In the closing metres of today’s thirteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia, it looked like Sam Bennett may have finally nabbed the stage win which he has been close to on a number of occasions during this year’s race. Unfortunately for the Irish sprinter, a late surge by Fernando Gaviria (Quick Step Floors) saw him being edged out for the win. It was the fourth podium finish of the Giro for Bennett.
Today´s stage started near yesterday´s finish in Reggio Emilia and went over 167 kilometres, on a predominantly flat parcours. The stage covered two intermediate sprints before the peloton went to the finish in Tortona.
Right after the start, three riders – Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) and Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani CSF) – formed the breakaway of the day gaining a maximum gap of over 2 minutes over the peloton.
With fifteen kilometres left, the trio were caught after the sprinters’ teams had come to the front and put the pressure on. The BORA – hansgrohe train once again worked well to keep Bennett in a good position on the left-hand side of the wide street of the closing kilometres with Quick-Step Floors marking the German team.
Bennett’s team provided a great lead-out and after launching his sprint, he looked to be in a prime position to take his first Grand Tour stage win. Despite looking out of contention though, a late surge by Gaviria saw him overtake Bennett in the closing metres to take a remarkable fourth stage win in his debut Grand Tour.
Sam Bennett – “Like I said yesterday, the team did an amazing job and also today. We rode perfectly into the finish I don’t know what happened, the headwind was quite strong but I missed the victory by bike length. Gaviria came from behind and I couldn’t react anymore. I am disappointed but also happy with the second place. However, I got fourth podium results in this 100th edition at the Giro d´Italia which is really special anyway.”
Jens Zemke, Directeur Sportif – “It´s nice to see, that our young boys, who mostly never did a Grand Tour, are creating the finale and setting a perfect lead-out for our Sprinter. We tried to surprise the other teams with a late attack from Pösti, but the other teams know him already and they did not give him the space like in the first day. With this 2nd place from Sam, we can be satisfied, because Gaviria has at the fastest legs at the moment and we need also luck to beat him. From now on the Giro starts for the GC boys and there it will become hard for us to the stand on the sunny side, but we will continue our great riding style.”