Giro d’Italia #13: Gibbons grabs 5th with fast finish

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) secured his third win at the Giro d’Italia by out sprinting the bunch on Stage 13 at the Giro d’Italia. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took second spot with Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) rounding off the podium. Our young South African, Ryan Gibbons was in the mix too, placing 5th.

It was another flat stage at the Giro d’Italia, marked for the sprinters. The 180km stage ran from Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia. Similarly to yesterday, it was a sunny start to the day before the clouds came over for the final, but fortunately there wasn’t a torrential downpour in the end.

A break of five riders made it away within the first 15kms of racing. They kept the race in suspense, holding on to their position in the front until the last 6 kms. The sprint teams controlled the final kilometers of racing, making sure that their sprinters maintained position going into the final stretch.

For Team Dimension Data, Jaco Venter did an excellent job looking after Ryan Gibbons, ensuring he was well positioned heading into the final. Gibbons, our designated sprinter, still had to come from a way back in the last kilometer but slipped through the bunch to contest the sprint all the way to the line. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) won the stage ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo). Gibbons just missed out on a podium spot by a couple of centimeters and finished 5th on the stage.

Ryan Gibbons- Rider
It was a pretty straight forward day and quite easy until the final climb with 20km to go. There was a bit of rain again to make it interesting but nothing major. Heading into the final I had Jaco which was great. With about 5km to go I lost him. There was quite a strong headwind so it was a normal run-in to the sprint with one team driving it, it was more of a washing machine type feel with a team going to the front and then dying in the headwind. With 1.5km to go I decided to sit on Bennett’s wheel, he’s been showing consistency and has won 2 stages already, so I just stuck on him. When we finally broke free it was quite late and we had to go around the outside, I still had to go around him too. So I was happy to show what I am capable of and get up there for 5th. It’s still not quite where I want to be but the distance between 5th and 2nd was very close. With better positioning and taking a better line, that could be the difference between 5th and 1st. I’ll definitely take positives from today and am happy to have been in the top 5.