Il Giro: Evenepoel remains well placed ahead of the ITT
Remco Evenepoel will go into the last stage of the race’s first week just eight seconds from the maglia rosa following Saturday’s journey to Fossombrone, a city that Tirreno-Adriatico visited a couple of years ago. While at the front the breakaway prevailed, the World Champion was a protagonist on the final climb of the day, I Cappuccini.
Despite being short, the hill ended up opening bigger gaps between the overall contenders than the Campo Imperatore summit finish, and that was thanks to its narrow roads and steep gradients, which hit a gruelling 19% in some parts.
Cappuccini featured twice on the route, the last time in the final ten kilometers, and it was there that the fireworks came. One kilometer from the top, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) attacked, and only Remco Evenepoel and the pink jersey responded to that acceleration. Remco didn’t immediately make the catch, but instead kept the margin in check, around three seconds at all times. Then, just as he increased the speed a notch and was about to link up with the Slovenian, another change of pace from the latter increased the gap to ten seconds.
On the descent, the rainbow jersey found himself trailing three men, as two Ineos riders had in the meantime joined Roglic, and he produced an incredible effort in his attempt to limit the losses. Evenepoel left everything out there and even made up some ground, by the time he crossed the line only 14 seconds separating him from the trio.
“It just wasn’t my best day. I tried to follow Roglic and made a mistake by pushing too hard instead of riding at my own pace. The legs didn’t quite feel like on the other days, but there is no need to panic, I just have to remain calm and focused. The Giro is still long. Today was just another valuable lesson that I learned. Fortunately, I still have an advantage of half a minute on the general classification and hopefully on Sunday I will manage to gain more time on the others”, said Remco after the finish.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images