One year ago Enrico Battaglin rose to fame when he won a wet fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia in Serra San Bruno. Yesterday he got agonizingly close to repeating that feat but the late attack by Michael Rogers and a lack of team support saw him miss a great chance.
As a great climber with a very fast sprint, Enrico Battaglin had a lot of chances to chase his second stage victory in the Giro d'Italia during the first two weeks of the race. In stages 5 and 6, however, he had lots of bad luck as he was held up by crashes and time is now running out for the talented Italian.
While waiting for the hillier stages, he has shown his great condition by taking top 10 finishes in the two latest bunch sprint but one of his real targets was yesterday's hilly stage to Savona. Like many other, he seemed to have missed his chance when 14 riders rode away but Androni brought things back together on the lower slopes of the final climb.
Battaglin showed his great climbing skills by making it over the final climb with the favourites and was the obvious favourite to win a sprint. Unfortunately, he only had teammate Edoardo Zardini at his side to help bring back Michael Rogers in the finale and the tiny climber had no chance against the three-time TT world champion.
Hence, Battaglin was left to sprint for second. Simon Geschke had rejoined the bunch on the descent and the German pipped the Italian on the line, leaving Battaglin with a third place.
In general, Bardiani played a prominent role in the stage, with Francesco Bongiorno and Enrico Barbin being part in the early break and Zardini being part of the strong group that emerged just after the top of the final climb but was brought back moments later.
”I know that I was close to the win but I’m happy with my improvement after the 5th place of yesterday and the 7th place in the Foligno stage," Battaglin said. "It means that my shape is growing very well. Today my team did a great stage and we deserved a better result.
"Now before the end of the Giro I think I still have at least two chances that are good for me. I believe that I can do better than today if I continue in this way."
”Today we had the right attitude to win and we gave our all to achieve this result," sports director Roberto Reverberi said. "For this reason we don’t have any regrets. Our guys made a great performance and I’m proud of them.
"Bongiorno and Barbin were in the break of the day, then it was time for Zardini who is coming back into shape after some bronchitis. And we still had Battaglin in the first group. Rogers made a great move and with his TT skills he managed to take advantage. Enrico took a great 3rd place at end of a positive day for our team that was a protagonist all day."
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