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“With Arredondo we still had another option for the win. I told him to wait, to stay with the GC leaders and try at the very end. Julian was too nervous, though, and wasted his chance. He is young and still learning," Baffi says

Photo: Sirotti








25.05.2014 @ 20:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian Arredondo headed into today's big mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia targeting the stage win and as usual the Colombian animated the finale by launching an attack on the Montecampione climb. However, his Trek team regretted that the youngster had been too nervous as they had preferred to see how he had fared against the race favourites.


Trek Factory Racing came into the stage motivated.


Fabio Felline jumped into the early 12-man breakaway on the long 225-kilometer stage that ended with a 19.3-kilometer mountaintop finish to Montecampione. However, the team strategy changed when team Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo - who had missed the escape – led a furious chase as the final climb drew near.


“Today was a day where we thought the breakaway could stay away to the finish again," sports director Adriano Baffi said. "Fabio had the green light to attack, and he did a fantastic job to be there. The only problem was that Damiano Cunego was in there, too, and ruined the breakaway’s chance. That’s really a shame for Fabio because he was looking forward to this opportunity. I believe he would have been able to fight for the stage victory.”


With the breakaway’s lead cut to two and half minutes at the start of the final mountain ascent, Julian Arredondo attacked from the peloton. After eight kilometers of climbing he latched on to teammate Fabio Felline. Felline gave everything, upped the pace, before he fell away leaving Arredondo and Andre Cardoso (Garmin-Sharp) together out front with 11 kilometers to go.


However, the peloton did not play along and Trek Factory Racing’s contingency plan was also foiled.


“With Arredondo we still had another option for the win," Baffi said. "I told him to wait, to stay with the GC leaders and try at the very end. Julian was too nervous, though, and wasted his chance. He is young and still learning: It was a lesson to be learned today.”


“I wanted the stage win too much," Arredondo said. "Fabio was out front and I wanted to take advantage of his help and I think I went too early. I should have stayed calm, been more patient, and attacked at the end so I would have more chance.”


With fractures showing in many riders’ armor on the uphill finish yesterday, the GC battle again intensified on the summit finish for today. The main rivals attacked the maglia rosa clad Rigoberto Uran. Arredondo and Cardoso were easily caught as the heated battle raged; by the finish large cracks opened for some, while Robert Kiserlovski rebounded with a stronger climb, and moved in to 9th place overall.


Fabio Aru (Astana) won the stage and moved himself into maglia rosa range, now sitting 4th overall. Although Uran successfully defended the pink leader’s jersey - and opened a larger gap to second place Cadel Evans - other rivals clawed their way closer.


For Robert Kiserlovski it was a better day as he paced perfectly amid the frequent attacks that shattered the leading group. Initially dropped, he battled back to finish with a strong group of six that included Cadel Evans and Domenico Pozzovivo. They finished 21 seconds behind the maglia rosa, and 1’13” after Aru.


“At the end of the day we still come out with something as Robert moved up one place in the GC," Baffi said. "Yes, we really want to have a stage victory, but to finish in the top 10 with Robert is also a main goal. So today we are satisfied with our race, and we have one more week to still try for a win.”


“The last three days were bad for me and today I felt so much better," Felline said. "When Arredondo came up to me [on the climb] I gave it everything. It was important to try and help Arredondo, and I was glad that I could do what I could.


"It was special to race close to my home and that gave me extra motivation today with all the people supporting me. I am sorry that our team tactic did not work, but it was still a positive day for me, and in the end for the team. It was a good day.”


Tomorrow is the last rest day as the Giro enters its third and final week. With many rivals slowly creeping back time to Uran the next six stages will be nothing short of captivating.



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