Sivakov Holds onto Pink Jersey with One Day to Go in Italy14. June 2017, Casalincontrada (ITA) — Development Team
Pavel Sivakov leads the General Classification at the Giro d’Italia U23 by 14 seconds with one stage remaining after Romano Francesco (Team Palazzo Amaru) took the honors on stage 6 from the early breakaway.
With the road going one of two ways, up or down, on stage 6 it was a battle to get in the breakaway and the peloton had covered 25km, of the 133.2km course, before a group of 15 riders went clear.
With no one threatening the overall race lead of Sivakov, BMC Development Team looked calm and in control as Bram Welten and Pascal Eenkhoorn set the pace behind.
The gap remained stable at around three minutes before, with 50km to go, five riders from the original breakaway attacked at the front of the race.
Heading onto the final finishing circuit around Casalincontrada with 25.4km to go, it was clear that the leaders’ advantage of over 3 minutes would be enough to see them contest the stage win with Romano Francesco (Team Palazzo Amaru) eventually taking the honors.
With a short but steep kick up to the line to negotiate, gaps began to form in the bunch behind but in the end, Sivakov crossed the line in a group with his main General Classification rivals to retain the pink jersey heading into the final day of racing in Italy.
Sivakov also leads the Best Young Rider Classification while Jasper Philipsen leads the Points Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I feel really good after today’s stage. It’s great to keep the Maglia Rosa but the hardest stage is still to come. Tomorrow’s 150km stage will be tough with a super hard climb to finish and I think we will see a battle of the GC contenders. Today was hard with a steep climb but I did it and I have pink so I am going into tomorrow with confidence. The team has been doing an incredible job and I know they will give it everything tomorrow.”
“It was hard today but everybody is tired now so, we are all in the same position. It has been a hard six days so, we will see what happens tomorrow. I hope to be good enough to win the Giro d’Italia U23.”
Sports Director, Klaas Lodewyck:
“After 25km, the breakaway went clear and with 15 riders in the group, we needed to keep a close eye on their advantage and not let it grow to quickly. Bram Welten did a great job controlling the first 70km of the stage with Pascal Eenkhoorn joining him when the road began to go uphill. In the end the breakaway stayed away but with no-one threatening the GC, we stayed calm. The guys did a great job to maintain a good tempo and as we reached the local laps it was important to keep Pavel Sivakov safe and make sure we maintained his lead.”
Giro d’Italia U23
Stage 1: Francavilla al Mare > Casalincontrada, 133.2km
Top 3: 1. Romano Francesco (Team Palazzo Amaru) 2. Massimo Rosa (Team Hoppla’Petroli Fir) 3. Filippo Zaccanti (Team Colpack)
BMC Development Team Top 3: 11. Pavel Sivakov 67. Jasper Philipsen 73. Patrick Müller