Saturday, June 24, 2017

Giro News

Gilbert Storms To Giro d'Italia Stage Win

Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team roared up the finishing straight in the midst of a raging downpour to win Stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia Thursday.

Out of the saddle and furiously rocking his BMC teammachine SLR01 side-to-side on the uphill sprint to the line, the former world road champion overtook solo leader Tanel Kangert (Astana Pro Team) in the last 200 meters and had time to sit up and celebrate his first victory of the season. 

Race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was runner-up, three seconds later, and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) finished third. The victory was Gilbert's second at the Giro in four appearances and the BMC Racing Team's ninth on the year.

"This is amazing and it is a great feeling," Gilbert said. "Before the stage this morning, we had a talk and the entire team was really focused because we knew this would be a good stage for me. All of the guys did a great job for me, especially the tremendous effort to bring two guys back late."

Kangert was riding with Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), who had attacked with less than 20 kilometers to go in the 190-km race. The pair led by nearly 30 seconds heading into the final five kilometers, but the BMC Racing Team went to the front to chase them down.

"I decided to wait for the group because I heard that Silvan Dillier and Amaël Moinard had rejoined from behind," Gilbert said. "We got organized and worked well as a team for the final few kilometers. This win is very important for the team and for me. We have tried many times, and finally we have won."

BMC Racing Team's Damiano Caruso finished 14th, six seconds back, to hold onto his eighth place overall. Two other BMC Racing Team riders are also in the top 20: Darwin Atapuma, who finished 19th on the day, is 14th at 3:24, and Moinard is 19th, 5:05 behind.

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said two things were pivotal to the win: the return of Dillier and Moinard to help with the chase and course reconnaissance on the final kilometers Gilbert performed prior to Milan-San Remo in March.

"Having Amaël and Silvan do that work late was the last little piece that we needed to close the gap," Baldato said. "But we cannot forget the great work done at the beginning of the stage by Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Stefan Küng and Rick Zabel. All of them were working in the wind to cover Philippe, Damiano and Darwin. They were really motivated to have this win."

BMC Racing Team's Stefan Küng crashed heavily, along with two riders from the CCC Sprandi Polkowice team, while descending off the climb of the Crosara, about 17 kilometers from the finish. He was able to continue for a short time but then stopped. The winner of a stage of the Tour de Romandie and the Volta Limburg Classic was taken by rescue squad to a nearby hospital. More details will follow on the extent of his injuries and condition as they become available ... Gilbert's last win prior to Thursday occurred last October on Stage 2 of the Tour of Beijing on his way to winning the race overall. His last victory at the Giro d'Italia - in four participations (2004, 2006, 2009 and this year) - dated back to a similar winning effort on Stage 20 in 2009 ... The BMC Racing Team's last stage win in a grand tour came on Stage 12 of the 2013 Vuelta a España, also by Gilbert. It was also his victory of that season.

Alberto Contador finishes 2nd to extend his overall lead at Giro d’Italia

Tinkoff-Saxo’s team leader Alberto Contador put in a powerful performance in the uphill finish of stage 12 extending his lead in the GC to 17 seconds over rival Fabio Aru. Tinkoff-Saxo once again took the reins in an effort to make the soaking wet Giro stage to Vicenza as hard as possible. Crossing the line, Contador underlines that it was a good day.

Alberto Contador didn’t just take second place on stage 12 behind winner Philippe Gilbert – the Tinkoff-Saxo captain also took 14 seconds on his nearest rival in a close GC. After crossing the line, Contador notes that he had good legs on the tough stage.

Read more: Alberto Contador finishes 2nd to extend his overall lead at Giro d’Italia

Giro d'Italia Stage 11: Uran Still 6th GC After Crash

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran suffered a crash in the final kilometers of 153km Giro d'Italia Stage 11 on Wednesday, from Forlì to Imola. However, the Colombian rider was able to get up immediately and catch back to the maglia rosa group to lose no time in the arrival. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) won the stage solo out of an original 10-rider breakaway that was down to seven at about 40km to go in the stage. 

Read more: Giro d'Italia Stage 11: Uran Still 6th GC After Crash

Giro d'Italia: Stage 12 Preview

Climbers will probably try to get a good position to gobble up a few more points on the road.  Again, this seems better-suited for the break away, however teams who have yet to feel their taste of glory may take extra chances.

The first 95kms are relatively flat, giving the break a good chance to form and put in serious time over the peloton.  The first intermediate sprint occurs at Rovigo, just outside the feedzone in Boara Pisani. 

The next sprint occurs around 125kms, about 10kms from the first categorized climb of the day—the cat 4 Castelnuovo. The cat-3 Crosara at 160kms is next followed by a few more bumps…until the summit finish on the cat-4 Monte Berico in Vicenza. 

Climbers will probably try to get a good position to gobble up a few more points on the road.  Again, this seems better-suited for the break away, however teams who have yet to feel their taste of glory may take extra chances.



Ilnur Zakarin triumphs in Giro d'Italia stage 11

In his first grand tour participation, Russian Ilnur Zakarin attacked on the final climb to claim a solo victory in Imola, bringing the 20th win to Team Katusha for the 2015 racing season. At 25, Zakarin showed maturity and strong race tactics as he rode away from his former breakaway companions to steadily gain time on the downhill run to the finish line on the Formula 1 race track, finally holding 53-seconds to his chasers. 

- I still can’t believe that I have won a stage of the Giro. I am so happy and excited! Maybe in few days I will realize I've earned a big victory. Today we had a plan to go in the breakaway, so we were very attentive in the beginning and I saw my chance and followed other attacks to go in the escape.  We worked well in the break, but I remembered my experience from a few days ago when I attacked too early. So I waited until the very best moment this time. Honestly in one moment I thought the peloton would catch us, but it did not happen. So I attacked when we passed Tre Monti for the third time and it worked well. I was able to get a good gap, but the last 10 km were very hard. But I did it!  I want to thank all of the team for their support and also Dmitry Konyshev who helped me a lot during the whole stage staying in the car behind me in the break, - said stage winner Ilnur Zakarin


Read more: Ilnur Zakarin triumphs in Giro d'Italia stage 11

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