Movistar Team protects Nairo Quintana to perfection on final Giro d'Italia stage through Ireland, will travel back to mainland Europe with their block intact
“Contrary to yesterday, when while rain poured mostly all over the route, there was no wind which could make things already harder than having damp roads, there were some points on today’s course where wind really blew, making it more nervous and dangerous. We managed to get over the day with no complications and happily we’ll get to Italy in the best possible condition.” The words by José Luis Jaimerena on Eurosport during stage three of the Giro d’Italia -187km from Armagh to Dublín- summed up to perfection the only stategy taken by the Movistar Team in the Corsa Rosa‘s final day through the island of Ireland.
The telephone squad reproduced their behaviour from yesterday: the most powerful rouleurs from their roster -especially Fran Ventoso, completely devoted to Nairo Quintana despite having his own individual chances in these flat stages- always kept the front of the group, while the rest of the block took care of any need by Quintana, who will start paying real attention on Wednesday with the final two climbs in Viggiano. After some nervousness in the finale, with the only open roads along the route, and following the junction by the day’s break -Cecchinel (NRI), its last survivor, was reeled back in with 7km left-, a mass sprint came across the finish with another victory by Marcel Kittel (GIA), the German beating Ben Swift (SKY) by a short margin.
Movistar Team will be dividing its force on Monday: mechanics, carers and the rest of their staff will travel calmly back to Spain during the next two days, while the riders and the sports directors will a flight to southeast Italy, where a second expedition will be waiting for them to cover the rest of the race. Tuesday, after rest day one, will bring action back with an urban circuit in Bari (8.3km, eight laps) in the shortest road stage in this year’s Giro: just 112 kilometers from Giovinazzo.