It was an eventful day in the Giro100, even if the stage only caught fire at the end. Geraint Thomas says arrivederci to the Giro, stating: ‘It would be a case of trying to survive each day rather than racing‘. Bardiani sacks two riders, after the positive B samples confirmed the doping of Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni. Fernando Gaviria completes a poker of aces and is the first Colombian to win four stages in his first Giro. Although Alfredo Binda‘s 1927 feat of 12 stage wins is unassailable, the young Colombian sprinter secures his own place in cycling history at the tender age of 22! No change in the overall standings – Tom Dumoulin is still in pink.
Rider of the Race
One has to applaud the consistency and stubbornness of a veteran of the peloton and my rider of the day: Pavel Brutt. The Russian domestique for Gazprom-RusVelo is the very definition of ‘breakaway rider’. Stage after stage, year after year he does a great job for his team and sponsors by giving it all in leaping into a small group of riders and being chased down by the riders who will go on and take the glory. So I think it is acceptable on a stage like today to reward the representative of the domestiques’ hard work. Today he was part of a group of three riders from the off, with Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani), and Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates). The trio were caught with only 22km to go, succumbing to the gathering pace of the velocisti (sprinters), eager to collect a victory before the Giro aims for the clouds. Bravo Pavel!
Cheetahs in flight
Today’s stage was so flat, they could have attempted the land speed record on it. Strong crosswind would’ve split the peloton and upped the drama value, but it was not to be. However dull a sprint stage can be for some fans, one has to admire the hard work of the sprinters’ teams. Catching a breakaway is always strength-sapping and then to go on to organise a perfect train for the chosen sprinter, while attempting to mimic a cheetah in flight is even harder. Fernando Gaviria‘s win came almost unexpectedly from a long way down, after losing the wheel of his leadout man Richeze, and passing fellow sprinters like the theory of relativity didn’t apply to him. Caleb Ewan and the Argentinian master almost came to blows but the Colombian seemed unperturbed by the scuffle and flew past them.
1 Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 3:47:45
2 Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) same time
3 Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) s/t
4 Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates) s/t
5 Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) s/t
GC Top 5
1 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 56:28:53
2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:23
3 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:38
4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +2.47
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb)
Points jersey: Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Omar Fraile (Dimension Data)
Best young rider: Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header Image: Fernando Gaviria ©GETTY / Corbis / Tim de Waele