Race report

Nikias Arndt takes brilliant 3rd place from the breakaway after fast day of racing at the Giro

Giro d'Italia

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

As the riders rolled out from Foggio earlier this afternoon, a tricky 170 kilometre long stage in the hills and mountains awaited, and one that looked perfect for the breakaway to chase glory. It was an incredibly fierce and attacking start to the day with numerous unsuccessful breakaway attempts formed and then brought back, with Michael Storer and Nicholas Roche particularly active. Eventually after 60 kilometres of hard racing a nine rider group escaped and the elastic snapped, with Nikias Arndt riding strongly to make the move for the team.

The gap to Arndt’s group continued to rise as they made their way onto the first categorised climb of the day, standing at seven minutes with around 70 kilometres to go. With the bunch happy to let them go, it became clear the breakaway would fight it out for the stage win. On the long descent and run in to the final climb, it was an incredibly tactical affair, with Arndt trying several times to get away; either alone or with another rider but the rest of the group were quickly onto his back wheel.

In the end, things were all together as they made the turn onto the final climb where the winning move was ultimately made. Arndt used his experience to full effect, riding the climb at his own tempo and not going into the red. Following the wheels of some others, he was able to unleash his trademark seated sprint in sight of the line, taking a brilliant third place for the team at the finish; after what was a hard and fast day out over the climbs.

Back in the peloton the team did a good job of staying safe throughout the day and going onto the final climb, where it remained status quo between most of the GC contenders, with Romain Bardet coming home safely in that group. Unfortunately, Jai Hindley was held up behind a crash at around one kilometre to go, losing a handful seconds to those ahead. Tomorrow sees another tricky day of climbing and a hill top finish in Campo Felice which feature some gravel roads for good measure.

“We’ve rode really well as a team all race so far but we were just missing that result and now we have it, so I’m supper happy and it’s a nice day for us,” smiled Arndt at the finish. “Day by day I’m feeling better and the team is riding really strongly too. It was really tough with a lot of jumping in the beginning, especially on the uphill part. We had Nico [Roche] and Michael in a few breaks and then I followed a move that was really going full gas and that was that. There were some stronger climbers than me in there. I’ve proved in the past that I can climb well, but on the last climb I was fully on the limit. Of course when we go in the break we’re looking for the win but we knew it would be a tricky one and I think we played it smart in the finish so I’m happy with the third place today; it’s a good day.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “It was a good result from the guys today. It took a long time for the breakaway to go and we covered most of the moves and we were pretty well organised. Nikias then got into a group with eight other guys and it went all the way to the finish. He played a really good game tactically on that final climb and sprinted to third place at the line for a really nice result. Credit to Nikias, it was a super job today. The rest of the team looked after the GC guys going onto the final climb where Romain finish strongly and it was a little bit status quo for the main bunch. The only downside was that Jai lost a little bit of time held up behind the crash but we’ll continue to fight in the coming stages.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 LAFAY Victor Cofidis, Solutions Crédits 4:06:47 100
2 GAVAZZI Francesco EOLO-Kometa 0:36 40
3 ARNDT Nikias Team DSM 0:37 20
20 BARDET Romain Team DSM 4:48 -
37 STORER Michael Team DSM 4:59 -
38 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM ,, -
57 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 5:58 -
95 ROCHE Nicolas Team DSM 9:40 -
117 DENZ Nico Team DSM 11:14 -
141 KANTER Max Team DSM 13:49 -