Giro News: Astana Puts the Hammer Down


Etixx – Quick-Step Team News gives an insight into stage 4 as Astana put the hammer down and split the favourites

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Giro News: Astana Puts the Hammer Down

Giro d’Italia: Fast Paced Medium Mountain Stage Splits Peloton – Meersman Withdraws From the Race

Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) won the 150km Stage solo out of a 30-rider escape group that formed after a series of attacks early on in the medium mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Ciavari to La Spezia, on Tuesday. Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEDGE) took the Maglia Rosa by finishing 2nd in a chase group behind, and Yonathan Monsalve (Southeast) was 3rd.

The escape group was able to gain an advantage of more than 10 minutes. Attacks eventually dwindled the group down to seven, and then back up to 15 riders when the parcours became more difficult. Those riders kept as much as a 1’39” advantage with 15km to go. Formolo decided to try his chances solo out of that group inside 13.5km to go in the stage.

Meanwhile, a very high pace in the peloton set by Astana shed riders kilometer-by-kilometer. The peloton was eventually down to a very small group including Rigoberto Uran. Fabio Aru eventually attacked inside 11km to go.

Richie Porte (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), and Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Soudal) went with the move. Uran was unable to keep with the pace. Those riders eventually bridged to the chasers, but they were unable to catch Formolo before the line.


Photo: Etixx – Quick-Step/Tim De Waele – Rigoberto Uran

Riders in places 2 through 10 finished 22″ down. Uran finished 21st, 1’04” down in the next group behind. Uran is now 14th in the GC, 1’11” down.

Difficult day says Uran

“It was a difficult day all day,” Uran said of the stage. “It was really high speed. When Astana set the tempo in the last 65 kilometers I was able to sit in the wheel. All was going well, but in the last climb I suffered a bit and couldn’t follow when Aru accelerated. At that point I tried to set my tempo and lose as little time as possible going into the finish. It wasn’t a super day for me, but tomorrow is another day. The climb of Abetone is a different kind of climb so we will see how things go tomorrow.”

Etixx – Quick-Step looks next to Stage 5, which includes a mountain finale of Category 1 difficulty at the end of the 152km stage from La Spezia to Abetone.


Gianni Meersman, after crashing hard due to a puncture on a descent in Stage 3, withdrew from the race. “I was lost immediately at the beginning of the stage, but I managed to come back into the peloton,” Meersman said.

“However, after 80 kilometers it was impossible to continue. I had pain in my lower back and deep in my chest. In any case it was difficult to breathe and handle the bike, so I was forced to stop. Of course I am sad because we have two riders less now.”

“First Pieter Serry, and now me. It’s not nice to leave the team down two riders already after four days. But given the situation, there’s nothing I can do except undergo examinations and see what is going on, and then try to recover.”

Serry went for further examinations after his crash in the 2nd Stage of the Giro d’Italia. A CT scan revealed a small fissure on his right collarbone, which doesn’t need any operation. However, the injury requires four weeks without racing.


“Today we lost Gianni, which means we are down two guys in four days,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “This is not really the best way to start the Giro. Rigo also suffered a bit. But the Giro is three weeks long. The guys are committed, and of course Rigo has worked hard to do well at this race. So tomorrow we will wait and see what can happen, but we want to try to get our chance in this Giro.”

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