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“In the morning meeting we had agreed to try to go in the breakaway, and I managed to do it. I tried to seize the opportunity to take the climbers’ blue jersey, but Tjallingii proved very strong today," Romero says





11.05.2014 @ 13:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Colombia earned their invitation to the Giro d'Italia partly due to their aggressive mindset and yesterday they put it on show right from the beginning of the race. In his first grand tour, Jeffry Romero animated the second stage in the long breakaway until a puncture sent him back to the peloton.


Team Colombia had promised to race an aggressive Giro d’Italia day in and day out, and has already started keeping its word in the first road stage of the race, Belfast-Belfast of 219 km. Jeffry Romero was among the promoters of  the day’s long breakaway, surrendering to the peloton’s chase only into the final 10 km.


In the end it was a sprint finish and, as widely predicted, it was one for German Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), who took his first Giro d’Italia win in front of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek). Two top-20 placements for Team Colombia: Leonardo Duque was the best placed for Team Colombia today, 14th, followed by Edwin Avila in 17th. Those results, and a 3” gap the jury awarded between the first 20 rider and the rest of the bunch, Team Colombia was first in the stage’s teams classification.


In the GC, the maglia rosa stays at Orica-GreenEDGE, but passing to Australian Michael Matthews, eight in today’s sprint, while Fabio Duarte and Jarlinson Pantano both have a 1.26 delay to the new leader.


Once again, there was no sun for the riders in Belfast: instead, the peloton needed to deal with persistent showers throughout most of the stage. The day’s breakaway was started after only 3 km by four riders: Romero, Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin), Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli) and Sander Armee (Lotto-Belisol). After reaching a 7-minute advantage, the escapees were held under control by overnight leader Svein Tuft’s Orica, until they were reeled in with 5 km to go, after Romero had given up a couple of km earlier due to a puncture.


Punctures have been another leitmotif of the day: Miguel Angel Rubiano and Fabio Duarte made no exception, and Rodolfo Torres crashed in his attempt to slow down quickly to help his captain back to the bunch. Torres suffered some bruises and a wound in his left thigh, but should be ok and ready to go for the third stage, 187 km from Armagh toDublin. Carlos Julian Quintero was particularly unfortunate, as he punctured with 3,3 km to go, with the peloton launched at full speed, and had to surrender 1.33 to the line.


“In the morning meeting we had agreed to try to go in the breakaway, and I managed to do it. I tried to seize the opportunity to take the climbers’ blue jersey, but Tjallingii proved very strong today. It was a hard day, particularly due to the weather conditions, but I was glad with my first breakaway in my first Giro d’Italia: no doubt I will try again,” Romero said.


Sports Director Valerio Tebaldi said: “It was a stressful stage, due to the rain and the punctures, but we handled it well, while showing up with Jeffry in the first breakaway of the Giro. That’s the approach we want to have in this Giro d’Italia: battling on every terrain, including the sprints with Duque and Avila.


"Today’s finale was quite hectic, particularly because of the road furniture, and we are confident in our chances of scoring good results even in less demanding stages.”



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