Photo Credit: Cor Vos
The Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta – Mont Blanc got underway today with a challenging 110 kilometre long stage, starting and finishing in the town of Pollein. Jam-packed with climbs, it was set to be a tough day out and an infernal pace was set from the beginning of the race. Oscar Onley infiltrated an early breakaway but they were brought back after ten kilometres on the opening, albeit uncategorised, climb of the day where a new nine rider group formed.
Development Team DSM, alongside some other teams, took control at the head of the peloton and kept the gap stable as the climbs and kilometres ticked by, looking to protect Henri Vandenabeele. Over the second categorised ascent the team stretched things out on the descent as they caught the break ahead, but were unable to get a gap. Proceedings stayed together as the race charged towards the back to back climbs in the finale, with Gianmarco Garofoli putting in a probing dig on the lower slopes, although on the steep gradients he was caught. Vandenabeele and Garofoli dug as deep as they could on the remainder of the challenging route, with the Italian leading the team home in the stage, finishing in 13th place and moving into the best young rider’s jersey.