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Press Releases | 29.05.2021

Felix Grossschartner gets third day in the break on Giro d’Italia’s last road stage as Peter Sagan defends ciclamino jersey lead

The last road stage, as well as the penultimate stage of the race overall, day 20 of the Giro d’Italia was also going to be one of the hardest. Making its way into Switzerland to sample some of its iconic climbs, the 164km parcours featured the infamous Passo San Bernardino and the Splügenpass before returning to Italy for the summit finish in Madesimo. The day’s intermediate sprint came at just under 17km and Peter Sagan’s rivals for the ciclamino jersey made their intentions known at the very start, trying to attack and take the points. The whole BORA-hansgrohe team was working hard to put an end to the dreams of any riders who thought they would be able to take the jersey, but when the dust settled, Peter was still leading this contest. The snow and cold weather predicted at the tops of the tallest climbs were of no concern to Felix Grossschartner, and neither were the total of more than 4,200m of climbing, the Austrian rider making his move as the peloton ventured into Switzerland and his group of nine set about building a lead of 2:30, before extending this to 5:20 with 100k still to race. Two sections of the Passo San Bernadino hit a maximum gradient of 12% over its long 24km length, but Felix was looking comfortable here as he pushed on ahead of his colleagues in the break, with three riders distancing the other six. However, on the lower slopes of the Splügenpass, the peloton was riding hard and fast and were cutting the break’s lead swiftly, the gap at just thirty seconds. Knowing the escape group couldn’t stay out until the end, Felix dropped back with 30km to go as the metres of ascending and kilometres of riding took effect in the peloton and riders were being left behind by a select GC group. Felix held his own and stayed in touch as long as possible, closing the day in twentieth position after a confident performance, while Peter Sagan came home safe to defend his ciclamino jersey lead. 

 

Results 

01        D.Caruso                     4h27’53” 

02        E.Bernal                      + 0:24 

03        D.Martínez                 + 0:35 

20        F.Grossschartner       + 5:29 

26        M.Fabbro                    + 6:50 

 

From the Finish Line 

"I tried to go into the breakaway today and I made it. We worked really well among us, but, unfortunately, the peloton really controlled the race. I think that when we crested San Bernandino our advantage had already dropped to a minute, so it was going to be a very difficult task. I haven't been feeling very well during this Giro, I suffered quite a lot today as well but, like every other day, I tried to do my best. I managed to stay as long as I could with the GC favourites.  It is what it is but I'll be back." – Felix Grossschartner 

"I motivated the guys in today's meeting and explained to them that they are competing in one of the biggest sports events in the world, and reminded them that as a child, this is what you dream of competing in. To just enjoy being in the leading group and really give it your all, to try to get another stage result. And that's what we did. Felix in particular did a great job in the lead group, refused to give up, and kept going. He put in a spectacular performance in the finale, so again great teamwork was reflected here. And with that, we concluded the 20th stage of the Giro." – Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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