Giro d'Italia (st. 18)
Damiano Cima (NIP) wins by a hair in Santa Maria di Sala, eve of the three decisive stages -San Martino di Castrozza, Monte Avena and the Verona ITT- which could crown ‘Richie’ and the Telefónica-backed squad.
The dream for every small team, and also for every rides who goes on a breakaway, became true for Italian youngster Damiano Cima (NIP) at the finish of stage 18 in the 2019 Giro d’Italia, as his 170km effort saw him beating the sprinters by just few meters after leaving escape companions Mirco Maestri (BRD) and Nico Denz (ALM) in the final straight.
Thursday’s action lacked, fortunately, any significance for the Movistar Team and Richard Carapaz as he had absolutely no problems to retain his GC lead. Sütterlin, Mas, Pedrero, Carretero, Rojas and Amador worked once again as a sole rider to keep the Carchi native well protected, with both Richie and Mikel Landa staying in their coveted GC places –‘Richie’ in the lead by 1’54”; the Basque in fourth, 47″ behind the podium-.
The Blues will now head into the weekend that could crown them as winners of the 2019 Giro. Friday will see them tackle the first big test: 151km from Treviso to San Martino di Castrozza (Cat-2), a quite lumpy route for most of the day yet overshadowed by the 13.6km (5.6% avg.) of its final ascent.
REACTION / Richard Carapaz:
“It was a stage which seemed easy on paper, yet the early phase in the mountains was quite intense before the break went away, and in such finishes there’s always stress and an effort to make. The important thing is I was able to finish with a good feeling again, and there were no setbacks, crashes nor mechanicals for any team rider. It will be a different thing tomorrow: it’s another big test in the mountains for us. All three remaining stages will be crucial. We feel ready for the challenge in our team, and above all, confident that we can do well. Let’s tackle the stage focused, give our best and hopefully retain the Maglia Rosa before that final weekend.”
Imagen portada (c): BettiniPhoto