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One, two, three, four, five


He didn’t even want to win it this time, he was determined to leave glory to someone else. However, his opponents perfectly set the table for him, and so Tadej Pogačar, with a trickle of gas, went on to take his fifth success in this Giro d’Italia 2024. Even when he doesn’t want to be a Cannibal, he ends up being one.

After the race he made it clear: “Today I wanted to let the breakaway win“. Unfortunately (so to speak) for him, Movistar had different plans because, once they failed to place one of their men in the day’s breakaway, they decided to dictate pace and gamble it all on the climbs of Passo Pinei and Monte Pana. The result for the Spanish team was far from memorable, as their best placed athlete, Einer Rubio, eventually closed 11th, but it must be acknowledged that if you never try, if you just let yourself be carried away by events – or in this case by UAE Team Emirates – nothing will ever happen.

Movistar was hard at work on the front of the bunch and managed to keep the fugitives close, thanks in part to the morning’s chaos in Livigno, which forced the Corsa Rosa to cancel its Cima Coppi, the Umbrail Pass, and move the start to Laas. Hence, the stage became shorter as well as much easier to interpret, and with only four men in the breakaway – including the always generous Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) – it became clear early on that it would once again come down to the GC men to go for glory.

Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Ewen Costiou (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) and Christian Scaroni (Astana Qazaqstan) tried valiantly to outfox everyone in the final kilometres of the Passo Pinei and almost succeeded in the breakthrough. Pellizzari, who emerged as the strongest of the three and took 2nd, is the youngest athlete on the podium of a Giro stage since Moreno Argentin in 1981. Born in 2003, three years ago he took a selfie with Pogačar. Today, he came in just behind him and, after the finish, went to ask his idol for his pink glasses. Tadej, as strong as he is generous, also gave him the Maglia Rosa he had on.

The short and explosive stage cost Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), who slipped a place in GC as Daniel Martinez (Bora-hansgrohe) hopped back into 2nd, and Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), cut further adrift in 4th, a few seconds too many, while it smiled on Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious), 5th at the finish, who seemed to have left the difficulties of Mottolino behind him.

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