Israeli climber over 100 km in the break group
Ben Hermans who finished 7th: “Niv showed something great today”
Guy Niv’s assignment for stage 4 of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali was to control attacks and to go with a big group if it contained the GC teams. And that’s just what he did, on what he knew was “going to be the hardest day of the race with 4000 meters of climbing and pretty much no flat.”
“A small group went clear on the first climb, and then more went on the second, so I had to go with them. I felt super good and just bridged solo up to the group,” Guy said.
Once there, “I tried to do the minimum work possible. I hoped that Ben Hermans could come across with a small group near the end, and I would be able to help him in the finale.
“Unfortunately , the final laps of the closing circuit ended up being not hard enough to make a big selection, and a big group caught us near the end. I gave the guys another pull in the front, and when we started the last climb of the day with 3km to go, I had finished my job for today.”
It was a confidence builder for the Israeli climber. “I’m really feeling good in the last two weeks of racing, since Tirreno, and can say confidently that I have taken another big step this season and my level is definitely higher.”
Ben Hermans, our GC rider, finished seventh in the closing sprint, giving him fifth in the GC with one stage left. He praised his Israeli teammate. “Guy did a really good race, and I am happy for him that he showed something great today. Even when we caught him, he was still a help for the team. So, kudos for him.”
“Guy covered everything in the front of the break and was very strong,” said DS Dror Pekatch, “while back in the bunch the guys were supporting Ben perfectly.”
He was, obviously, happy with the progress of the Israeli climber. “ It was one of the strongest days of his career and made a leap forward since his TDF but he obviously has still a long way to go before reaching his full potential”.
Once things came back together at the end, “Ben was unfortunately boxed in before the last climb and had to put in a lot of energy to get to the front as the others were attacking. In the end Ben got a good seventh place and all the other guys worked amazingly for him.”