Giro can really play with your nerves, and you need a strong character to keep it cool. At a time when we have to think about what the evenings will be like without the Italian festival, there was still one more important event on Saturday. The Dolomites offered a perfect setting for a final battle with 168 km and three climbs, sometimes reaching an altitude of 18%.
A new attack for Guillaume Martin
In this final battle before the final stage, a group of 14 riders quickly escaped the peloton. Cofidis riders protected Guillaume Martin in the group of favorites. The leader of the team worked hard to deal with the final climb before attacking in the last kilometers of the race. Caught by the leaders, he finally crossed the line in 19th position and maintained his 14th place in the overall classification, 28 minutes behind the new pink jersey, Jai Hindley.
Tomorrow, the road will be much flatter, but the Giro will not be over yet. The Giro d'Italia ends with a time trial in the streets of Verona. 17.4 km will be on the program with a climb in the middle of the route (4.5 km at 5%). Once the finish line is crossed and this last intense effort is over, it will finally be time to take a breath and look back. Before this last stage, Cofidis is one of the 6 teams that still has all of its riders, 22 days after the big start in Budapest.
Guillaume Martin : « Today I thought it was a stage that was going to be fought out between the leaders of the general classification and I didn't really try to get into the breakaway. It wasn't necessarily a good calculation. Sometimes you have to make bets and this one was unfortunately not the right one. The main thing is to finish this Giro in good shape. It is a Giro that I rode a little bit backwards by attacking not necessarily in the best moments. But at the end of the day, it was a Giro that did not live up to my expectations. Nevertheless, I have learned a lot from it in order to improve in the future. »
Roberto Damiani, Sport Director : « It's really a stage that looks like yesterday's with the breakaway that went to the end. The leading teams did not ride behind to fight for the stage victory. Guillaume was not able to catch the breakaway that left on a small hill, at a time when it was raining. He managed to remain close to the leaders until the end and protected his position in the general classification. »