An impressive team performance saw Domenico Pozzovivo retain fourth position on the overall general classification of the Giro d’Italia, despite a mechanical late on, and in so doing continues to make history for NTT Pro Cycling.
The 37-year-old Italian finished ninth on stage 10 in Tortoreto after a fantastic team effort throughout the day, and in doing so retained his position on the general classification. For now this is the best performance on the overall classification for our team ever this far into a Grand Tour.
Pozzovivo finished in the maglia rosa group, with Peter Sagan taking an impressive win on his Giro d’Italia debut. He was followed home by Brandon McNulty.
NTT Pro Cycling executed a near-perfect strategy to keep the diminutive Italian in the best possible position throughout the day but potential disaster struck inside the final 15km after a problem with a front wheel saw him at risk of losing time on his rivals.
Fortunately Ben O’Connor, who had just swung out after assisting Pozzovivo through a crucial sector, was still on hand to make one final effort and, together with Louis Meintjes, ensured that Pozzovivo made it safely back to the lead group.
The whole team did a good job (today). We wanted to reduce the peloton in the first categorised climb of the last section, but I was unlucky with a problem with my front wheel, luckily I could get back to the peloton with the help of Ben and Louis.
I felt very good and then I tried to do something in the last few kilometres but I did that big effort to come back, so I’m happy to be in the fight.
He (Pozzovivo) broke a spoke in the front and decided to change the bike. There were a lot of emotions there, it was terrible, we were sitting on the front riding for him and then suddenly this happened. We were deep in the final and it wasn’t a good moment. There’s only one thing to do which is stay calm and keep focus. We tried to do that and fortunately he was very strong today, he was able to make it back before the last climb and we saw on the last climb that he was super strong.
What we showed today is exactly what I would like to see from the team. We have a guy in the GC who is up there in the top four and absolutely deserved the team riding for him. We saw that, we took action and the initiative; and that’s how it should be especially on a stage like today which is very tricky and hard. It was a wonderful performance.