It was another good day for Soudal Quick-Step’s Belgian.
Friday started with a change of plans at the Corsa Rosa: what should have been a brutal 200km queen stage was altered due to the bad weather conditions, which prompted the organisers to take out the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard climb and reduce the distance to just 75 kilometers.
Having featured in the breakaway twenty-four hours before, Ilan Van Wilder produced another convincing ride, staying with the group of favourites until the last kilometer, when a series of accelerations led to some cracks in the maglia rosa group, while up the road Einer Rubio (Movistar) was soloing to victory from the breakaway. Without panicking, the Belgian rode his own tempo and crossed the line only a few seconds behind the GC contenders, jumping two places in the ranking ahead of the race’s penultimate weekend.
“It was a strange day, with the stage getting shortened and us traveling by bus to a different location before properly starting it a couple of hours later. I felt pretty good and managed to hang in there even when the others increased the tempo and rode hard on the final climb. I am really satisfied that at the end of the day I managed to make up some places in the standings”, said Ilan, who is 14th overall now.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images