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"Edvald missed the front group by very little. He was one of the last riders to get dropped and not make it back to the front. He was really close which was a pity," Cioni says

Photo: Sirotti










21.05.2014 @ 19:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On paper today's stage of the Giro d'Italia looked like a perfect fit for the in-form Edvald Boasson Hagen and the Norwegian dug deep as he tried to stay with the best on the final climb. He was one of the last riders to get dropped without making it back to the front and so Sky left the race empty-handed.


Philip Deignan made the break on a mixed day for Team Sky which saw the team on the attack but get caught up in a number of crashes.


After a frantic start to the second longest stage of the race, Deignan rode hard to force his way into the day’s 14-man move as the peloton headed along the coast for Savona.


The group combined well, but a motivated chase from the peloton saw the race come back together on the final Naso di Gatto climb.


Both Kanstantsin Siutsou and Sebastian Henao rode well to finish the race in a select front group, while Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) attacked off the descent to take a solo victory.


A punishing stage in more ways than one, with high speeds and numerous crashes, Salvatore Puccio came off worst for the team after a pile-up descending off the day’s first climb. A number of Team Sky riders were held up by another incident with 70km to go, with Ben Swift having to change his bike and the subsequent chase taking him out of contention.


Cadel Evans stayed safe with the help of his BMC Racing team-mates to retain his 57-second race lead heading into Thursday’s time trial. Meanwhile Siutsou moved up a place to 19th overall as the race continues to intensify.


After the stage Sports Director Dario Cioni talked about a testing day for the peloton, and began with an injury update on Puccio.


"Salvatore is okay," he confirmed to "The Doctor has seen him and there is no major concern. He’s lost a bit of skin but he’s feeling okay.


"It was one of those stages you don’t see often. The race kept on going and going forever at the start. A few breaks made it away but then were hauled back in. There was quite a big move which we had Cataldo, Kosta and Philip in at one point. That came back and then Philip went away in the group that stuck.


"No one really thought they would come back and it was quite a surprise that it didn’t stay away. I don’t think other teams would have gone for it if Androni hadn’t gone so early. After such a hard stage it’s a bit of a lottery as everyone has had to go really hard early on. It was much faster than a normal one-day race, and we’re halfway through a Grand Tour – so the peloton aren’t exactly fresh."


Cioni also reflected on the final climb, a near-miss for Boasson Hagen and a bit of bad luck for Swift.


"We said that we should try on the final climb for Swifty and Edvald," he added. "Ben had the expended the extra energy coming back after the crash which made it hard. Edvald missed the front group by very little. He was one of the last riders to get dropped and not make it back to the front. He was really close which was a pity.


"We didn’t get the result but on the plus side Puccio made it to the finish and Kosta finished in the lead group without losing time. Tomorrow in the time trial he has the opportunity to move up.”



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