The 14th stage of the Giro d‘ Italia promised to be spectacular ride and unfolded as such. The overall classification changed very little, however. The breakaway stayed away during the 164-kilometre stage from Agliè to Oropa and Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF) won. Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM’s Wilco Kelderman, surrounded by the other favourites when he crossed the line in 18th, remains in fifth overall.
“Again it went very well,” Kelderman said. “It was a tough stage with several steep climbs, but once again, I was able to fight with the best riders. That gives me a lot of confidence. “On the last climb the race exploded. When Pozzovivo and Quintana attacked, I tried to follow. I was only twenty metres behind them, but I couldn’t bridge. That took a lot of energy. “Majka and Aru reeled me in and made me suffer a bit. In the end, I lost some time to Aru, but I’ve ridden a super stage. I’m also very proud of the team. The guys helped me fantastically. They dropped me off well for the climb and always made sure I had a team-mate around.”
Keizer’s important role
Martijn Keizer played an important role. The Dutchman made sure he was part of the flight of the day in order to help Kelderman later on in the stage. However, the lead of the attackers was too big and Keizer held on for 11th place.
“Maarten Tjallingii and David Tanner also tried, and eventually Martijn succeeded,” said Sports Director Frans Maasen. “We wanted a rider in front to prevent Wilco from getting isolated on the first category climb. In the final, we thought about having Martijn wait for Wilco, but if we’d done that, we would have been too late as the pace of the favourites was too high for Martijn in the final five kilometres. I also have to give Marc Goos a compliment. He was on Wilco’s side all day long until the last climb.”
The peloton will head from Valdengo to Plan de Montecampione tomorrow. After 205 relatively flat kilometres, a 20-kilometre climb of the first category awaits the pack. “It remains to be seen how much of a gap a breakaway will get,” said Maassen . “Ultimately, we’ll see a battle between the GC riders. Wilco was very strong today and that gives us a lot of confidence.”