ARGON 18 was keen to save energy during the day. Therefore, the team decided today to try to get into the group of the day and not to work in the peloton instead. It took more than one hour until a group got clear and once again Cesare Benedetti was at the right time in the right place. The group of 5 riders than built up a gap of more than 5 minutes, but when the race favourites started to position themselves before the last climb, the gap came down fast.
On the foot of the last climb the break was caught and the peloton back together. Several teams then tried to make a decisive move on this last climb and due to this high pace a leading group of 10 took the point on the KOM. Within this group was José Mendes from BORA – ARGON 18 who already showed improved condition in the Giro del Trentino. In the finale P. Weening attacked successfully and scored a solo win. José crossed the line in 7th place which also means a good position to go for the GC in the next stages.
“I thought the group today had a chance to make it to the finish because also the WorldTour teams Lotto-Soudal and NL Lotto where part of it. But the gap came down very fast before the last climb. The team then did a great job by supporting José in the beginning of this climb. This was a little frantic point of the race today after everything was back together again. José made a strong impression and finished with the best. I am happy with that, but I also think that tomorrow’s stage suits him even more and there is a good chance that he climbs up the GC even further.” – Christian Pömer, sports director