Giro d’Italia: Dennis Battles Through Bad Day to Remain in the Top 2026. May 2018, Cervinia (ITA) — Road Team
19 tough stages of the Giro d’Italia took their toll on Rohan Dennis, who suffered a bad day on the brutal terrain of stage 20 but despite finishing in the grupetto, remains in the top 20 overall ahead of the final stage in Rome.
With 40 seconds separating Maglia Rosa Chris Froome (Team Sky) and 2017 winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at the start of the day, and with three category one climbs in the final 90km, the stage was always going to be a General Classification battle.
After a fast first hour of racing, 27 riders formed the breakaway of the day and for the next 70km, the peloton kept the group’s advantage to five minutes.
Dennis started to suffer on the early slopes of the first category one climb and with the support of his teammates was able to battle through the bad sensations and carry on.
Up ahead, Kilian Frankiny was looking strong in the Maglia Rosa group, which was trailing the breakaway by seven minutes, and managed to hang on until the early kilometers of the final climb when the fast pace being set at the front became too much.
Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) attacked from the breakaway and finished off the day with the solo stage win while behind, the General Classification battle intensified on the final climb when Dumoulin attacked multiple times to try and gain time on Froome.
Froome hung on to finish the day ahead of Dumoulin and all but secure the Maglia Rosa, with just the circuit stage in Rome remaining.
Frankiny was the first BMC Racing Team rider across the finish line in 23rd place, 4’50” behind Froome’s group, and Dennis crossed the line in the grupetto to move in 17th place overall.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“My body just said no. I woke up this morning and I was sore all over and I said I would still fight, but on that first climb it was all over before it even started. Then it was just about getting to the finish and within the time cut. I was actually worried at some stage because I thought ‘I am not feeling too good, i just have to try and make time cut today’. It wasn’t the top ten that I was looking for but I’m still top 20 at the moment anyway. We still need to get through tomorrow, but it has been successful as a team I think.”
“It was a big learning curve. At this stage, I’m really three days short of being in the top ten at a Grand Tour. I don’t want to take anything away from any other one but this one was just stupid. It was hard every single day. There was not one day that we went easy so it gives me confidence that what I am doing with my coach and the team’s support as well is in the right direction.”
“At the start I tried once or twice to go in the breakaway but it was too hectic, so I decided to stay in the peloton. Then it was quite fast the whole stage so I could stay save a bit more energy in the peloton and didn’t have to push, like I would have in the breakaway. On the first climb, Rohan fell back and I didn’t know it I had to wait but I asked Valerio Piva and he said to try and stay with the group. It was pretty hard but we rode a good rhythm and on the last climb, Movistar Team made a big effort and I was just dropped and rode my own rhythm to the finish line. It was nice to have the freedom and could make something of my own. For sure, it would have been nice to have Rohan still up there.”
“Of course, I am happy that I was able to stay so long with the Maglia Rosa group. The group was becoming smaller and smaller and it was really nice. I think after three weeks I didn’t expect that I could still be up there. It’s the first time for me racing a whole Grand Tour and to see that I can still be good in the third week is a nice feeling.”
Stage 20 Susa > Cervinia (214km)
Top 3: 1. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT), 2. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), 3. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 23. Kilian Frankiny, 72. Francisco Ventoso, 84. Rohan Dennis.