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"I’d already spent a lot of energy early on just to go across to the other five, fighting a head wind to make it up to them. But I don’t think I paid the price for going full gas in yesterday’s TT," Belkov says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




23.05.2014 @ 20:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Maxim Belkov had a fantastic chance to win a Giro d'Italia stage for the second year in a row when he made it into the successful break in today's 13th stage. However, the Russian got dropped in the finale and wrote it down to the energy he used to bridge across to the break in the early part of the stage.


An early break saw success again in the 97th Giro d’Italia, this time on a sprinter’s stage from Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese at 157 km. Maxim Belkov bridged across to the original five-man group and put in a solid ride on stage 13. 


“Today was a good day for the breakaway," Team director Claudio Cozzi said. "The six riders in the front had clear motivation to stay away to the finish. Belkov had to chase for more than 10 km to get in this breakaway and I think he ended up being very tired from this effort.


"I think FDJ wanted other teams to help work today, but only Trek helped and others not so much so the break never came back. They had worked well in the break, but I told Belkov at around 30km to stay quiet and then go hard after that. But the attack came from Canola and it was a good effort.”


Marco Canola (Bardiani CSF) attacked the break and took Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli) and Angelo Tulik (Europcar) with him. The trio rode hard until the last kilometer when they eyed each other as the peloton chased behind. Canola opened up his sprint from the front and took the victory ahead of Rodriguez and Tulik. The peloton arrived 11-seconds later. 


“Just when Canola attacked I had a difficult moment," Belkov said. "I had already figured out that Tulik and Canola had the best legs so I planned to try a little test, but then Canola’s attack came.


"I’d already spent a lot of energy early on just to go across to the other five, fighting a head wind to make it up to them. But I don’t think I paid the price for going full gas in yesterday’s TT. When I won a stage in the 2013 Giro it was also the day after a hard TT.”


It was another rainy day in Italy and this time hail also fell, making the roads slippery on an already technical and narrow finish area. The break went clear after only a few kilometers and built a gap of more than three minutes. With very few remaining stages available for the sprinters, it was predicted that the teams of the fast men would control and contest the sprint.  But most of the teams of the sprinters didn’t contribute to the effort from FdJ and left the break up the road with not enough time to bring them back.


There was no change in the general classification. Rigoberto Uran still leads by 37 seconds to Cadel Evans (BMC) and 1:52 to Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).


Tomorrow brings the peloton to the high mountains with stage 14. It’s a pure climbing stage at 164 km, beginning Agliè and ending at Oropa. Along the way are four rated climbs, including the category 1 climb to the finish.  



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