Mikel Landa (Team Sky) won stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia, crossing the line solo after riding away from his breakaway mates on the final climb. Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) finished 2nd and Pierre Rolland (Cannandale-Drapac) crossed the line 3rd.
Once again, the Giro d’Italia started today with riders heading immediately up a climb. A large number of riders attacked and we had Daniel Teklehaimanot right up at the front of it all. Initially Teklehaimanot was part of a 4-man breakaway, before 10 more riders rode across to them.
The break was able to get just over 2-minutes before an interesting situation developed in the peloton. There was a split on the descent and race leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) was caught behind. The team’s of Bahrain-Merida and Movistar forced the pace in order to distance the Dutchman, this also resulted in the Teklehaimanot break being caught. Dumoulin’s group had to close a 55″ gap and this meant many pennies were being spent both up front and in the Dumoulin group.
After near on 30km of chasing, Dumoulin eventually regained contact to form a lead group of around 40 riders. With Dumoulin back in contention, there was no need to force the pace up front and so fresh attacks came from the opportunists. 18 riders got the jump and they were allowed to reach a lead of 11-minutes, ensuring they would decide the stage.
The peloton had almost fully regrouped before the final climb of the stage and contained all our African Team riders. Landa proved he was the strongest from the break to take a fine stage victory. The GC contenders ripped it up the final climb with Dumoulin paying for his early efforts to get back in contention. The Dutchman lost his leaders jersey by 38″ to Nairo Quintana (Movistar). With the GC battle on the go, our riders were left to conserve energy and rode the final climb home in the grupetto.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
Daniel was in the first break of the day and we were thinking it was the good one. Then all the mess happened with the GC guys. The whole situation of the race changed then, they caught Daniel and then others came over from behind. Then there was a new break before our guys regained contact so we couldn’t be part of it. That is cycling for you, on a different day it would have been a different result so we will try again tomorrow.