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"When Contador attacked, I preferred to stay calm and to stay with a pace which was comfortable for me. It worked out well and finally our group lost only 20-seconds."

Photo: A.S.O.






13.05.2015 @ 21:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was another testing day for the riders in the 98th Giro d’Italia as they made their way to the top of Abetone in Wednesday’s stage 5. The general classification contenders saw the opportunity to gain time and Team Katusha’s Iurii Trofimov followed the moves to arrive with the second chasing group and earn an 8th place finish on the day behind solo winner Jan Polanc.


"The plan for today was very simple – to be in front on the last climb and to finish as high as possible in the rankings. The team tried to do its best to put Iurii in a good position in the final and I think he handled everything very well. Indeed, it was almost impossible to follow the attack of Contador and Aru, but Iurii did a very smart race and was able to finish 8th in the first uphill finish.  We can say this was a good beginning for him," said team director Dmitry Konyshev.


Departing from La Spezia, Polanc (Lampre-Merida) was part of a day-long break that started with five riders who established a gap of more than 11 minutes on the 152 km stage. At 12 km to go, Polanc attacked his group and held a steady pace to stay away from the chasers and claim his first grand tour stage victory.  As part of the remains of the original break, IAM’s Sylvain Chavanel rode in for second place and was almost nipped on the line by the GC group of Fabio Aru (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Richie Porte of Sky, but managed to keep his podium position in front of Aru. 


"In the last climb I did my best and tried to keep my own pace in the last few kilometers. The team was good today and I had strong support. When Contador attacked, I preferred to stay calm and to stay with a pace which was comfortable for me. It worked out well and finally our group lost only 20-seconds. On the other hand, it was possible to even gain some seconds to other rivals. This was just the first mountain stage – all of the important things are still to come," said team leader Iurii Trofimov.


The maglia rosa went onto the shoulders of Contador after the competions of just over 16-hours of racing.  Contador’s attack came with 4,5 km to go and shook up the remains of his group with only Aru and Porte immediately able to follow. The trio was soon joined by Aru’s teammate Mikel Landa and the four riders put time into all the others as they churned uphill for the finish line in Abetone.  Aru took the remaining bonus of 4-seconds for the stage and is two-seconds behind Contador on GC. Porte is in third at 20-seconds. Trofimov remains the best placed rider from Team Katusha in 14th place overall. 


Thursday is a 183 km road stage from Montecatini Terme to Castiglione della Pescaia. With a climb in the middle of the stage, it’s a fast and flat road to the finish line and should be a time for the sprinters to shine.  



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