The 98th Giro d’Italia came to an end today with a stage of 178 kilometres between Turin and Milan. Alberto Contador could put on the last pink jersey. Lotto Soudal riders Maxime Monfort and Jurgen Van den Broeck finish right behind each other in the overall classification. Monfort is eleventh at 17’51” of the Spanish winner. Jurgen Van den Broeck stands on place twelve, at 25’12”. Lotto Soudal returns home with one stage win, the victory of André Greipel in the sixth stage to Castiglione della Pescaia. Adam Hansen has completed his eleventh Grand Tour in a row. Maxime Monfort and sports director Bart Leysen make an evaluation of the Giro.
Maxime Monfort: “We knew it would be very hard in the last mountain stage yesterday, with the Colle delle Finestre on the course. After three weeks of racing you are tired and it’s a very hard climb in itself. I immediately looked for the right rhythm. I noticed Yury Trofimov had a bad day, so I saw there was an opportunity to get past him in GC. At the end I came one and a half minute short for the tenth place. Although it’s not yesterday that I lost a top ten place, that happened in the stage to Aprica.”
“I have mixed feelings. This is definitely a nice performance and I’m glad I raced at my best level. On the other hand it’s a pity when you come so close to top ten but don’t make it. But I can live with that. On the fourth day I joined a breakaway. After that I noticed I performed strongly and could get a good GC. As the Giro continued I started concentrating on that. In the stage after the second rest day I tried to join a break again, but that attempt wasn’t successful. The next days I just focused on securing my place in GC and tried to get in the top ten.”
Bart Leysen, sports director, Lotto Soudal: “We came to the Giro with the ambition to win at least one stage and get a top ten place in GC. André Greipel won the sixth stage after a magnificent team effort. That way we reached that goal already in the first week. A second stage win would definitely have been possible for André, but that didn’t happen due to several circumstances. At the end only eleven out of twenty-two teams won a stage, so we can be satisfied.”
“We just didn’t get a top ten place in the overall standings. Maxime was better than last year, when he was fourteenth. Yesterday’s last climb wasn’t tough enough to gain more advantage on Trofimov. The difference between him and Monfort was made on the Finestre, but wasn’t enough for Maxime to enter top ten. Jurgen Van den Broeck started this Giro strongly and that was very hopeful, especially his performance in the individual time trial at the end of the second week. The day after, he crashed in a descent and he had intestinal problems for more than a week. That takes away a lot of energy. It’s great that he didn’t give up and is still twelfth. Of course I would have loved to see one of our two GC riders between the tenth and fifth place, that would have been fantastic, but it is the way it is.”