Giro d’Italia U23
Stage 8: Levico Terme -Asiago (157.4 km)
Last stage with protagonism for the high mountain, new Colombian exhibition. Cristian Muñoz took the lead in Asiago, ahead of his compatriot Einer Rubio. Alejandro Osorio, who started the day with 14 seconds lost on the leader Mark Donovan (Team Wiggins), recovered the pink jersey; eight seconds now separate him from the Russian Vlasov, 23 from the previous leader and 3:04 from Luxembourg’s Michel Ries, the trump card for the general classification of a Polartec-Kometa who reached the finish line with Donovan’s group, at 02:01 from the winner, and managed to stay in the top ten overall. Ries, however, loses one place and is now ninth.
Another day of skirmishes, attacks and offensives in which the passes through Mount Grappa and Foza further hardened its development. In the Grappa, with more than 80 kilometers ahead, Muñoz and Rubio moved. Team Colombia’s bid was part of a large escape between the leader’s squad and the then head of the race, Marlon Gaillard, a Frenchman from the Vendée. Isaac Cantón, after several previous attempts by Matteo Moschetti or Diego Pablo Sevilla, tried to get into this escape, but without success.
It would be in the ascent to Foza, in the middle of it, where Muñoz, Rubio and the Russian Vlasov would become the head of the race with less than a minute and a half on a group of the leader in which several attacks would take place. Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott) would move, so would Bennett (Axeon), also previously attacked Almeida (Axeon),… After Foza, the later false plains, within the last twelve kilometers, would also go away Osorio. A lot of work for the leader and his team. Too much.
“We have tried to be, on the way out, in one of the various breaks that have taken place. Some of us took a little time, but Team Wiggins didn’t give us any time. At the beginning of the first port, third categorised, the leak of the day has formed. I tried to catch it because my legs were fine, but it wasn’t possible,” sums up Isaac Canton, a brand new red-yellow U23 rider.
“From then on, the mission was for me and Diego to go with Michel. Diego made the approach to Foza and on the way up I asked Michel if he wanted me to set a pace, but he told me it was better to wait. At that moment there were a couple of attacks from a Colombian rider and an Axeon rider and I went out behind them, but when I saw that Michel wasn’t coming I decided to raise my foot. Ries is better off on his own. But I do think it’s a shame that Juanpe retired the other day, because he misses another rider to spend more time with Michel. It’s a shame all these crashes…. but this is cycling,” he concludes. Canton and Sevilla would reach the finish line in a large group at 19:15 from the winner.
This Saturday the Giro d’Italia U23 concludes with a double day. The first sector, a 72.8-kilometre-long online stage between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. In the afternoon, in the most decisive event of all, unpublished, new, with live television, the media time trial will be held to distance the last classifieds according to the time that separates them in the general classification. It will be 22.4 kilometres between Il Muro di Ca del Poggio and Ca’ del Poggio, not easy, with several steep slopes on the course and ramps of up to 18% on the last climb, close to the finish line. And Ries, one of the protagonists of this’Real Time Chronometer’.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Andrew Peat