Giro 18: Dessert In The End

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Break-away after 40 km: Chad Haga (Giant Alpecin), Davide Villella (Cannondale Garmin), Matteo Busato (Southeast), Pieter Weening (Orica GreenEdge), Damiano Cunego (Nippo Fantini), Roberto Ferrari (Lampre Merida), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM), David De La Cruz (Etixx Quick Step), Philippe Gilbert and Amael Moinard (BMC), Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani CSF) and Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2r La Mondiale). 
Two chasers: Herrada and Felline. 
Peloton at 2'20''.Crash: Ferrari fell but is back on bike and chasing, Cunego retired (fractured collarbone) 12 leaders left and a growing gap, already around 6'34'' 105 km to go.
Embedded image permalinkHerrada, Felline and Ferrari can't bridhe and get caught. The break-away is flying, 10' ahead!
Monte Ologno waiting in the end but the finish is flat after a long descent.
First intermediate sprint and Gilbert goes grabbing points.
Approaching Monte Ologno (1st cat): 10.4 km, 9% average, 13% max. Haga is the first one dropped. De La Cruz is pulling in front.
Crah in the peloton: all Sky down. But also Landa!
DAMN! At this point I had to ride to school. What I understood is that Contador attacked leaving the Astanas on the place, while Gilbert bridged across going solo to the line.

Philippe Gilbert
Embedded image permalink“We said this morning on the bus that the break group might have a chance today. At the foot of the climb the rest went full out, but I knew that I had to ride my own tempo. When I connected to the front group, I started to attack immediately. Yes, I took risks in the descent, but you have to do that if you want to win a stage in the Giro.”

Embedded image permalinkAlberto Contador:
“Today's scenario was a bit different from what happened on the Mortirolo. Before the climb, my team was working hard on the front and expending energy because I knew that we had to be at the front going into the climb, and we wanted to avoid problems. In the event, Landa was caught behind, for the first time in the race. Overall, I'm very happy to have gained more time in the GC. I'm tired, because after the last climb it was a time trial, but every day is hard here. We'll see what happens tomorrow and the following day”

Embedded image permalinkDavid De La Cruz:
"At the beginning of the race there were a few attacks, and then at a certain moment a group formed at the head of the race.It was a breakaway formed due to all the riders having strong legs. We had the green light from the peloton for once. They didn't immediately pull to close the gap. We knew after a few kilometers that the winner of the stage would come from our group. So, we collaborated very well. But in the break we had some dangerous guys like Chavanel, Nocentini and Gilbert. Everyone knows their skills. So when we reached the Category 1 climb I decided to accelerate, do a good tempo, and try to put those guys in difficulty. We went away with four riders, but the Gilbert group didn't give up. They were always there at maybe a minute down. So we descended, and then there were two small but steep climbs. I thought maybe we could try something, but there wasn't good collaboration at that point. Bongiorno tried to go solo a few times. Maybe we could have all worked together a bit better to keep the Gilbert group behind us, but it wasn't possible with such a small gap. They came back, and Gilbert did a great effort. So, I was there at the end to try for a podium place. I think I did a good race and it is important to know I have good legs. Of course when you are there the goal is to always try and win. It didn't work out, but it was nice to be in a breakaway of a big Tour like the Giro, and to be there to fight against big champions. It's a big boost of confidence for me and I think as a team we will keep trying to do something in these last days of the race."

Steven Kruijswijk:
“Saxo-Tinkoff went full gas on the way to the Monto Ologno. Contador’s attack on the climb was impressive. I tried to follow, but he went too fast. There was nothing to do.
I was lucky that the break took all the points at the top. I’ll keep an eye on Intxausti, but it’s quite difficult for me, as I don’t want to lose my position in the overall. I shouldn’t waste my strength.”
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Konstantin Siutsou:
"It was a team plan to get into the break today. In a Grand Tour if you get an opportunity it is always nice to try. You never know what can happen. I thought with three hard days, it was likely today that a breakaway was going to go to the finish. With two uphill finishes I think Alberto will still want to finish a stage. It's also good to have someone up front to protect the team in case I needed to come back.
It was hard to get into the break. Everybody knew it was a day for the break and everybody was looking to try. I was really tired and from experience I know that when you are really tired this is the best moment for a break to get away. On the climb I was with a good group but if you attacked on the climb it was a long way to go to the finish.
There were quite a few counter-attacks and some tactics. Gilbert picked a really good moment to go. I tried once to close but everybody was looking around. Then it was game over for the stage win. The next two days are really hard but they will be hard for everybody. Let's see what happens."

Mikel Landa:
“I think he (Contador) saw the opportunity to make me suffer and he took it, and I’ve lost a minute and a half. He took advantage the same way that I did on the Mortirolo. Certainly they were angry about what had happened the other day and they took advantage of the situation. Things like that happen. The race is the race, and he took his opportunity. Our objective is the keep these two positions on the podium and try to win another stage.”

Fabio Aru:
“If I’d had the legs, I’d have gone with Contador. When he attacked he was very strong. There wasn’t much we could do.”

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:04:14
2 Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:47
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:01:01
4 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
5 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
6 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky
9 Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:02:42
10 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge 0:03:55
11 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:06:05
12 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
13 Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:06:38
14 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:07:18
15 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
16 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
17 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky
18 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
19 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
20 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
21 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal
22 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
23 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
24 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
25 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
26 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr
27 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
28 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
29 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 72:23:09
2 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:05:15
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:05
4 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:07:01
5 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:09:40
6 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:10:44
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:11:05
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:12:53
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:13:01
10 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:14:01
11 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:15:17
12 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:17:12
13 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:21:15
14 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:21:25
15 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:28:11
16 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:30:52
17 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:33:24
18 Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 0:41:13
19 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:42:22
20 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:46:40

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