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Press Releases | 24.05.2019

First real mountain test at the Giro: Rafal Majka takes sixth in Ceresole Reale

With three tricky climbs, today’s 13th stage was the first real mountain stage of this year’s Giro d'Italia and took the riders over 196km to the Alpine region of Piemont. 40 km after the start in Pinerolo, the riders reached the Colle del Lys, a first category climb. Following a 40km long descent, the course then went upwards yet again to the 9km log and on average 8.7 per cent steep Pian del Lupo. After another steep descent, the final climb of the day began to the finish town Ceresole Reale, near the glacial basin of Lago Serrù, which lies at an altitude of 2247m. The last 7 km until the finish line ramped up to 9 per cent grade. The race started fairly aggressively and any early attacks were being brought back almost as soon as they went off. After 30 km, the field split into three groups. Davide Formolo was able to join the first group of about 28 riders, which after cresting the first categorised climb, had been able to carve out an advantage of around 3 minutes to the group containing the Maglia Rosa. Team UAE Emirates and Jumbo Visma led the reduced peloton in an attempt to reduce the gap and with the ascent to the Pian del Lupo the gap had been reduced to less than 2 minutes. The steep climb took its toll on the leading riders and several had to fall back into the chasing group. Davide was able to hold his own and ride in one of the front positions within the leading group. The chasing group, now reduced to 15 riders, and containing Rafal Majka and GC favourites, began to close the gap to the front. The peloton, which contained the Maglia Rosa, was now distanced with more than 2 minutes. At the foot of the ascent to Ceresole Reale, the group around the Maglia Rosa was able to catch up to the group of favourites now lagging 40 seconds behind the leaders with 38 km to go. On the steep climb to the finishing town, several riders attacked from the front group and were able to distance themselves. Davide rode in a group of 5 riders in pursuit of the leaders. The group of favourites containing Rafal Majka followed a couple of minutes behind. With 15 km to go Davide was unable to keep up with the tempo and was dropped. A quartet then led out in front and had over 4 minutes to the group of favourites, which included Rafal, V. Nibali and P. Roglic. With a few kilometres to go, Rafal attacked but could not shake off his rivals. In the last two kilometres, I. Zakarin and M. Nieve lead out front but in the end the Katusha-Alpecin rider was the strongest, ultimately getting himself over the line victorious. Rafal finished in 6th place, two minutes in arrears, and with that remains in 7th place in the general classification, while teammate Davide managed to finish in tenth position on the stage.

 

Result

01 I. Zakarin               5:34:40

02 M. Nieve                   +0:35

03 M. Landa                  +1:20

06 R. Majka                   +2:07

10 D. Formolo               +3:50

 

From the finish line

“Today Davide managed to get into a break with several quality riders, and the plan was that he would try to go for the stage win. It was an interesting stage, with many GC riders losing time but also others gaining time. But there are still several stages left to come and it’s hard to predict what will happen. The last kilometres were very tough. I tried to bridge to the leaders, with the help of Davide, but it wasn’t possible. But there are several stages ahead of us and we'll of course keep trying.”

- Rafal Majka

 

“It was good that Davide managed to get into a large breakaway group, but the field didn’t give them too much time and they weren’t able to carve out such a substantial advantage. There were many strong riders in the leading group, including Mollema and the eventual stage winner Zakarin, and it wasn’t easy competing against them. They were very strong today. However, Rafal was able to take time on riders like Roglic and Yates, and that will be an advantage heading into the coming stages. “

- Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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