Race report

Romain Bardet 10th on tough Alpe di Mera, stays 6th on GC

Giro d'Italia

After yesterday’s day in the hills, the Giro d’Italia headed for the mountains once again today with the very difficult summit finish of Alpe di Mera and its nine percent average gradient for almost ten kilometres. Rolling out from the start town of Abbiategrasso it was a fast pace to begin the day, with no breakaway able to form in the opening 45 kilometres of action, before the elastic finally snapped and a group of six riders went down the road.

Their gap expanded to around four minutes where it held stabilised and the peloton started pulling. With all Team DSM riders in the bunch, the focus was on staying safe and expending as little energy as possible, looking to protect and set up Romain Bardet for the finale. As the peloton charged towards the Passo della Colma with around 45 kilometres to go, the gap to breakaway sextet had cut in half, falling to just under two minutes, with the team doing a good job to position Bardet towards the front. Nothing materialised on the climb but the peloton had the break in its sights as the race started the ascent of Alpe di Mera, setting up an incredibly fast and hard fought finale.

From the bottom of the climb a very strong tempo was set and the bunch whittled down dramatically, with Chris Hamilton and Michael Storer riding well in the opening kilometres to protect Bardet. At six and a half kilometres to go, the attacks in the GC group started with Bardet riding at his own tempo, flanked by Storer, within the Maglia Rosa group. Riding strongly as they caught those ahead, Bardet had to let go of the wheels with four kilometres remaining as to not go into the red. Continuing to ride at his own tempo to limit the losses, Bardet crossed the line in tenth place on the stage; holding onto sixth on GC for the team.

“It was a fast stage today,” explained Bardet at the finish. “We rode really well as a team together. The guys put me in an excellent position on the last climb and on the second half I just had to take my own pace to survive the day. We’re still sixth on GC so will try our all tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “I think we showed some good teamwork today actually. We came into the climbs in a forward position which is what we wanted. The guys did a super job to bring Romain into the front in the final. At the end of the day on a climb like that, the legs do the talking, and I think we did a really good job. We’re still sixth on GC, finished tenth on the stage and we have another big day tomorrow. I think things can still move around a little bit in GC positions so we will refocus and see what we can do tomorrow.”



Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 YATES Simon Team BikeExchange 4:02:55 100
2 ALMEIDA João Deceuninck - Quick Step 0:11 40
3 BERNAL Egan INEOS Grenadiers 0:28 20
10 BARDET Romain Team DSM 1:25 -
22 STORER Michael Team DSM 4:56 -
31 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 7:00 -
62 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM 13:54 -
74 KANTER Max Team DSM 21:57 -
79 ROCHE Nicolas Team DSM 22:39 -
106 DENZ Nico Team DSM 25:06 -