The 99th edition of the Giro dell’Emilia from Bologna to San Luca came down to an exciting finale, in which Esteban Chavez (Orica-BikeExchange) proved to have the best legs, crossing the line 3 seconds ahead of Romain Bardet (Ag2R) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac). Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s best placed finisher was Igor Anton, who lighted up the attacks on the finishing climb, but had to settle for 10th.
The 213km long course featured 4 finishing circuits in San Luca. Seven riders had forged clear of the peloton earlier on. They enjoyed a gap of nearly 3 minutes coming into the last hour of racing. Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Pierre Latour (Ag2R) and Alberto Nardin (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) were the strongest among them. With less than 30 kilometers to go the trio had dropped their former breakaway companions and still held a lead of around 2 minutes.
However, in the end it all came down to be a race for the strong climbers. The decimated peloton crawled closer to the break and reeled in Latour as the last remaining rider out front with 1 kilometer to go. Anton was all up their, trying to play his card. He attacked with Jan Bakelants (Ag2R), their move was countered though and Fabio Aru (Astana) was the next to give it a go. In the end though, it was Chavez who made the decisive move. In what was a finale of some of the pelotons finest climbers Anton eventually nabbed a top10 finish.
Oli Cookson – Sports Director
It was a very hard race. Unfortunately, Steve Cummings still didn’t feel 100 percent after his crash at the Giro della Toscana. He ended up riding only to the feedzone, still having objectives further down the line. So we concentrated all our efforts on Igor and Serge Pauwels. The team did a really good job helping them onto the final circuits. In the end it just came down on who had the better legs. Igor didn’t feel great earlier on but he found his mojo during the later stages of the race. We focused on him and he managed to give it a go in the end. This move was countered but Igor still came home in 10th, which is good.