The 28-year-old Italian finished eighth on what was the sprinters’ last opportunity of the week.
Wednesday’s stage was the longest one of the race, 219 kilometers from Camaiore to Tortona, a town inextricably linked with “Il Campionissimo” Fausto Coppi, one of the greatest riders in history, with a total of seven Grand Tours and eight Monuments to his name, and the man who made of the Hour Record a target for future generations, from Anquetil to Merckx and Moser.
Soudal Quick-Step continued Il Giro with just three riders – Davide Ballerini, Pieter Serry and Ilan Van Wilder – and had a rather quiet day as the sprinters’ teams organised the chase behind the breakaway, which they brought back only with five kilometers to go.
The finale was hectic, a crash two kilometers from the line leaving just 20-odd riders in contention. Davide Ballerini was on the right side of this split and the Italian, despite being alone in the hectic finale, had the power to come through and take eighth place in Tortona for his first top 10 at this year’s edition.
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