Faced with toughness, an exercise in anticipation. The Passo dello Stelvio, one of the highest mountain passes of the Alps, received this Wednesday a Giro Next Gen in which there was a change of leadership and many movements in the provisional classification with which the race started from Morbegno a few hours before. A pleasant day for the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23 due to the presence of Andrea Montoli and Fran Muñoz in the great breakaway of the day.
Montoli and Muñoz shared septet with Labrosse (AG2R-Citroën), Colorado (GW Shimano), Hagenes (Jumbo-Visma), Reinderink (Soudal-QuickStep Devo) and Putz (Tirol-KTM). A well-matched group that consolidated and nurtured a lead that never went much over two minutes. Behind, there was a lot of interest. And in front, the fourth in the general classification (Renderink) was also riding. On the very long ascent to the Stelvio, the head of the race was under attack, with Colorado unleashing the hostilities and Muñoz riding close behind. But the group of illustrious riders, which was getting smaller and smaller, ended up chasing them all down. With eight kilometres to go, it was a new race.
The final part of the Stelvio was an exercise in elimination in a leading group of about eighteen riders. In the end it was Norwegian Johannes Staune-Mittet, the winner of the last Ronde de l’Isard, who beat Alexy Faure Prost (Circus) at the top. Staune-Mittet moved into the lead of the race. Further back, in a climb that went from strength to strength, Arnau Gilabert completed a great stage. The Catalan finished 18th. “A very nice pass, but very long and very hard”, he joked during the transfer to the hotel. Gilabert is now 19th overall, 5’25” behind the new leader.
This Thursday, the fifth stage of the Giro Next Gen travels from Cesano Madernos to Manerba del Garda after 159 kilometres marked by the punctuated climbs of Passo Tre Termini and Passo Sant’Eusebio, although the riders will have to manage some other climbs on the route.
[📷 La Presse / Giro Next Gen]