“This is my biggest chance this Giro,” Davide Cimolai said before the start of stage 13. And he was right. He was the best climbing sprinter, together with Peter Sagan, but the climbers disrupted a potential party.
ISN made a big contribution to chasing down the day’s breakaway. First it was Dani Navarro who kept the gap with the escapees small, then it was Israeli road race champion Guy Sagiv who made sure the breakaway group wouldn’t get too much of a lead.
“We pulled for Cimo”, Sagiv said after contributing a lot to the chase. “We controlled the whole race together with Bora.”
Cimo, who is getting closer and closer to his hometown this Giro and was sure he could get a good result in today’s stage, was then put into position by his other teammates.
The two climbs, short and steep, would be challenges to survive. However, with the right race situation (a small gap for the escapees), and good positioning towards the climbs (he got full support from his teammates), Cimo expected himself to reach the finish in the front group.
And he was nearly 100% right. Cimo showed climbing skills by surviving the first hill (4 km at 8%) and then also was right up there on the second one (2 km at 10%). There was one issue though: the climbers and punchers also had ambitions.
Cimolai ended up in a small group just meters behind the best climbing sprinter Peter Sagan, only fifteen seconds behind the first group on top of the final climb. 30 seconds behind him was the group with Arnaud Demare, who has already won four stages here.
It was ‘just’ a matter of coming back to the front group, but they didn’t slow down. The chasing group, who had a numerical disadvantage compared to the front group, tried everything they could. It wasn’t meant to be.
Video by: Sjors Beukeboom
Pics: Bettini Photo