A great Tour never lets up and this rule fits the Giro so well. Even when the stages are difficult, trying and the scenario is not favourable - as it was the case yesterday for Guillaume Martin - it is advisable to get back on the bike, to set new objectives and to fight again.
The exercise was all the more delicate this Sunday, as the mercury was over 30°C. The stage, which meandered in the Piedmont between Rivarolo Canavese and Cogne, concentrated its three main difficulties in the second part of the day with the climbs of Pila-les-Fleurs, Verrogne and the final climb to Cogne.
Rochas in the breakaway
Such a stage attracts a lot of attention and the breakaway took some time to take shape. And at Cofidis, there was a strong will to be part of it. Anthony Perez tried his luck but it was finally Rémy Rochas who succeeded. He was part of a group of 28 riders that broke up on the climb of Verogne.
Guillaume Martin, who was re-mobilized after yesterday's stage, attacked from the peloton with 43 km to go. He joined Rémy Rochas before tackling the last kilometres of the final climb alone. His audacity was rewarded: he crossed the line in 11th position, 6 min 06 sec behind the winner of the day, Giulio Ciccone.
In the overall classification, the rider from Normandy is now in 10th place, 8 min 02 sec behind the pink jersey of Richard Carapaz. He is still the best French rider of the Giro in the overall classification. At the end of this second week of competition, the leader of the Nordiste team knows that there are still six stages left to make a difference and to gain some positions in the overall classification. Before starting this last battle, the whole team will be able to enjoy a well-deserved rest day on Monday, the second and last one of this Giro.
Guillaume Martin: "Today, I think I wanted to enjoy myself more than yesterday. If there was no rest day tomorrow, I probably wouldn't have attacked. I had the opening and I took advantage of it. That allows me to get some time back tonight. Yesterday I was worried about my condition and today I felt better. The last week will be rather mountainous, I hope to do some good things again. It will probably be difficult to make up so much time without being in a breakaway but there could be some failures. I will ride my way through and we will see.
Roberto Damiani, Directeur Sportif: "Today we knew that it was a double stage with the stage win on one side and the general classification on the other. We tried to be offensive at the beginning, with Anthony and then with Rémy who was able to join the breakaway. It was very important because Guillaume went alone on the second climb and Rémy did a good job to accompany him on the last part of the climb. Guillaume followed his instincts and is now in 10th place tonight. The result of the second week is quite similar to the first one, we had a bad day and a better day. We're heading into the third week with a complete and motivated team, and Guillaume who has shown a great reaction.