Second Place for Atapuma on Last Mountain Stage28. May 2016, Sant’Anna Di Vinadio (ITA) — Road Team
A stage win in the mountains narrowly escaped Darwin Atapuma’s grasp for the second time at the Giro d’Italia, with Atapuma crossing the line in second place.
As the final chance for the climbers, and the final battle for the Maglia Rosa, the short but mountainous Stage 20 was a nail-biting 134 kilometers of racing, including four categorized climbs.
Atapuma made an early eight-rider breakaway from which multiple attacks were launched after the first climb of the day. Rein Taaramäe (Team Katusha) attacked on the Colle Della Lombarda, leaving Atapuma, Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) to chase him down.
Taaramäe hung on to take the stage win, with Atapuma crossing the line solo 52 seconds behind. The Stage 20 result marks a second, third and fourth place result for Atapuma on the three toughest mountain stages of the race.
Atapuma’s performance has moved him into ninth place on the General Classification, his first top ten result in a Grand Tour heading into the final stage tomorrow.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I have nothing left. It was another incredibly tough stage. I gave it everything and felt really strong. In the end I think I underestimated Taaramäe. He was the smartest rider out there today. I wasn’t feeling good at the beginning of the last climb, but Dombrowski was and wanted me to pull. Then I felt better, but at that point we weren’t pulling Taaramäe back fast enough. I attacked again to try and bring him back but I ran out of kilometers and then the stage was over. In the end I think I have shown what I can do here at this year’s Giro d’Italia but I’m disappointed to not have a stage win to show for it.”
Max Sciandri, Sports Director:
“Another mountain stage and another near miss. Darwin put in a great ride and it was clear that he was the strongest out there today. But Taaramäe played it well. I think Darwin spent a lot of energy attacking to bring Nieve back. He still had the legs at the end of the stage but just missed out. He can be really proud of the way he has raced at the Giro d’Italia. Every mountain stage he has either been in the breakaway or attacking and finishing well.”
Giro d’Italia (2.UWT)
Stage 20 Guillestre to Sant’Anna Di Vinadio (134km)
Top 3: Rein Taaramäe (Team Katusha), Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Darwin Atapuma, 33. Joey Rosskopf, 62. Alessandro De Marchi
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.