How nice, really, to see one of our riders there at the front: in the first breakaway of the most beautiful race, fighting for the first KOM, giving visibility and importance to our team. And if we had to bet on the first EOLO KOMETA man to hit a breakaway, here it is: we would have bet on the name of Mattia Bais. A born attacker, someone who has the breakaway in his DNA, someone who as soon as he sees a chance to run away from the peloton he takes it: and in fact, Mattia was great at getting into the small group that got away as soon as the stage started. With him were Stefano Gandin (Team Corratec – Selle Italia, Thomas Champion (Cofidis) and Paul Lapeira (AG2R Citroën Team). Shortly thereafter, Alessandro Verre (Team Arkéa Samsic) also joined him. There was a climbers’ jersey to fight for, and the attackers quickly found an agreement that led them to a maximum lead of 5′ 30″ with the sprinters’ teams keeping their eyes open at all times. The first KOM of the day saw Lapeira ahead of Champion and Bais, while the flying finish in Pescara was won by Gandin ahead of our Mattia. Lapeira then hit an encore in the second KOM of the stage, thus winning the first climbers’ jersey.
With 50 km to go, the group of attackers was reduced to three men, with our Bais always in evidence along with Gandin and Champion, until the group caught up with them when there were 38 km to go: sprint it had to be, and sprint it was with Milan triumphing. Of note, before the 3 km to the finish, a crash that did not involve our riders.
Tomorrow we will start again from Vasto with Evenepoel always in the pink jersey: after 213 kilometers and two GPMs we will arrive in Melfi.
Stefano Zanatta: “Today we interpreted the stage as we had to, with a man in front trying to fight for the climbers’ jersey. Mattia was good at inserting himself in this attack, then in the finale the crash with 4 km to go changed the plans a bit with Maestri who should have helped Albanese in the sprint. The attitude of the team was good, so this day was very positive for us.”
Mattia Bais: “I have to be honest: I am sorry for not being able to win the two KOM, I tried but I found someone faster than me. Unfortunately I improved a little bit on the climbs but I lost a little bit of brilliance in the sprint. The good thing is that I feel really good, that the leg is there and so in the next few days I will definitely try again. Today the team had asked me to go in the breakaway and try to take the KOM or the sprint finishes, but I didn’t succeed: however, legs and head are there, and the Giro is still very long.”