Race report

Jai Hindley 10th as steep climbs see GC riders sprint for stage honours

Giro d'Italia

A mostly flat parcours lay ahead of the peloton for the 13th day of racing at the Giro d’Italia today. However, with two really steep climbs in the finale, with the last ascent cresting at 16 kilometres to go, there was an air of uncertainty that was cast over the peloton as they rolled out of the start town of Cervia.

A big battle to make the breakaway ensued before a group of seven riders escaped after 30 kilometres of racing. Yet, their gap was never allowed to grow out further than three minutes and as the kilometres ticked by, it began to fall. The intense fight for position between GC teams, sprinters and puncheurs saw the gap diminish even further as the race charged onto the first climb. With no attacks, it was more of an attritional climb with groups of riders being dropped all over the road. The team had worked well to position Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley to the fore, with the duo sitting comfortably in the first ten positions over the top.

A fast descent and valley roads saw some groups return before the last and more steep climb played host to attacks. Following the moves well, Kelderman and Hindley crested the climb in a very reduced group of around 20 riders, alongside Sam Oomen. The pace remained high for the remaining 15 kilometres and the stage would be decided in a bunch sprint finish between the GC contenders and puncheurs. Hindley was first home for the team in tenth place, with Kelderman just one spot behind. Both riders maintain their positions on GC ahead of tomorrow’s testing time trial course.

“It was a pretty easy day until the final there,” explained Hindley after the finish. “The boys did a really good job positioning me and Wilco into the second to last climb. It was a pretty hectic final and we got over with some good numbers and then they set us up again for the last climb. It was full gas to the top, with a really small bunch of around 20 guys together all the way to the finish. We made some mistakes in the final but in the end everyone came home safe and all good.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “Stage 13 was a long flat stage but a very intense final with the two steep climbs. It was going to be touch and go if the sprinters would make it over the climbs for a bigger bunch sprint or if it would go to a decimated bunch sprint more for the punchy riders. In the end they raced really hard over both of the climbs and we had a group in the finish of only 20 riders which showed just how hard it was. We had Wilco, Jai and Sam in the front group, so the guys were safe for the GC. We weren’t really in position through the last corner to sprint for the stage win but we’re happy to get through the stage without any issues and still be up there on the GC ahead of tomorrow’s time trial.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ULISSI Diego UAE-Team Emirates 4:22:18 100
2 ALMEIDA João Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 40
3 KONRAD Patrick BORA - hansgrohe ,, 20
10 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb ,, -
11 KELDERMAN Wilco Team Sunweb ,, -
18 OOMEN Sam Team Sunweb ,, -
36 HAMILTON Chris Team Sunweb 0:41 -
57 TUSVELD Martijn Team Sunweb ,, -
115 DENZ Nico Team Sunweb 13:20 -
124 HAGA Chad Team Sunweb ,, -