Hermans holds high GC placing on the Rubicon
Belgian is 3d overall, 4th on stage
Team still has good chances for overall title
Ben Hermans was part of a small group to charge up the Sogliano al Rubicone and finished fourth, to cement his third place overall in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
The Belgian Israel Start-Up Nation rider just missed out on taking the leader’s jersey. There was a small gap between the first two finishers and Ben’s group of three, “If I had finished third instead of fourth, I would have gotten the four-second bonification and taken the jersey.”
But every cloud has a silver lining. “Then we would have had to control the race for three more stages, and that’s not so easy, so maybe it’s a good situation.”
A break group stayed away for much of the stage, and ISN controlled things in the chasing field. “I thank Matthias Brändle and Alex Dowsett, who pulled really hard for something like 140 km. Then I had a lot of help from Alessandro De Marchi and James Piccoli controlling the attacks, and Guy Niv who chased down an attack near the finish.”
“I am still in the running for GC,” he said. “There is still one hard day coming, in two days, so we hope to get it done there. Today Vingegaard and Sosa were better than me, and we have to hope that I am better than them in two days.
“Today we all did well but just missed out by a few seconds. I’m a little bit disappointed but actually I should be happy with the result and with the way we were controlling the race.”