Today, this year`s queen stage of the Giro d`Italia was going to be an epic one. The course took the peloton over 207 brutal kilometers featuring four climbs, one category 2 right after the start followed by a category one climb before tackling up the iconic Stelvio HC-climb. Wasn’t this already enough, awaited the riders a category one climb up to the finish line on Laghi di Cancano, the National Park.
As expected it was a fast start to today`s tough queen stage which saw many attacks. Fabio Felline was quite active at the front of the race, building a breakaway of the day. Once the 15 -man group was built, the escapees enjoyed an advantage of two minutes and were gone for most of the stage. Fabio Felline rode an excellent race, showing a strong performance at the front.
Unfortunately, on the descent of the second climb of the day, Manuele Boaro slipped away and hit the ground. He came away without any serious injuries but still had to abandon the race.
Meanwhile the rest of the Astana Pro Team gave their best to bring Jakob into a good position for the HC-climb, the Passo dello Stelvio. Approaching the 27km long ascent, the breakaway fell apart and the GC contenders started their battle for the GC. Jakob Fuglsang showed a great performance and stayed among the other GC contenders. On the way up, three riders managed to open up a small gap while Jakob Fuglsang was around one minute down together with P. Bilbao.
The race went on fire when the Maglia Rosa got dropped, while Jakob Fuglsang made his way up the HC climb and towards the finish in Laghi di Cancano. Approaching the last ascent of the day Jakob Fuglsang rode an excellent race and stayed in touching distance with the two leaders at the front. After an epic stage the Danish rider crossed the line in a strong fourth place, which sees him moving up six places on the general classification, now sitting sixth overall
- It was a super hard day but well I would have loved to win the stage but all in all I am happy with my performance and today’s result which saw me moving up on the overall ranking as well. It really shows that it’s not over yet you always have to keep on fighting. I felt good today and did a good race. But I think everyone left all out on the road today, so did I. One more mountain stage and TT to go. We will see because the Giro finishes in Milan. – Jakob Fuglsang
Tomorrow´s 19th stage will cover almost 260 kilometers from Morbegno to Asti, the hometown of the famous prosecco. It will be an almost flat stage, which will the final chance for the sprinters to fight for a stage win.
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