Lotto Soudal took its fourth win in this year’s Giro d’Italia after André Greipel finished off another great team performance to win the sprint finish.
The Belgian team controlled the bunch today and with 22 kilometres remaining, they reeled in the two early escapees. A crash took place in the final kilometres with a split occurred in the peloton.
Greipel stayed out of trouble to take the sprint with Caleb Ewan finishing second and Giacomo Nizzolo third resulting in the sixth win of the season for the German sprinter. Bob Jungels maintains the pink leader’s jersey.
“The team did an amazing job today,” Greipel said afterwards. “Firstly, Pim Ligthart pulled at the front of the peloton and he managed to bridge the gap to the leaders.”
“We really aimed to reel in the escapees before entering the local laps as we wanted to lead the peloton during these two laps with several difficult corners. That turned out very well.”
“In the final kilometres, Tim Wellens and Lars Bak determined the pace. At three kilometres from the finish Adam Hansen took over and he pulled till one and a half kilometre from the end.”
“After that Sean De Bie did his part of the job and finally Jürgen Roelandts made a great lead-out, although there was a strong headwind.
“We decided beforehand that Jürgen would take the final corner as first and then I would give full gas in the sprint. I think we can be very proud with this fourth stage win. For me, this Giro was very successful with three victories.”
The Gorilla obtained three impressive stage wins in this Giro d’Italia and was first in the points classification. After this stage there aren’t a lot of sprint opportunities left and therefore Greipel decided together with the team to abandon the race.
The German won’t start in tomorrow’s stage to take some rest before focusing on his next goals and his team-mate Jürgen Roelandts has also abandoned this year’s Giro tonight with his coming goals in mind.
“Together with the team I decided to abandon this year’s Giro tonight,” said Greipel. “This stage race really obtained an important place in my racing schedule since last year and it’s one of my great goals during the season. But the following nine stages will mainly be something for the GC riders.”
“The fact that I’m wearing the red points jersey makes it a hard decision but we need to be realistic and find a good balance. The season isn’t over yet and I have the aim to perform on the highest level until October.”
“I’m very satisfied with the three victories and I’m going home with a very good feeling. The past few weeks with this team were just amazing, we had a wonderful time.”
“I want to thank the Giro organization for their very attractive stages and the incredible crowd for their huge encouragements. But I also want to thank my teammates and the Lotto Soudal staff for their work and support. I hope that they’re able to continue this Giro in a nice way.”