- Normally climbing is not my best quality, but today I felt good and I’m happy I could finish close to the first group of riders. It was a long and hard day, with some crashes of my teammates. Yesterday I was in the breakaway but I didn’t make it into the final, so I was motivated to do it better today,- said Hugo Houle after the finish.
Because of challenging weather conditions in the first part of the race, there was a hectic race with several crashes, with Yevgeniy Gidich as the biggest victim as he had to quit the race without serious injuries.
Zhandos Bizhigitov and Nikita Stalnov made it in the day’s breakaway. Due to a crash, Stalnov got caught by the chasing peloton and at the start of the final climb the whole breakaway was caught. From that point, Hugo Houle climbed with a select group and finished in the first group behind the stage and GC winner Arthur Vichot.
- Today was a very hard stage. We wanted to get in the breakaway and at the end we had two riders there. The team did a good job today, riding attentive and motivated. We had some bad luck with the crashes, but I’m happy with how the team performed, - told sport director Bruno Cenghialta.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto