Kevin Inkelaar, new leader of the Giro d’Aosta
55° Giro Ciclístico Internazionale della Valle d’Aosta – Mont Blanc
Stage 3: Antagnod and Champoluc (160.7 km)
The Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar took the lead in the Giro della Valle d´Aosta 2018 after finishing fourth in a very hard fourth stage, more than 4,000 metres of unevenness in his 160 kilometres, where the yellow jersey, the Italian Matteo Bellia (IAM), who had been 20th at the finish line, was left for almost seven minutes. Great performances also by the Sevillian Juan Pedro Lopez, eighth in the finish line, and the Spaniard Miguel Angel Ballesteros, twenty-sixth, both fundamental in supporting and protecting the options of his team-mate in the Polartec-Kometa.
Involved in one of the many offensive moves that took place during a frenetic day in which the rain made its presence felt, the Italian Alessandro Fedeli (Trevigiani Phonix Hemus) was the winner in the high end of Champoluc, with just under a minute’s margin on a quintet including Inkelaar, Danish Wilsly Jonas Gregaard and Kazakh Vadim Pronskiy, new second and third in the provisional standings. A day with a fight for the stage and a fight for the general classification.
“It has been a tremendously demanding stage, even harder because of the rain at times. The team has been really, really good. I’m really grateful to both Ballesteros and Juanpe for all their efforts,” says Inkelaar of his team-mates in a Polartec-Kometa who are still leading the team overall despite competing with three riders. “Juan Pedro’s work on the last climb was amazing, controlling the group. He and I had kept the situation under control at the Tsecore. On the way down we stood out. At Joux we did it fullgas, Juanpe even remained at full capacity in the descent. Already in the last climb the leader stayed. When Gregaard attacked, I reacted immediately in the first person. And Juanpe kept control from behind”.
This Sunday concludes the Giro d’Aosta with a fourth stage that is once again demanding and marked by orographic difficulty. There will be 109.8 kilometres that will connect Valtournenche with Breuil Cervinia with three ports on the route: Jeanceyaz, second class, St. Pantaleon, first class, and the final climb to Cerviana 2000. Inkelaar defends his yellow with 51 seconds of margin on Gregaard, 1:03 on Pronskiy and 2:03 on the Colombian Rubio. Juan Pedro Lopez, very well classified, is fifth.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)