Race report

Oscar Onley 5th in opening Giro Valle d’Aosta stage

Giro Valle d'Aosta

The opening day at Giro Valle d’Aosta saw Team DSM’s Development program line-up for an 82 kilometre route, starting and finishing in Saint Gervais Mont Blanc. The bunch would take on several laps of a local circuit that included a shorter climb, before one final lap that included the toughest challenge of the day – the Le Bettex climb and its six percent average gradient for 12 kilometres.

It was a fast start to proceedings with a five rider break going clear and several counter attacks following suit. Not in the moves, the team bided their time and looked after the energy for what was a tough finale. Heading onto the final climb of Le Bettex, the team were well positioned after some good work; looking to set up Oscar Onley and Max Poole. As the gradients took their toll, the pace ramped up and attacks flew. Fighting hard, Onley crested the climb in a chase group behind solo rider Martinez, with remnants of the breakaway ahead, included eventual stage winner Hollyman. Pushing all the way down the descent and to the line, Onley led home his group for a strong fifth place with Poole not too far behind in another group.

Onley said: “We went into the stage mainly focused on the final climb. We were positioned well in the laps and made the front split coming into the final climb. I couldn’t quite follow Lenny Martinez when he attacked but came over the climb in a small group just behind and finished fifth. We now have a good position on the GC and are looking forward to the coming stages to also look for a stage win.”

Team DSM coach Boris Zimine added: “A break of five left early and a counter attack went that never got across to them. With us not in the move our plan was to stay calm and support Oscar and Max, and let the legs talk on the last climb. The guys did a really good job doing that. On the last ascent Oscar was one of the strongest climbers in the peloton, and only Martinez able to go clear. Oscar stayed in his group in the downhill and could sprint to fifth which was good. Max also pushed all the way to the finish and was around the top 15 as well. There is still a really long way to go in the race and some good riders lost some time but there are four tough days in the mountains to go so a lot can change. We had a good first day though and we will see what happens in the coming stages.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 HOLLYMAN Mason Israel Cycling Academy 2:13:57 5
2 MARTINEZ Lenny Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ 0:52 1
3 RAFFERTY Darren Hagens Berman Axeon 1:11 -