Sivakov Dominates Giro Valle d’Aosta Stage 315. July 2017, Breuil Cervinia (ITA) — Development Team
Pavel Sivakov dominated Giro Valle d’Aosta stage 3 by riding solo over the final 40km before punching the air with delight as he secured an emphatic stage win and the leader’s yellow jersey.
After a fast descent out of Valtournenche, seven riders attacked off the front of the peloton. They quickly began to extend an advantage which was touching five minutes at the bottom of the first of five categorized climbs, less than 40km into the 170.1km stage.
The leaders’ advantage continued to rise, peaking at around 7’30” before six riders attempted to bridge across to the head of the race with 120km still go.
Heading into the second half of the stage, the gap between the breakaway and the peloton began to fall with BMC Development Team setting the pace at the front of the main bunch going over the top of the category one climb to Champremier.
The chasers were quickly caught, and almost immediately, Sivakov, Steff Cras, Marc Hirschi and Martin Schäppi went clear at the front of the race and were chasing the breakaway alongside the race leader at the start of the day, Giovanni Carboni (Team Colpack).
After a strong ride to set the tempo, Schäppi pulled off and made his way back into the bunch before the remaining three riders joined the head of the race.
It didn’t take long for Sivakov to attack off the front of the now 12-rider breakaway and with 35km to go, he was sitting over 1’30” ahead of the yellow jersey group.
A dominant performance saw Sivakov build upon his advantage as he reached the early slopes of the final 20km climb to Breuil Cervinia and as the finish line came into view he was powering his way to an impressive solo stage win and into the leader’s yellow jersey.
Sivakov leads the General Classification by 2’07” going into tomorrow’s final 103.7km stage.
Steff Cras crashed on the descent of the penultimate climb and suffered some abrasions to his arms and right knee, but he was able to continue racing and finished the stage.
The Winner’s Interview with Pavel Sivakov
Congratulations, Pavel. How are you feeling after today’s win?
“I feel tired, but I also feel really happy. It was an amazing day. The guys did a great job and I am really proud of them. I can’t thank them enough.”
You came into this race after two big victories at Ronde de l’Isard and Giro d’Italia U23. Did you expect to be so strong?
“After winning both of those races, I think I am riding at the best level that I ever have. Saying that, I rode 40km alone today which was a really big performance and I can’t believe it.”
Talk us through the final part of the stage.
“Martin Schäppi did a great job on the first category one climb, and then Patrick Müller went full gas on the downhill, and we split the bunch completely and eventually we found ourselves out in front with just me, Steff Cras, Marc Hirschi.”
“When Marc dropped back, I saw that a few GC contenders were coming back on us and I knew that I needed to accelerate and when I did, nobody could follow me. At that point, I knew I just needed to keep going and manage my effort until the end.”
Were you confident coming into today’s stage?
“I came into today feeling really good. At the start of the race, I wanted to improve day by day, and that has been the case. Today, I felt good at the end. It was really hard at the end riding alone in the last valley. At one point, Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto - Soudal U23) was closing the gap slightly, but then at the end, I could gain time.”
And looking ahead to tomorrow.
“Now, I am in a good position, but the race isn’t over. Tomorrow we will have to control the race but I am confident in the guys, and I think we can do it.”
Giro Valle d’Aosta
Stage 3: Valtournenche > Breuil Cervinia, 170.1km
Top 3: 1. Pavel Sivakov (BMC Development Team) 2. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto - Soudal U23) 3. Niklas Eg (Denmark National Team)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 1. Pavel Sivakov 58. Patrick Müller 59. Steff Cras