(Caorle) The Giro d’Italia was granted a brief moment of respite on Wednesday with the victory in the sprint in Caorle of the Italian Alberto Dainese after a 17e peaceful stage before three days in the mountains which promise to be terrible.
A breakaway held on a leash by a lazy peloton before setting off and catching up with the runaways, a massive sprint without falling and warm favorites in the wheel of their teammates: the 17e stage, arriving at the seaside, a few kilometers north of Venice, filled the peloton, delighted to finally experience a quiet day in this grueling Giro.
In pleasant weather, the peloton let the small group of four riders get by, who opened the road about two minutes early, without ever being able to harbor any hope other than that of showing their jerseys on television.
At the finish, it was Alberto Dainese (DSM) who swept the day, maintaining a gut lead over his compatriot Jonathan Milan and the Australian Michael Matthews, in this stage almost totally on a downhill false flat, without the slightest bump in the program.
” That’s crazy. Until then the Giro had not gone as I had hoped. Last week I was very ill. I have gastric problems and difficulty breathing. Today was the first day where I had good feelings and I won. I’m so happy, ”reacted the 25-year-old Italian who had already won a stage last year on the Tour of Italy.
” At the limit “
“I really gave it my all, at the end I was at the limit,” added Dainese, who withstood the furious final in Milan, coming back like a bullet. The rider from Bahrain, winner of the 2e stage, consolidates his cyclamen jersey of best sprinter with this fourth second place in this Giro.
In the general classification, the Briton Geraint Thomas (Ineos) still wears the leader’s pink jersey with respectively 18 and 29 seconds ahead of the Portuguese Joao Almeida (UAE) and the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.
“The day had nothing to do with what we had known until then. It was nice and warm at the end, it feels good. It was perfect to keep up the strength before the three days ahead of us, ”said Geraint Thomas, who will celebrate his 37th birthday in pink on Thursday.
The respite will be short-lived, because the slope will rise again on Thursday for a short but steep stage (161 km, 3700 m of elevation gain) in the Dolomites with, on the program, two first category passes, the steepest existing high on the Tour of Italy, and two second category.
The next day, it will be even worse with a daunting journey to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the roof of this 106e edition from the top of its 2304 m.
Before the individual time trial on Saturday, the ultimate justice of the peace, on the maddening slopes (7.3 km at 12.1%) of Monte Lussari, on the eve of the arrival in Rome.