Giro d'Italia (st. 17)
Visconti claims fourth Blue victory in this year’s Giro, third on a row, after attack in final climb takes him solo to the finish for the Spanish squad’s 16th success in 2013
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Three victories in the last three stages held in the 2013 Giro d’Italia. The Movistar Team continue their impressive streak in the Corsa Rosa as they added another success to the ones notched up by Intxausti (Ivrea) and Sunday’s solo ride by Giovanni Visconti to the Col du Galibier. The three-time Italian champion completed in Vicenza the ‘poker’ started by Alex Dowsett in the Saltara TT with a master’s move on stage seventeen, a 214-kilometer, long, flat route from Caravaggio where another short, steep climb, Corsara (Cat-4, 16k from the finish) broke things up into the bunch.
There, the telephone squad’s rider jumped from the elite group of about 30 riders -featuring Intxausti, Ventoso and Herrada- with 2.5km from the end of the ascent. After chasing down and dropping the duo of Di Luca (VIN) and Rubiano (AND), Visconti started a real time trial against the bunch, always keeping gaps between 20 and 30 seconds to end up claiming his second victory in this year’s Italian grandtour, the 25th in his pro career.
The streak by Movistar Team -already at 16 in their victory account of the season, Intxausti solidly in 9th place overall- could likely come to an end as the Giro tackles its showdown with three mountain stages: Thursday ITT to Polsa (19km, 5.7% average) and two ‘tapponi’ on Friday and Saturday, which might see its route modified due to the current bad weather forecast.
REACTION / Giovanni Visconti: “This is the proof that mental is everything. The support of the team, the strength of my mind, the willingness to show I was back to the level I once had… To be honest, the Galibier ressurrected me. It served to find myself again, to find confidence I thought I had lost for all and be able to play my chances into the race. If someone had told me some days before I would be attacking on such a climb, I wouldn’t have believed them, but as I said, mental power changes everything. It was already a dream to win a stage in the Giro and I took two of them in just three days.
We knew it was a good stage for Ventoso or myself, but I found good legs into the climb and my heart screamed for giving it a shot. I saw Lampre not pushing with everything they had so Pozzato could stay into the bunch and I saw a chance for me. I waited until the last two kilometers, because I knew that the climb was less steep from that point, and went for Rubiano and Di Luca. If it went wrong, I still had time to help Fran into the ‘volata.’ But I was doing really, really strong into the flat, and with 5k remaining, I felt the win was mine. My face when crossing the finish line reflected how I feel. Today’s victory is dedicated to my cousin, Ciro, who was at the finish today and is going through a hard time at the moment. Also to my family and this team, a great group with whom I’m having a great Giro, in and out of the races.”