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The storm after the storm


This Giro d’Italia 2023 seems to somehow find a way to make us jerk on the couch every single day. Everybody would have bet on a quiet day today, as the stage was long – actually the longest, with it 219 km – and the six riders in the breakaway never caused much concern, as their gap never exceeded four minutes and Trek-Segafredo always kept them within reach. The ideal scenario for nice sprint finish in Tortona, also thanks to the significantly improved weather conditions since yesterday.

Once again, that was not the case. Today was another whirlwind of emotions, good and bad. Let’s start with the positive news, namely the thrilling final sprint. It didn’t come particularly cleanly, as a crash with 1500 metres to go broke up the peloton and sent several riders to the ground, including Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), whose team had worked in vain all day. The final 200 metres were nothing short of electrifying, with Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) opening things up first, but soon being caught by Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) and Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), while from behind came Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious), who unfortunately ran out of road in his incredible one-man pursuit mission.

Ackermann thus took home a success that had been missing for 10 months, the third in his career at the Giro, after those of Fucecchio and Terracina in 2019. In recent days he had not failed to smile despite the results not coming in, today he has every reason to do so.

The bad, or rather very bad, news came from the descent of Colla di Boasi, where Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) slipped on the semi-wet road, bringing down multiple Ineos Grenadiers riders along with Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma). If Maglia Rosa Geraint Thomas managed to cushion the blow by falling over Covi, teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart was more severely injured and was forced to abandon the race in an ambulance. In the very season in which he seemed to have reached the 2020 condition and was promoting himself as one of the favourites for overall victory, the Londoner must instead return home much too early. In the hope that the injury is not serious, we sincerely wish him a fast recovery and look forward to welcoming him soon at the Giro.

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