Caruso Eighth After Uphill Battle on Tour of the Alps Stage 319. April 2017, San Pietro (ITA) — Road Team
Damiano Caruso secured his second top ten finish at Tour of the Alps after another cold day of racing saw a select group of riders battling for the win in San Pietro.
Snow on the previously planned ascent of the Passo delle Erbe saw an update to stage 3 with riders instead heading over the Terento climb in the first half of the race.
The peloton had only covered 10km of the 135.6km route before a group of three riders went clear and was able to extend an early advantage which settled at around 6’30” for most of the day.
As they reached the steep slopes of the Alpe di Rodengo, which topped out with less than 40km to go, the trio was quickly spread out along the road with Davide Orrico (Sangemini - MG.K VIS) the solo leader at the summit of the climb.
A fast descent followed, and the main bunch was closing down the gap kilometer by kilometer before Orrico was eventually caught as the road kicked up with 8km remaining,
With 5km to go, the attacks started, and the bunch was soon split with Mikel Linda (Team Sky) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) able to distance themselves from the chasers behind.
The chasing group, including Caruso, began to react behind with Landa’s Team Sky teammate, Geraint Thomas bridging across under the flamme rouge before going on to take the stage win and the leader’s jersey.
Caruso continued to dig deep behind and eventually crossed the line in eighth place, 14 seconds behind the Team Sky rider.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"The stage was really hard today. This morning it was really cold, just above freezing, and there was a lot of climbing. The second to last climb was really steep and hard and after that Team Sky was setting a hard tempo. I was able to sit in the wheel and wanted to try to take a good result."
"I tried to sprint when Thomas made his move, but it was just too fast for me. But, for me, a top ten result is good here. The level is so high here with a lot of the guys who will be looking for the overall General Classification at the Giro d'Italia. If I'm at the finish with these guys, it means I am good too so, I'm happy."
Sports Director, Max Sciandri:
“Overall I am happy with today’s stage. We came into the final climb with five guys which was good to see, and then Damiano Caruso was up there at the finish. Rohan Dennis paid a little bit for his efforts over the past two stages on the hard, steep climb at KM 90. But, I think we are where we wanted to be coming into this race. We have won a stage, which is great. This is a rolling build-up towards to the Giro d'Italia for some of the guys so I am using this race to see their condition and we have been doing pretty well."
Tour of the Alps
Stage 2: Villabassa > San Pietro, 135.6km
Top 3: 1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 2. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) 3. Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Damiano Caruso 16. Brent Bookwalter 20. Manuel Senni