‘Grande’ Martin WINS in the Giro and completes Grand Tour stage victory trifecta

⁃ Israel Start-Up Nation wins stage 17 in the Giro
⁃ Martin wins first-ever Giro stage, after having won in Tour and Vuelta
⁃ Martin: “I could not believe it at the finish”
⁃ Co-owner Sylvan Adams: “We are proud”

An outstanding Dan Martin wins stage 17 after an incredible fight on the final climb. “This is the reason why I came to the Giro d’Italia!”

The Irishman forced, together with his teammates, a breakaway group after an hour of racing. The chase in the peloton was on, but didn’t manage to close the gap.

“I came to the Giro to win a stage,” Martin said after the finish. “That I joggled my head after the finish proves that I just could not believe that I made it.

“I knew today would be one of my last chances. As I lost time before, I could try to go for my goal with joining a breakaway.”

One minute and thirty seconds distanced Martin from other GC-contenders. At the finish, he had 13 seconds left.

Martin: “I received the updates from the sports directors about what was happening behind me. From 3.5 kilometers to the finish, I pushed as hard as I could, because I knew from a recon I did that the climb would flatten towards the finish.”

Team co-owner Sylvan Adams was watching the final hour of racing on the bus. It was exciting until the finish, as the gap between Martin and his competitors shrunk, grew, shrunk, and grew throughout the whole race.

With a big smile on his face, Adams said after the finish, “Dan said yesterday that he would give it a go in today’s stage. He said this climb suited him particularly well. The team did amazing to get Dan into the break. He delivered and I am super proud.”

Winning the seventeenth stage in the Giro meant that Martin successfully achieved an important career goal. He has now won stages in the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a Espana, the first and last of those races while wearing #blueandwhite colors of ISN.

Israeli climber Guy Niv said after the stage that he was nervously listening to the race radio, but could not hear anything anymore in the last kilometer. “When I found out that Dan made it to the finish, I was super happy. As a team, we kept fighting after a challenging second week for us this Giro. It is exciting that Dan succeeded today.”

Martin concluded: “We had a Giro with ups-and-downs. We lost Krists in the first stage, then had pink with Alessandro and got a few podiums, then lost two guys in one day and now the team is back at an up. We kept fighting and believing, and today it worked out.”

#YallaISN #Blueandwhite #sababaisn #fantiniwines #giro
Photos: Noa Arnon and Bettini Photos

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Nizzolo departs the Giro d’Italia with maiden Grand Tour stage victory in hand

Following the completion of stage 14 of the 104th Giro d’Italia finishing atop the Monte Zoncolan, Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo has withdrawn from the race.

The 32-year-old won his maiden Grand Tour stage in sensational fashion taking victory in stage 13 in Verona, ending a near decade-long wait for the victory and sparking emotional scenes.

Nizzolo had specifically prepared for the sprint opportunities at the Giro in order to finally achieve his goal of winning a stage. After finishing a tough stage on Monte Zoncolan the decision was taken for him to withdraw, in order for him to rest and recover and then, together with the team, focus on his upcoming goals.

It concludes an excellent race for the Italian after also twice finishing second – on stages two and five – while also wearing the leader’s jersey for the points classification, the maglia ciclamino.

Nizzolo’s win came just two days after that of debutant Mauro Schmid in Montalcino, and in addition to strong individual performances from Victor Campenaerts and Max Walscheid.

Giacomo Nizzolo

Everybody knows how much I love this race, and what it means to me. To finally win a stage here has been a dream come true, and the raw emotion at the finish line in Verona showed that. I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life.

I came into the race in good condition, with fast legs and focus on the flat sprints, but have been struggling on the climbs which has really taken its toll. So we decided it would be best for me to stop, and to recover to look forward to the future.

For our team this has been an incredible Giro d’Italia so far. We speak about the spirit of Ubuntu within our squad – “I am because we are” – and I think it’s evident for everyone to see in the way we are racing just how tight we are as a group and organisation.

My win in Verona wasn’t just a victory for me and those behind the scenes but as importantly it continued to showcase our team’s purpose in riding for something more, for the impact that bicycles can have in changing lives which we are doing everyday together with the Qhubeka Charity.

— Jean Smyth to teamqhubeka.com