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“Saxo-Tinkoff went full gas on the way to the Monto Ologno. Contador’s attack on the climb was impressive. I tried to follow, but he went too fast. There was nothing to do."

Photo: Sirotti

GIRO D'ITALIA

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STEVEN KRUIJSWIJK

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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28.05.2015 @ 18:43 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Steven Kruijswijk successfully defended his mountain jersey and eighth place in the overall of the Giro d’Italia today. Philippe Gilbert, who was part of an early break, won the 18th stage. The BMC rider attacked in the final kilometres and soloed to victory in Verbania.

 

Ryder Hesjedal attacked on at the Monto Ologno on Thursday together with maglia rosa Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo). The duo finished well behind Gilbert, but managed to build up a 1-13 minute lead over the other GC riders. Kruijswijk, who ended up 15th, had to go all the way to maintain his lead over Hesjedal. He succeeded, but barely. He now has only eight seconds to the Canadian Cannondale-Garmin rider.

 

Kruijswijk’s mountain jersey wasn’t jeopardised, because the break managed to stay ahead of the overall riders on the Monto Ologno, the only climb were points were up for grabs. The Dutchman still has a one-point advantage over Beñat Intxausti of Movistar.

 

“Saxo-Tinkoff went full gas on the way to the Monto Ologno,” Kruijswijk said. “Contador’s attack on the climb was impressive. I tried to follow, but he went too fast. There was nothing to do.

 

"I was lucky that the break took all the points at the top. I’ll keep an eye on Intxausti, but it’s quite difficult for me, as I don’t want to lose my position in the overall. I shouldn’t waste my strength.”

 

The 19th stage is indicated as a five star stage in the Giro road book. The riders have to complete 236 kilometres. In the final 86 kilometres, they have to tackle three climbs of the first category.

 

"We now face two of the toughest stages,” Sports Director Frans Maassen said. “Our men were really attentive today. In the run-up to the climb, there was a crash, but thanks to good teamwork, we came out unscathed. That’s a nice bonus and good for our confidence when you look at the next two days.”

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