The final stage of the 2016 Giro d’Italia was set to be a celebration ride for the GC contenders and another one for the sprinters. However, the weather didn’t play into the organizers cards, who had to neutralize the final laps on the technical city circuit in Torino. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka the race ended in a bittersweet manner, as Johann van Zyl crashed out, while Kanstantsin Siutsou (pictured above) secured his 10th place in the overall classification.
163 kilometers from Cuneo to Torino were on the menu today, including a twisty circuit in the capital of the Piedmont region. The profile didn’t show any major difficulties and racing only got underway inside the final 60 kilometers. Maarten Tjallingii and Jos van Emden were the first to attack. The LottoNL-Jumbo managed to establish a gap of around one minute to the Maglia Rosa group, which by then was hampered by a series of crashes. Our African team was involved in these as well. Jay Thomson went down, but was able to continue. Unfortunately, Johann van Zyl had less luck. A broken elbow forced him to abandon with the finish line in sight.
The peloton was split into pieces and only a small group of riders managed to reel the escapees back in. Jaco Venter (pictured above) was able to stay with them to fly the South African flag on his National champions jersey in the finale. In a hectic sprint he crossed the line just outside the top10, securing another good result for the team at this years Giro d’Italia. The stage win went to Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin), after Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was disqualified for irregular sprinting.
Siutsou crossed the line behind overall winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). After three weeks of hard racing our Belorussian star finished the Italian race in 10th place overall, adding a second top10 GC result to the palmarés of our African team.
The team also managed to finish 9th overall in the teams classification of the race.
Kanstantsin Siutsou – Rider
I’m happy with my 10th place overall. Maybe I could’ve done a bit better, but I have to say a big thanks to the team who supported me really well over the last three weeks. We rode together like a family, which was really nice. Hopefully I can keep my form for the next couple of weeks to play a good role in the next races.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
It was another great Grand Tour for our team. We had hoped to win a stage, but to finish top10 in the GC of the Giro d’Italia is exceptional and shows that this team is meant to be at this level of racing. It is amazing to get another 10th place overall in the next Grand Tour we went to after last year’s Vuelta a Espana. We wanted to go for the GC with Kanstantsin and had a great race, I guess. He showed that he can be a leader in Grand Tours. We hope that he can progress with us and maybe finish even better in the future. I’m super happy for the team and Kanstantsin. It’s great that he joined our team this year and that he makes such a big impact.
Jens Zemke – Sports Director
Going into this Giro d’Italia we wanted to get a top10 GC result, wear a jersey and win a stage. We achieved the top10 with Kanstantsin finishing 10th overall – even being the virtual leader of the race on one mountain stage -, and also wore the KOM jersey for a day with Omar Fraile. We were very close to win a stage on a few occasions, especially with Johann on the 3rd day. Over the last three weeks the riders worked very well together to keep our good positions in the GC and the teams classification. Seen from that point of view it was a good Giro for us. However, it’s a bit a bittersweet ending for us, with Johann crashing out in the last neutralized kilometers of the race.