Race report

Romain Bardet moves up on GC after leg-sapping Monte Zoncolan finish

Giro d'Italia

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

Leaving the start town of Cittadella this morning, the brutally steep and famous Monte Zoncolan lay in wait for the peloton, almost 200 kilometres down the road. The flatter early part of the stage saw a fierce and attacking start before an 11 rider strong breakaway group managed to escape after 15 kilometres of action, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton.

Those out front worked well together and continued to increase their gap over the peloton, standing at eight minutes and 30 seconds as they approached the second category climb of Forca Monte Rest with 65 kilometres to go. On the climb the gap slowly fell before Nicholas Roche did a good job to bring Romain Bardet towards the front before the peloton began a fast and technical descent. The pace was pushed on and some splits occurred in the bunch but as they hit the valley road the pace slowed and things regrouped, allowing the breakaway to have enough of an advantage to fight it out for the stage win.

All attention in the peloton switched to Monte Zoncolan and its 14 kilometre climb to the line, with a leg sapping average gradient of eight and a half percent. From the bottom a high pace was set in the peloton and it became a race of attrition as riders slowly dropped out of the group one-by-one. After some good positioning work by Chris Hamilton, Bardet was well to the fore as the Maglia Rosa group thinned down to around 15 riders as they approached the final three kilometres where the steepest gradients awaited them. With the gradients pinching it became rider against rider, as Bardet dug deep and rode at his own tempo on the steep ramps all the way to the finish; taking 15th place on the stage and moving up to tenth place on GC.

“It was a really fast and hard stage today,” explained Bardet at the finish. “The guys did a really great job to look after me all day long and onto the Zoncolan. Then on the steepest part I just tried to find my own pace as the GC group completely exploded, and gave it everything to the line.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “The goal was to protect Romain today and push on with the GC fight. We lost Michael early due to a crash, he fought back but then was unable to help when we came into the mountains. The guys did a really good job; we still had four guys coming into the bottom of the Zoncolan and supported Romain in a good way until five kilometres to go. Romain then had to go all-in on the steep sections and limit any losses that might come his way. I think it was a good performance and we move into the top ten on GC. We’ll keep building on this and keep pushing for higher on the GC.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 FORTUNATO Lorenzo EOLO-Kometa 5:17:22 100
2 TRATNIK Jan Bahrain - Victorious 0:26 40
3 COVI Alessandro UAE-Team Emirates 0:59 20
15 BARDET Romain Team DSM 2:45 -
43 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 10:46 -
54 ROCHE Nicolas Team DSM 15:10 -
64 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM 20:57 -
106 DENZ Nico Team DSM 35:19 -
107 STORER Michael Team DSM ,, -
129 KANTER Max Team DSM 36:38 -
1006 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM -05:17:22 -