Race report

7th place for Alberto Dainese in close sprint finish into Messina

Giro d'Italia

With yesterday’s mountain top finish behind them, today’s stage on paper would offer the chance for the sprinters to do battle in the finale but with a tricky climb cresting at almost half way into the day, there was intrigue amongst fans and the peloton alike whether some teams would push the pace or not.

Nonetheless, it was a relatively calm start to the day and a five rider break established itself out front within the opening ten kilometres, with all Team DSM riders settling into the bunch. The group out front built up a lead of around four minutes where it held steady. On the opening slopes of the climb it seemed as if the bunch was content with the situation but after a few kilometres some teams came to the front and upped the pace, distancing some sprinters and other riders, including Nico Denz.

The rest of the squad made it over the climb in the now reduced peloton, where the pace remained high as other sprint teams looked to break the will of those dropped. Eventually the chase from behind was stopped and things calmed down, albeit only for a short period, before the fight for position began in the bunch. The team moved forward en masse, holding the right hand side of the road as the kilometres ticked down. Heading into the technical finale, the guys swung off one-by-one, with Romain Bardet doing a pull inside the closing two kilometres to position last lead out man Cees Bol with finisher Alberto Dainese in his wheel. Under the kite, Bol put the power down and brought Dainese up from deep, with the Italian producing a good turn of speed and finishing fast to claim seventh place in a close finale.

“It was a hectic stage with the climb in the middle but the guys looked after me and we made it over together in a good way,” explained Dainese. “We stayed together well in the bunch and then coming into the finale we held our position with the guys keeping the pace high. We then sat back a little and let the other sprint teams take over, before Cees brought me forward really well inside one kilometre to go. I gave it everything I had in the sprint and overtook some guys but just missed that little bit to go for the podium. We’re motivated to give it another go in the next sprint stages.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “I think it was a super job from the guys. We showed some really good teamwork today. We came into the final in a really good position, with our GC guys pulling big turns at the front to keep our sprinters in contention. The guys had to surf a little bit and Cees then really brought Alberto forward nicely to 300 metres to go. We finished with a solid seventh place but I think the teamwork we showed today and how together we are as a group was a real strong point from the stage.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama - FDJ 4:03:56 100
2 GAVIRIA Fernando UAE Team Emirates ,, 40
3 NIZZOLO Giacomo Israel - Premier Tech ,, 20
7 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
43 BOL Cees Team DSM ,, -
50 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
52 BARDET Romain Team DSM ,, -
101 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 0:40 -
139 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 2:10 -
140 COMBAUD Romain Team DSM ,, -
163 DENZ Nico Team DSM 11:57 -