Giro d'Italia (st. 10)
Andrey incredibly close to Maglia Rosa after brave attack into descent of Pian del Falco, becomes 2nd overall in Giro after final support from Visconti; Alejandro Valverde up to 3rd spot GC in Landa's (SKY) sinking day
When one gives everything for his team-mates, the squad and a whole country, nothing can be done other than applaud. Costa Rica's Andrey Amador came incredibly close to donning the pink jersey after stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia (Campi Bisenzio – Sestola, 219km). A magnificent descent from the Pian del Falco summit, into the final 10km, took him to the wheel of some of the day's early escapees. After them, a spectacular Giovanni Visconti was waiting for him, the Italian having created the earliest moves and remained for the whole day at the front, including two GPMs. The steady pace from the beginning, with plenty of attacks, caused the early abandon from one of the biggest favourites, Mikel Landa (SKY), while Tom Dumoulin (TGA) got dropped and is now 13 minutes away from pink.
With those two rivals knocked out, the Movistar Team knew they couldn't let this stage and sent Carlos Betancur after any moves from Astana -Vincenzo Nibali now sitting in 5th overall, two seconds after Alejandro Valverde (3rd)-. 'Bala', always cautious and fully conscious about the legs of all contenders, knew how to keep the pace of the Italian, arguably the biggest favourite left for the big mountains, where – as said by Betancur – “the Giro will be decided”. With the Chente-Jaimerena squad now in 2nd and 3rd overall, prospects couldn't be brighter.
Bob Jungels (EQS) is now leading the racr, with 26" over Amador and 50" ahead of Valverde, as neo-pro Giulio Ciccone (BAR) claimed a well-deserved solo win in Sestola. The Movistar riders have taken the lead in the team's classification, rounding off a day of significant gains for the Blues before two relatively easy stages lead the way into Friuli and the Dolomites. Asolo will be the Giro's finishing venue on Wednesday, with 227km including some insidious uphill kicks in its finale.
Andrey Amador: “I think it's impossible to be in a better position. Personal-wise, I end this stage really satisfied about the whole team, Alejandro – we got Giovanni Visconti into the break today in case we needed some help, we always had guys at the front during the previous stages, we cooperated well, did it all in good spirits… the atmosphere in the group is magnificent, and we only think about doing things right and tackle what's to come with the biggest aim of success.
"I'm really thankful for the support they're giving us, as well my country as the whole squad. I would like to respond to all supportive messages, one by one, but when you're into a race, scheduled are tight and you're only able to send a general message of gratitude to your country, the supporters, in my name and the team's.
"Wednesday's stage should be a more calm one, but all stages in the Giro bring some hardness to the menu and Asolo's finish isn't missing that. With 20km to go, there's a 3k climb with really steep slopes, so the race could break up again tomorrow. We must remain focused and not to look at this stage as if it were another one, but an important one; we must keep an eye on everything, as we've done previously, to avoid any crashes, splits or troubles."
Alejandro Valverde (courtesy Eurosport): "We've been up there, fighting all the way to the finish, doing a great job I think. We could have fared better, but we must remain happy with our gains today. What did not work today? It's something we keep to ourselves. We're doing well. You all could see how strong Andrey rode downhill; I tried to keep the others on a leash and not to disturb Andrey's way – it was the others' task to pull. All in all, we're satisfied with today's result."