Giro d’Italia: Fast Paced Medium Mountain Stage Splits Peloton, Monfort joins a breakaway

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 peloton started in Chiavari for a relative short stage of 150 kilometres to La Spezia. There lay three climbs of third category on the route and in between it was never flat. Immediately after the start there were a lot of attacks. Just like yesterday a large group, of 28 riders, got in front. This time Maxime Monfort was part of it.

On the second official climb Monfort rode in front with six others. After that Passo del Termine riders returned from the background. In had seemed that the peloton wouldn’t get a change to fight for the stage win, but on the Passo del Termine Astana raised the tempo. Only nineteen riders reached the top together, Jurgen Van den Broeck was one of them. In the local lap of seventeen kilometres the last climb was situated. Davide Formolo attacked. He was the only escapee that could stay ahead of the group of favourites. Monfort arrived 42 seconds later in a second group, together with Van den Broeck. Gianni Meersman (Etixx - Quick-Step), after crashing hard due to a puncture on a descent in Stage 3, withdrew from the race. Uran is now 14th in the GC, 1'11" down.

“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.

“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."

“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.”

Maxime Monfort: “It wasn’t planned that I’d join a breakaway today. I noticed there was no organization in the peloton and that many riders could jump away. Then I thought, why wouldn’t I attack as well if they let a large group go. You don’t use more power than in the peloton and I could gain time for GC. But also in the front group there was no organization, there were attacks all the time; that’s the disadvantage of a large breakaway. There are always riders who want to hide and don’t do their part of the work and that causes problems. At a certain point I got in a second group at three minutes of the leaders, but we could rejoin them. That cost energy.”

Read on at the website of Etixx - Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal