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26 May 2018

Froome one step away from Rome, Nieve storms to birthday victory

Mikel Nieve avenged his captain Simon Yates the day after he lost the Maglia Rosa as the Basque rider claimed Mitchelton-Scott’s fifth stage victory in the 101st Giro d’Italia. He rode solo to Cervinia while Chris Froome (Team Sky) kept Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) under control to retain the lead, whereas Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was the loser of the day. The Frenchman was replaced in the top three overall by best young rider, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team).

STATISTICS

  • Mikel Nieve wins his third stage at the Giro d’Italia the day he turns 34. He’d never won an international bike race on his birthday. His previous successes were on 22 May 2011 at Gardeccia/Val di Fassa and on 20 May 2016 at Cividale del Friuli.
  • Nieve delivers the 110th stage victory for Spanish riders. The first 20 stages of the 101st Giro d’Italia have been won by riders from ten different nations: Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Slovenia.
  • Mitchelton-Scott has five stage wins, just as many as Quick-Step Floors. Two teams have captured half of the stages. The other winning teams are Sunweb, Lotto-Soudal, LottoNL-Jumbo, Bora-Hansgrohe (2), Movistar, Bahrain-Merida, Sky (2) and BMC. That means 12 teams are yet to win something in the 101st Giro d’Italia.
  • First stage podium for Robert Gesink (in his 12th pro season) and Felix Grosschartner (in his third pro season, the first one in the World Tour).

FINAL RESULT
1 – Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) – 214km in 5h43’48”, average speed 37.347km/h
2 – Robert Gesink (Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) at 2’17”
3 – Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 2’42”
4 – Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF) at 3’45”
5 – Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) at 5’23”

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1 – Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 46″
3 – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) at 4’57”
4 – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) at 5’44”
5 – Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) at 8’03”

Rankings

JERSEYS

  • Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Chris Froome (Team Sky)
  • Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
  • Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Chris Froome (Team Sky), jersey worn by Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF)
  • Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team)

PRESS CONFERENCE
The stage winner Mikel Nieve said: “It’s hard to say which one of my three victories at the Giro is the best. The first one [in 2011 at Gardeccia] was an extremely hard race but today being my birthday, it’s a very special one. We wanted to make it up after the sadness of yesterday [with Simon Yates losing ground]. It was a good stage for me. Roman Kreuziger came with me in the breakaway and paved the way for my victory. I realised straight away that there were other climbers in the front group. We had to make the race hard. Cervinia has some hard sections but also easy ones, so it was better to go solo before. I don’t often have the opportunity to break away for myself. I’m delighted to get the feeling of winning again.”

The Maglia Rosa Chris Froome said: “The whole Giro has been brutal and today again, Tom [Dumoulin] didn’t give up. He kept fighting. He attacked several times. Luckily, I was able to follow but it has made it an exciting racing again. I’ve got nothing but respect for all my rivals. They fought until I got to this point of keeping the Maglia Rosa at the top of the last mountain. I feel sorry for Simon [Yates] yesterday and today it was [Thibaut] Pinot struggling, that’s why Astana rode so hard. We still need to get to the finishing line in Rome. After that, I’ll start thinking of my achievement but there’s no bigger goal for a Grand Tour rider than winning three in a row.”

Tomorrow’s Stage

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