The brave riders, who have been on the road the last 19 days are back on the track, started in Budapest, they are now discovering the Italian peninsula. After the last rest day - which is more enjoyable than ever in the Giro - the peloton returned to the race for 202 km between Salo and Aprica. The stage was tough, with three climbs, so it was guaranteed to be particularly competitive.
Martin in the breakaway
Right from the start, attempts for a breakaway multiplied. It was not until about 40 km that the breakaway of the day was finally formed. A large group that included up to 21 riders. Among them, the best ranked rider in the general classification was Guillaume Martin.
On the second climb of the day, the breakaway split into several groups and the rider from Normandy did not manage to stay in the good tempo. At the finish, he was 27th, 19 min 08 sec behind the winner of the day, Jan Hirt. In the general classification, Guillaume remains in the top 20: he is in 16th place (25 min 46 sec) and retains his position as 1st Frenchman.
It will be important to recover well tonight because tomorrow the riders will have to tackle a 3rd consecutive mountain stage! Between Ponte di Legno and Lavarone, 168 km will be on the program with 3730 meters of positive altitude difference. The stage will also be marked by a downhill section of 70 km before the attack on the Vetriolo and Menador passes with their slopes at an average of 10% over 8 km!
Guillaume Martin : « I think this stage is like my Giro. I had the desire but not the strength. I was not at my level today. I can't explain it to myself, but it's a fact. It's a real disappointment and a lot of frustration, especially when you know the sacrifices involved. When you don't get any return, it's hard to deal with. I want to apologize to my teammates, and the staff who invested in me and trusted me. And today, I did not provide the results expected of me. I will have to accept this difficult moment, try to raise my head and why not aim for a stage if I get a chance. Then, I will try to analyze why it did not work and move to the next step »
Roberto Damiani, Sport Director : « At the beginning of the stage, Guillaume followed Valverde and the others by getting into a big breakaway. Then, the breakaway split up, the pace really accelerated and Guillaume was not able to stay in the same tempo. He was therefore badly outdistanced at the finish and in the general classification. We will have to get back on track tomorrow. The Giro isn't over yet and I'm sure we'll still have opportunities to make Cofidis stand out between now and Verona."