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Press Releases | 21.10.2020

Rafał Majka and Patrick Konrad make their presence known in select GC group on Giro d’Italia stage 17 as race enters the big mountains

The jagged sawtooth profile today left the riders in no doubt – the Giro d’Italia was hitting the big mountains. Four categorised climbs dominated the parcours, only one of which was below a first category, and all this over a long 203km route. This was going to be a tough day, and the entire peloton knew it. In spite of some brave attempts to break away at the start, it took a while for an escape group to form, with every move shut down almost as quickly as they went out, but after nearly 50km of racing, the bunch finally let a group of eighteen go off. This sizeable escape quickly set about building an advantage and this was more than six minutes as the stage went into its final 100km. While the skies were blue and the sun was shining on the race, jackets and arm-warmers made an appearance as the climbs got taller, the late October weather making conditions chilly at the top of the Monte Bondone. The break was working hard to stay warm though, with escapees going on the attack on the descents and creating some splits in the lead group, and with the one lead group becoming four, the breakaway was staking its claim on the stage, and with the peloton eight minutes behind, it looked certain this was going to happen. With the stage win decided, all eyes were on the finale on the summit finish today, with a select group forming at the foot of the climb to Madonna di Campiglio, and both Rafał Majka and Patrick Konrad representing BORA-hansgrohe here. While the kilometres were quickly covered by this group of eleven, it was clear that everyone in this group was feeling strong, and every move was quickly brought back in. In the last few hundred metres, Rafał pushed on, but it wasn’t possible to open up any time gaps, the Polish rider taking thirteenth spot, with Patrick coming across the line in seventeenth. With the race’s Queen Stage tomorrow, the whole team was saving energy today to battle it out in the Dolomites.

Results

01        B.O’Connor                 5h50’59”
02        H.Pernsteiner          + 0:31
03        T.De Gendt                 + 1:10
...
13        R.Majka                      + 5:11
17        P.Konrad                    + 5.11

From the Finish Line

"It was quite hard today for me, I wasn't in my best form. Still, I kept fighting and managed to finish with the group of leaders. I hope I feel better tomorrow. At least, the weather is nice. It might be cold but this isn't an issue. It's more important that it's sunny and the roads are dry. If it was raining it would be much harder." – Rafał Majka

"Another tough stage but, once again, the team did a very good job and both Rafał and I were always in the group of main contenders, until the finish line. We saved some energy because tomorrow will be a crucial day and I look forward to it." – Patrick Konrad

"We were able to survive and Patrick and Rafał stayed with the best all the way today. Unlike the previous days, we had no interest in getting into the breakaway today. In our pre-race meeting, we made it clear we only had one goal, to ride for our two GC riders and provide the best support possible in order for them to achieve their maximum performance. They are still in contention, they aren't too far from the podium and I think they are able to make it to the top five. That's our sole goal now. Tomorrow will be the big showdown, with the Stelvio close to the final climb, and we will have to be ready for it. It will not be easy but we will give our best." – Jens Zemke, Sports Director

Photo: Bettiniphoto

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