Heartbreak for Atapuma on Giro d’Italia Queen Stage21. May 2016, Corvara (ITA) — Road Team
Darwin Atapuma put in the ride of his life on the Queen Stage of the Giro d’Italia, launching a solo attack that looked set to make it to the line, only to be caught in the final two kilometers.
Atapuma held on to finish fourth and crossed the line with nothing left in the tank.
Originally part of a 25-rider breakaway, the testing six climbs of the day slowly broke the breakaway apart, leaving Atapuma, Georg Preidler (Team Giant-Alpecin) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) on the final climb.
Atapuma attacked with 30 kilometers to go and established a small but steady gap of 30 seconds over Preidler and Siutsou.
The General Classification contenders were closing in on the final climb, with Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), joining Preidler and Siutsou, in the chase behind Atapuma.
With two kilometers to the finish line, Atapuma was caught and joined the battle to sprint it out to the line, where he eventually crossed in fourth place.
Quotes of the Day
“To be honest I think I need a while to really absorb what happened today and reflect on the stage. To come so close, on a stage like today, is devastating. I felt really good throughout the stage, had good legs and good sensations, and it was going perfectly. I gave it absolute everything when I attacked on the final climb, I thought if I could just hold on to my gap in the descent, I could make it in those final kilometers.”
“I’m exhausted both mentally and physically. It would have been one of the best wins of my career. I just kept hoping and hoping that I would stay clear. But on a stage like today, it’s rare that everything goes to plan. I hope I’ll have more opportunities in the next week of racing.”
Max Sciandri, Sports Director:
“With today’s stage being all about climbing it was only natural that Darwin would be our guy. He’s showed already that he has the legs to be up there on the climbs and we knew that a breakaway would go and possibly make it to the line. We had hoped to get one or two other guys in there, but when the big group of 35 guys went, it was great to have Darwin in there.”
“Today was almost a textbook execution of a stage. The guys in the breakaway were slowly being dropped but Darwin was up there and looked good. When it was down to him and a couple of others, we knew that he would have to attack solo to make it to the line. When they passed the false flat on the final climbs, that was the moment to attack, and he did it well. The gap was steady but really it was the chase of the GC guys that saw Darwin get caught. It was such an impressive ride and he deserved the win, but cycling isn’t always fair and we definitely saw that today. I’m proud of Darwin’s ride and it certainly shows his form at the moment.”
Giro d’Italia (2.UWT)
Stage 14 Alpago to Corvara (210km)
Top 3: Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo), Georg Preidler (Team Giant-Alpecin)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 4. Darwin Atapuma, 35. Manuel Senni 56. Stefan Küng
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.