Giro d'Italia (st. 16)
Spaniard on the verge of triumph for the second time in this year’s Giro, a long breakaway paying off for Movistar Team as they increase their lead in the teams’ overall to almost 9min
While the first summit finish in the race left him just 0.5k from winning, just few meters separated this time José Herrada from a well-deserved Giro d’Italia stage victory in his maiden Grand Tour as a pro cyclist. The Spanish rider from Movistar Team ended in 5th place at Falzes’s finish on stage 16 in the Corsa Rosa, after 173 kilometers starting at Limone sul Garda with a crazy pace in the opening hour-and-a-half, in search for the day’s breakaway. Movistar Team found another prize to their continuous presence within the breakaways, with Herrada making the 10-man group that played their cards into the finishing uphill. The Spaniard tried his way into the first half of the climb, but his try was countered by Ion Izagirre (EUS), riding solo while Herrada and De Marchi (FAR) joined in an unsuccessful attempt to chase the Basque rouleur.
Despite not being able to take their third success in the race, Movistar Team makes big profit from the day as they increase their lead in the teams’ overall classification by more than eight minutes, still to fight with three mountain stages coming up in this year’s Giro. The first one on Wednesday will be a 186-kilometer trek from Falzes to Cortina d’Ampezzo, including the ascents towards Valparola (Cat. 2, km 71), Duran (Cat. 1, km 127), Forcella Staulanza (Cat. 2, km 148) and the Passo Giau (10k, 9%), less than 20k from the finish.
QUOTES / José Herrada: “The first 60k were absolutely crazy. Groups of 15, 20 riders went apart, and none of them were sticking. The break was made at some point when the riders were so tired from the attacks, and that made visible the escapees were strong, but I was confident about my chances in the final slopes. I talked to Arrieta about making the climb hard from the start to take down the likes of Bak or Maes, so they could not get back in the last 2k of flat. We did so, but De Marchi and Frank brought Izagirre behind and he surprised us with his attack. They weren’t giving so many turns at the front to chase him down, he raced hard and deserved the victory. It’s a bit of sweet-sour taste because it’s the second time I come so close. My feelings are right, but we know it’s so hard to win here. This is my first Grand Tour and I think my body is responding well to the efforts and I’m doing a good race, as well for myself as for the team. Until this race, I did only twelve days on a row in the Volta a Portugal, and this has nothing to do. There are still three stages that impress you by their profiles, and also by the mountain drops we’ll have to get over, but this is what we have and tireness is the same for all of us. You see there’s a lot of willingness to move at the bunch, but also many of those really tired.”