Race report

Gianmarco Garofoli climbs to excellent stage victory for Development Team DSM and moves into 2nd on GC

Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta - Mont Blanc

After being set up well by the team and attacking from far out, Gianmarco Garofoli conquered the mountains for Development Team DSM in Italy today.

With yesterday’s tough opening day in the mountains behind them, the challenging terrain continued at the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta – Mont Blanc today with another brutal day in the saddle and almost 4500 metres of climbing. It was a fast start to the day with a lot of attacks, before a break of nine riders escaped with all Development Team DSM riders in the peloton, riding well together as a group.

As the kilometres ticked by, the gap to those ahead diminished on the Col Tsecore, where it was all together. Gianmarco Garofoli attacked on the climb and went solo on the descent, building up an advantage of 40 seconds over two chasers before he started the climb of Col Saint-Pantaléon, which averaged a leg-sapping seven percent for 16 kilometres. Riding at a really strong tempo, Garofoli continued to press on the pedals and increased his lead over the chasers. Behind, Henri Vandenabeele launched out of the peloton and set off in pursuit of teammate Garofoli, cresting the climb roughly two minutes and 30 seconds behind, with the reduced chasing group a further minute back.

After a fast descent, Garofoli increased his lead going onto the final climb, while Vandenabeele showed his bike handling skills by doing some on-bike stretches, suffering from mild cramps during what was an incredibly hard stage. From that point the road only headed upwards, as the riders climbed towards the finish in Breuil Cervinia. Out front Garofoli continued to give it his all, as did Vandenabeele who was joined by three other chasers on the steep slopes as they made their way into the final five kilometres.

Pushing all the way to the line, Garofoli was able to sit up and celebrate at the finish, raising both arms aloft as he took the stage win for the team. Behind, Vandenabeele continued to ride at his own strong pace, coming across the line in fifth and making it a double top five for the team on the day. Today’s result also sees Garofoli move into second place on GC ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

“What an incredible day!” smiled Garofoli after the stage. “To ride for 60 kilometres out front solo with two really big climbs was amazing. Henri did a really good job and covered me very well behind and thanks to all the team, they were fantastic today. To win the queen stage with over 4000 metres of elevation and to do so in my first year at the level, it’s amazing, I’m just really happy to get my first win with Team DSM. I am now second in the GC and tomorrow there is still a hard stage so I hope to recover well and we’ll fight as hard as we can.”

Team DSM coach Bennie Lambregts added: “The guys rode really well today earlier in the stage. It was then a brilliant performance from Gianmarco. He attacked early and made it over all of the big climbs and stayed in front of everyone; it was a really big ride from him. Henri felt much better today and he rode really well too to take a great fifth place. Both of the guys had a small crash earlier in the stage so to be able to turn that around and do what they did shows a lot of strength. I’m really proud of all of the team today, so compliments to them.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 GAROFOLI Gianmarco Development Team DSM 4:56:50 5
2 PETRUCCI Mattia Team Colpack Ballan 1:31 1
3 LIPOWITZ Florian Tirol KTM Cycling Team 1:34 -