr Porsev.

 

Team KATUSHA’s Rein Taaramäe finished 29th overall but without his bad crash Ilnur Zakarin would have been in the Top 5 of this thrilling Giro d’Italia.

 

”We have bitter-sweet emotions from this Giro. It was a great race full of beautiful cycling fights. We realized that our plan to bring Ilnur Zakarin into a high position in the general classification was really good. I think Ilnur had good chances to fight for a podium. He was strong and he was really good under the leader's pressure. He had an incredible bad luck during this race and, of course, we all were sad when Ilnur crashed out two days ago. Anyway, he did not get any really serious injuries and that is absolutely good news. From the other side we had some nice moments in this Giro. We won an important and beautiful stage with Rein, Alex Porsev always was in the mix in the bunch sprints and the whole team showed it's power. It was a big experience for many riders and I hope, in short time, this experience  will appear fruitful,” said Team Director Dmitry Konyshev.

 

Disappointed Rafal Majka: You don’t always get what you want

With his fifth spot in the GC confirmed, Rafal Majka could afford to take this stage easy and let the sprinters contest the stage win on a slippery finishing circuit in Turin. Pushing hard until the end of the stage, Jay McCarthy ended the day taking ninth in the sprint – his best position in this year’s race.

 

Sport Director, Tristan Hoffman, backed the decision to neutralise the GC times.

 

“This morning it wasn't so nice with the rain, but it cleared up a bit as the day went on. The racing was steady until the final circuit where it went full gas. The organisers decided to neutralise the GC from first time over the finish line, and this was a good decision as the lap was quite dangerous with speed bumps and corners.”

 

As the last kilometre came and went, Jay McCarthy was battling his way to the front, looking in control and confident. After initially taking tenth, the Australian rider putting in a great effort, Jay was awarded ninth after the declassification of Giacomo Nizzolo, the stage’s initial winner. With his ninth spot, McCarthy takes one of his best results of this season.


On the final stage, Hoffman was pleased to see his team up at the front and being competitive after three weeks’ hard work.

 

“The situation was two riders away with Boaro in the chase behind, but it came back together for a sprint, and Jay did well to get up there and finished 9th – a nice result.”

 

Majka was pleased to finish with a strong result in the GC standings, and summing up his performance was quick to thank his teammates for all their support in the race.

 

"Of course, we came to the Giro with the goal to reach a podium position but in cycling things don't always play out the way you want. It was a tough race and we all gave our best. I consider fifth place to be a good result and I'm happy for it. The entire squad put in a great effort, we were always in the front and I'd like to thank them for that. Without their support, this wouldn't have been possible.”

 

Against some very strong rivals – most of whom finished behind him in the GC – Majka was pleased to have placed in the top five.

 

“In hindsight, I don't think there is anything we could have done differently. It wasn't easy to always be at 100% of my potential, but overall, it is a result that must satisfy us, given as well the very strong adversaries we had.”

 

It was a hard-fought race, and Hoffman was pleased with his team leader’s performance.

 

“In general the goal was for a podium and a stage win, and although we didn't get this I truly believe the team did a superb job. Rafal was good, but not super to really make the difference on a stage, but he was always there when he needed to be and he did a very good performance.”

 

Majka’s teammates were also praised by their Sport Director, who had consistently worked hard for their leader throughout the race.

 

“Same for the other boys - they always did what we asked of them. Only one or two times we missed the break where we wanted to be there, otherwise we were well represented. We got the maximum out of the guys - we had some sickness & crashes but they fought back and all nine finished today. They have to be proud of that, as it's not easy here.”

 

It was important to recognise all the hard work that goes on at the race behind the scenes, Hoffman said, and was supportive of the people who made everything work both out on the road, as well as after the day’s racing was finished.

 

“On my part it was intense but a really good three weeks with a good team here. Not just the riders, the staff gave their all - some days you stand on the top of a mountain for four hours to pass on one bidon but that's all part of the overall effort and I'm pleased with our Giro d'Italia.”

 

The next step for Majka was to concentrate on his preparations to ride for Alberto Contador in July.

 

“My sights are now set on the Tour de France, the team's primary goal for the season, where my role will be to provide the best possible support to Alberto Contador."

 

Broken shoulder blader for Lars Bak in final Giro d’Italia stage

At the Giro Lars Bak was the victim of a severe crash. The Danish rider has a complex fracture of the shoulder blade, a multiple rib fracture and a small pneumothorax. At the moment Bak is not allowed to travel by plane and so he stays in Italy. As soon as it is medically possible, he will be transported to Belgium for further tests.

 

Maxime Monfort: I will not make this mistake again

Maxime Monfort finished 15th overall.

 

"I have not started this Giro as I would have hoped, because of a different preparation. The last part was much better. I do not make the same mistake in the future even if I have no regrets for trying something new. But this is ancillary compared to the latest events. Today, Lars [Bak] suffered a pretty serious crash. He is less affected than Stig Broeckx but the only thing that matters right now is that they both recover.”

 

Lotto Soudal celebrate excellent Giro d'Italia

Lotto Soudal conquered four stage wins in the 99th Giro d’Italia and Maxime Monfort is fifteenth in the overall classification. Especially the first week was unforgettable, with three consecutive stage wins. First, André Greipel impressed in the fifth stage, with finish in Benevento. A day later Tim Wellens won the stage to Roccaraso after a great solo and on Friday Greipel was the fastest of the pack in Foligno. A week later he could triumph again, this time in Bibione.

 

Sports director Bart Leysen said:

 

“This Giro was so much better for our team than expected. Before the start we had said that two stage wins would be great, but we go home with four. That’s exceptional. Maxime Monfort is fifteenth overall, which is again a good result of him. Top ten would have been nice, but we knew that would be difficult with all these strong opponents. As a team we can be very satisfied with the performances of our riders.

 

“André Greipel is such a strong rider, for whom the teammates always can do something more. The first stages, with two sprints in the Netherlands, didn’t go as we had hoped. On the rest day on Monday we all sat together and the minds of our riders were all set on success in Italy. At first, we just wanted to ride a good sprint, but at the first opportunity we immediately won after an impressive sprint of André.

 

"The next day Tim Wellens won a stage. He had marked a few stages. Of course you need to make the right move on the right moment and that day it all turned out well for Tim. We will remember the way he achieved that victory for a long time. We already knew what he was capable of, but this proves his class once again.

 

“After the fourth stage win, we of course wanted to add a fifth one, but there was no pressure. Our guys were motivated to achieve a good personal result as well. We didn’t get another stage win in the end also because everyone used lots of energy in the first two Giro weeks, because let me be clear: all riders were part of this team’s success.

 

“Maxime Monfort made a big leap on GC in the queen stage. He gained five positions, and got fifteenth overall. He had to recover from his efforts and in the climb time trial the day after he lost one place. On Friday, Maxime animated the stage to Risoul. He rode solo in front for a while. It was good to see him take initiative two days before the end.

 

“This was the first Grand Tour for Sean De Bie. He did very well, just look at his efforts in the last stage. When I see him riding now, he doesn’t seem to be broken yet. This Giro will have made him stronger.

 

"Adam Hansen on the other hand has loads of experience. While it was the first Grand Tour for Sean, Adam completed his fourteenth consecutive Grand Tour. You see he really loves doing this, he’s fresher than many other riders in the peloton.

 

"That’s also the case for Lars Bak. On Wednesday he tried to win the stage by attacking in the finale. Unfortunately he crashed hard in the last stage.

 

"Pim Ligthart did a lot of work pulling in the peloton and he also joined a break a few times. That this Giro started in his home country was very unique for him. Jelle Vanendert also did his work for the team, both for Greipel and Monfort.”

 

BMC: Darwin Atapuma has really stepped up as a climber at the Giro d’Italia

That’s a wrap on the 2016 Giro d’Italia! From Apeldoorn, The Netherlands to Torino, Italy, it’s been an action-packed three weeks of racing.

 

So how did the Giro d’Italia pan out for BMC Racing Team?

 

Darwin Atapuma finished in ninth place on the General Classification, his first top ten result in a Grand Tour.

 

It was rare that Daniel Oss wasn’t in the breakaway which was rewarded with winning the Breakaway and Intermediate Sprint Classifications.

 

Rick Zabel finished in the top ten on a stage four times, including his seventh place on Stage 21 in Torino.

 

Throughout the three weeks of racing, every rider was determined to win a stage, Sports Director Max Sciandri said.

 

“It’s been an eventful Giro d’Italia that’s for sure. We came in with a real mixed group of riders and without a clear General Classification rider, so our main priority was stage wins. Although we didn’t manage to get one in the end, we raced aggressively everyday, always with someone in the breakaway looking for an opportunity to take it to the finish line. Darwin really stepped up as a climber and showed that he had the legs on every mountain stage. He deserved to get a stage win and can be really proud of the way he raced. We would have liked to take all nine riders to Torino, so it is unfortunate that Silvan Dillier crashed out on Stage 3. All of the guys should be really happy to make it to Torino. It wasn’t an easy Giro d’Italia, it never is, but we did our best.”

 

Darwin Atapuma

“I’m really, really happy with my first top ten result on GC, my best result in a Grand Tour. I wish I had been able to win a stage but I tried my best.”

 

Alessandro De Marchi

“Disappointing. I’m happy to have finished the Giro d’Italia but I was expecting something more and I didn’t get there. But one week ago I didn’t know if I would make the finish and now here I am in Torino.”

 

Stefan Küng

“Up and down. Both literally (from the flat terrain to the mountains) and in terms of results.”

 

Daniel Oss

“I tried to race as aggressively as possible every day and I’m happy to be on the podium for the breakaway and intermediate sprint classifications.”

 

Manuel Quinziato

“Hard! We fought everyday to get a stage win and although we didn’t in the end, we have Darwin in top ten on GC. We have it everything and I’m happy to be at the finish line.”

 

Joey Rosskopf

“If I compare the Giro d’Italia to the Vuelta a Espana last year, my first Grand Tour, then this one definitely gives me a lot more confidence that I can not only finish a three-week race, but race my bike hard every day.”

 

Manuel Senni

“Tired but happy to make it to Torino. I think the first sixteen days were good but after that was tough. It’s all about experience, about how to recover well, and a Grand Tour is the perfect way to learn how to do that.”

 

Rick Zabel

“I’m happy with my four top ten stage finishes and I’m happy to make it to Torino.”

 

Eduard Grosu close to big victory on final day of the Giro d’Italia

Eduard Grosu tried to make his mark in the last stage and finished in the top 10 after having made a late attack.

 

"I tried. My family is here and I wanted to dedicate this victory to them because I have always been close. I have been away for three months to prepare for the Giro. There was a crash two stages ago and it is very bad for my shoulder but I tried to make a good results,” he told Spaziociclismo

 

"Maybe I had expected a little more. But I was wrong, and that's cycling. I'm so sorry because I know what I've been doing to get this result. If had had a podium I could be happy, but losing with 100 meters to go hurts so much.

 

"Maybe I was wrong, because if I started immediately when I got De Bie’s wheel. I used his splipstream 200 meters from the finish when I saw that the group came from behind.”

 

Kanstantsin Siutsou makes it two grand tour top 10s in a row for Dimenion Data

For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka the race ended in a bittersweet manner, as Johann van Zyl crashed out, while Kanstantsin Siutsou secured his 10th place in the overall classification.

 

Jay Thomson went down, but was able to continue. Unfortunately, Johann van Zyl had less luck. A broken elbow forced him to abandon with the finish line in sight.

 

The peloton was split into pieces and only a small group of riders managed to reel the escapees back in. Jaco Venter was able to stay with them to fly the South African flag on his National champions jersey in the finale. In a hectic sprint he crossed the line just outside the top10, securing another good result for the team at this years Giro d’Italia.

 

Siutsou crossed the line behind overall winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). After three weeks of hard racing the Belorussian finished the Italian race in 10th place overall, adding a second top10 GC result to the palmarés of the African team.

 

Kanstantsin Siutsou said:

 

”I’m happy with my 10th place overall. Maybe I could’ve done a bit better, but I have to say a big thanks to the team who supported me really well over the last three weeks. We rode together like a family, which was really nice. Hopefully I can keep my form for the next couple of weeks to play a good role in the next races.”

 

Team Principal Douglas Ryder said:

 

“It was another great Grand Tour for our team. We had hoped to win a stage, but to finish top10 in the GC of the Giro d’Italia is exceptional and shows that this team is meant to be at this level of racing. It is amazing to get another 10th place overall in the next Grand Tour we went to after last year’s Vuelta a Espana. We wanted to go for the GC with Kanstantsin and had a great race, I guess. He showed that he can be a leader in Grand Tours. We hope that he can progress with us and maybe finish even better in the future. I’m super happy for the team and Kanstantsin. It’s great that he joined our team this year and that he makes such a big impact.”

 

Sports director Jens Zemke said:

 

“Going into this Giro d’Italia we wanted to get a top10 GC result, wear a jersey and win a stage. We achieved the top10 with Kanstantsin finishing 10th overall – even being the virtual leader of the race on one mountain stage - and also wore the KOM jersey for a day with Omar Fraile. We were very close to win a stage on a few occasions, especially with Johann on the 3rd day. Over the last three weeks the riders worked very well together to keep our good positions in the GC and the teams classification. Seen from that point of view it was a good Giro for us. However, it’s a bit a bittersweet ending for us, with Johann crashing out in the last neutralized kilometers of the race.”

 

Hubert Dupont takes over from Pozzovivo and Peraud at the Giro d’Italia

"This Giro was a strenuous exercise for us mainly because we had back luck,” Ag2r sports director Didier Jannel said. “Indeed, after three days of competition we already lost a leader, Jean-Christophe Peraud. Then, we had to handleDomenico Pozzovivo’s breakdown which took place in the last two mountain stages. He was made to win a stage like this but he was really sick. It was a tough decision to make, especially when you are at the 10th place overall. However, we have three riders in the top 20 with Hubert Dupont (11th place overall), Matteo Montagutti (19th place overall) and Domenico Pozzovivo (20th overall). Three riders in the top 20 is a satisfying collective performance.
 

“It is Matteo’s best Giro result ever. In addition, I would like to draw attention to my teamøs fighting spirit. They did a tremendous job, particularly in the breakaways, and they often finished in the top 10.
In other words, I am proud of our team spirit during this difficult Giro. Truly, our riders are real fighters.”

 

"I am pretty satisfied with my Giro but I feel sorry for my friends. Jicé withdrew after three days and, because of his illness, Domenico was not as competitive as usual,” Dupont said.
 

“This season, I have the same cycling sensations as in 2011 but, to be honest, I am not in the same shape yet. If you want to make a result in a Grand Tour like the Giro there is no secret. You have to hold on no matter how painful your legs are feeling."

 

Matteo Montaguti did his best career result after eleven Grand Tour participations (one Tour de France, six Giri and 4 Vueltas).


Until now, his best general classification was a 41th place in the 2015 Vuelta. He also finished second on stage 8.

 

Giacomo Nizzolo: I will go home knowing that I was the fastest

When Giacomo Nizzolo threw his arms in the air, the first across the line in stage 21 at the Giro d'Italia Sunday, everyone thought the jinx of interminable seconds had finally ended.

 

But the jubilation of victory all came to an abrupt stop when the race jury reviewed the finish video and relegated Nizzolo for an illegal sprint.

 

Although the degree of the infraction may be questionable, Nizzolo did obstruct a rider's forward movement, and rules are rules.

 

When the decision was confirmed the heartbreak was heard from afar: how could it be?

 

This time, there was no late crash to impede his way, no late antagonist slipping off the front and stealing the win, no one boxing him in. There was nothing but a white line ahead. It was his.

 

And, then, it wasn't.

 

"Great job from the team, and great sprint from myself," said a composed, but hugely disappointed Nizzolo on the verge of tears. "The jury decided not to give me the victory, but I will go home tonight knowing that I was the fastest today."

 

There was nothing more to say.

 

Nizzolo continued his interviews, bravely facing the onslaught of journalists and media, and gracefully accepting the red jersey as the winner of the points competition for the second consecutive year. 

 

Nizzolo completed his 5th Giro, accumulating an astonishing eight second places – the last one in stage 17 Wednesday - and 13 podiums before he seemingly clinched his first Giro victory today. But alas, once again it was not to be.

 

The win will have to wait another year. 

 

“I don’t think it was an incorrect manoeuvre. Whoever is in front decides his line in the sprint.

 

"I missed out on a win in this Giro d'Italia because they took it away from me. I don't think I did anything wrong, it was clear I was going on the left side and Modolo was behind my bike, he wasn't on my side. It was pretty clear that he couldn't pass me anyway. That's why I'm really sorry that they took away the sprint victory."

 

"At the moment it's difficult to enjoy having won the red jersey because I really thought I'd won the stage and celebrated victory with lots of friends. Maybe tomorrow I'll appreciate having won the jersey. It's always a big goal for me but it's not the only one I wanted and not the only one I thought I'd wom-

 

"A joy turned into a nightmare. Inside I know that I was the fastest. Tonight I'll go home not happy, but being aware I deserve a stage win. For me the decision is not right. It was obvious that I would go to that side of the road, I did not make any sudden movements.”

 

Director Adriano Baffi briefly summed up the 2016 Giro d'Italia, which fell short of the team's goals:

 

"I have to congratulate the team who finished the Giro; we gave it everything. We tried every day. Today was again a demonstration that we again believed in Giacomo. We did our race, and today we thought we achieved our win… But it is like that; that's sport. So we still don't have a victory. The red jersey is something, but it was not the main objective.

 

"We can say that it was not the Giro we expected, of course. It started poorly with Fabian's illness, and then Ryder's. From there, there was never a day where we could relax and profit from that. We showed we were in the race, but not enough to achieve our goals."

 

Plan C works well for Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia

Team Sky Sport Director Dario Cioni expressed his pride at how Team Sky bounced back from team leader Mikel Landa's departure from the Giro d'Italia to finish the race with a flourish.

 

Mikel Nieve sealed the King of the Mountains jersey with a series of impressive performances across the second half of the race while Sebastian Henao finished second on the Young Rider Classification and 17th overall after the final stage 21.

 

There were also strong performances from Nicolas Roche (24th overall), experienced campaigners Christian Knees and David Lopez, and Ian Boswell, who was racing in only his second Grand Tour.

 

Cioni said: "A three-week race is always a hard challenge for everyone. It's been an up and down trip but we definitely finished on a high with the mountains jersey and a stage win, and even without a leader the guys all finished strongly in the last week.

 

"It's always a challenge to lose your GC leader and then we lost our back-up plan too, which was Elia [Viviani] for stage wins. But the guys all came out and did a great job, we were in all the important breaks this week, and Mikel [Nieve] did brilliantly to win a stage and claim the maglia azzurra."

 

Cioni also highlighted Henao's achievements, admitting that he was a late addition to the lineup.

 

He added: "Sebastian's achievements are even more impressive when you think that he was a late change, he wasn't meant to come to the Giro. He showed serious potential and I think he can do very well in the future.

 

"We hoped he might be able to seriously compete for the young rider's jersey too but Bob Jungels [Etixx - Quick-Step] really showed how strong he was. Well done to him. Sebastian is tired but happy with his Giro."

 

American Boswell raced with a smile on his face across the entire Giro and Cioni believes there's a lot more to come from the climber.

 

"Bos did really well. It was his second Grand Tour after the Vuelta a Espana last year and he's shown he can climb well in the second half of the race. He did a really good time trial too [on stage 15] and a great job on Friday. He's still got some improvements to make but he's showing he's got real potential in Grand Tours."

 

Lopez was in the mix for Team Sky on the final day in Turin but he wasn't quite able to pull off an attack in the final kilometres.

 

"He was up there and thinking about attacking on the last lap," explained Cioni, "but the pace was so high on the last climb that it was impossible to get away. Obviously after that he's not a sprinter so he was never going to win the stage but he's ending on a really strong three weeks.

 

"Everyone has done a great job: Christian, Nico, all of them. And of course the staff have worked really hard across the three weeks and especially in the closing days with extra feeds out on the road, supporting the guys, keeping them fuelled up."

 

Sonny Colbrelli hit by spectator during big attack at the Giro d’Italia

It was not a happy ending for Bardiani-CSF and Sonny Colbrelli. 3.5 km from the finish in Torino, the Italian rider tried a strong attack on the final steep and short climb. Just after the bend, Colbrelli hit the arm of a fan.

 

The consequence of the collision was a heavy crash. Colbrelli, who finished the stage by his own, reported a few contusions and abrasions.

 

“I’m really disappointed because this chance could be really good for me,” said Colbrelli. “Unfortunately, these are the risks of our job. There were a lot of fans supporting us on the final circuit, an amazing show, but we have to ask everyone to do their best to be attentive.”

 

IAM achieved their goal at the Giro d’Italia

IAM Cycling achieved its main goal at the 99th Giro.  Having come with the intention of winning its first grand tour stage victory, the Swiss professional team ended up leaving the race with a 1st, a 2nd, and 3rd place in its wallet.

 

Michel Thétaz, founder of IAM Cycling, came to meet his troops at the end of the week which began with the announcement that the team would be disbanding at the end of the season. 

 

“I have to congratulate the whole team.  Mission accomplished since we set our goal as being a stage victory.  In addition, we have excelled at many other times.  We played big roles in the breakaways and even were very visible on the mountain stages.

 

Kjell Carlström, one of the directeurs sportifs for IAM Cycling in the company of Mario Chiesa, regretted that none of his riders figured in the final sprint for the last stage. 

 

“Things did not go as planned during this final stage.  Rain and wet conditions changed everything.  On the technical and twisty final circuit, we missed the boat.  But this should not tarnish our record at the Giro.  We leave with the feeling of accomplishment despite the difficulties that we have encountered during these three weeks.”

 

IAM Cycling earned 2000 euros with Stefan Denifl’s fourth place in the final standings of the mountain classification.

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