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Jakob Fuglsang misses out on Tour de Suisse stage win by centimetres but moves up second on GC – Astana

Jakob Fuglsang misses out on Tour de Suisse stage win by centimetres but moves up second on GC

A gutsy performance from Jakob Fuglsang saw the Danish rider narrowly miss the win on stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse after attacking in the final 15 kilometres.

Stage 5 took the riders from yesterday’s finish town of Gstaad to Leukerbad with a category one climb right after the start but as expected, the race lit up in the final 50 kilometres on the category one Erschmatt climb.

The Astana – Premier Tech riders did a stellar job delivering their leader Jakob Fuglsang into position at the bottom of the final ascent. The Danish rider showed his strength and launched an attack with 20 kilometres to go, bridging across to the current leader Esteban Chaves.

Cycling fans saw an exciting finale as later stage winner Carapaz attacked from the chase group and joined Fuglsang, who was, at this point, leading the race solo after dropping Chaves. A battle to the line saw Fuglsang take a strong second place, missing the stage win by centimetres with Carapaz just coming around Fuglsang on the line.

In the overall ranking, the Lombardia 2019 winner moves up to an impressive second place, 26 seconds behind new leader Carapaz.

“I felt good and today’s stage was hard and long but the profile suited me. The team did a great job. They protected me the whole day, from the first climb onwards. As planned, on the bottom of the final ascent I stayed first with the others and tried then to distanced myself. But when I heard Carapaz was coming I tried to save a little bit of energy as I knew it was going to be a tough battle. I just started the sprint too early, but I moved up to second on the General Classification and there are still some stages to come.” – Jakob Fuglsang 

“We can be really happy with today´s performance. The guys worked really well together and as planned, they brought Jakob perfectly into position. On the final ascent, Jakob felt good so he launched an attack earlier than maybe expected, nevertheless it was a strong performance and at the end he just missed a few centimetres to win the stage. On the overall ranking he now sits second, with only some seconds behind Carapaz but there are a few hard stages to come. Tomorrow will be another tough one and we will try everything to support Jakob again as best as possible.” – Ivan Velasco, Coach 

Tour de Suisse

Stage 5: Gstaad > Leukerbad  (175km)

Top3: 1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 2. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premier Tech) 3. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation)
Top 3 GC: 1. Richard Carapaz –  2. Jakob Fuglsang – 3.Maximilian Schachmann

Astana  – Premier Tech Top 3 : 2. Jakob Fuglsang; 34. Jonas Gregaard; 35 Stefan de Bod

 

Photo credit: Gettyimages

— nadine Pfeffer to www.astanapremiertech.com

Damiano Caruso 3rd on Queen Stage and Moves up to 2nd in GC

Damiano Caruso displayed his resilience in harsh conditions that saw the Queen Stage shortened by 60 kilometres, removing the epic climbs up the Passo Fedaia and the Passo Pordoi. The conditions were so poor that spectators were left with no coverage of the riders for most of the race as helicopters could not take off.

The race eventually started 30 minutes later than planned, and on the descent of the first categorised climb, La Crosetta, a breakaway of six strong riders formed. The gap was just over five minutes to the peloton but was closed down by the key contenders in the GC on the Passo Giau.

As the gap came down to the breakaway, the race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) put in an attack that dropped the rest of the contenders, which saw him win the stage. However, Damiano Caruso managed his losses best and moved up against the rest of the field, finishing third and moving into second in the GC.

After Stage 16, Caruso now sits 2:24 off the Maglia Rosa, with third place Hugh Carthy(EF Education Nippo) 3:40 down.

Damiano Caruso was excited with his performance and shared his thoughts on the eve of a deserved rest day: “Although the race was shortened, the intensity was high all day long, as we expected.
I felt good on the last climb. I was looking at the faces of other contenders, and I could understand at that moment that I was almost the strongest, except for Bernal, of course. I tried to follow the Maglia Rosa but I couldn’t. So I focussed only on my tempo and doing my best until the end. The morale now is high, for sure.
I want to say thank you to my teammates because they did a great job also today and to all the staff that helped provide extra clothing during the race, and with such bad weather, it’s something vital. Now, we will enjoy the rest day, and then after tomorrow, we will start again with the last fight.”

Gorazd Štangelj, Head Sports Director praised Damiano Caruso and the team: “Damiano did an amazing job today. He raced using his head and legs. We get out of these days at the maximum. Tomorrow is the rest day, and I wish that our guys have a quality rest. They faced difficult stages and bad weather, fast racing every day. It will be fundamental to recover well ahead of the last week of the Giro, which will be very brutal”.

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @ChrisAuld @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Damiano Caruso moves up into 3rd position in the GC after a dusty Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia

Swiss rider, Mauro Schmid (Team Qhubeka Assos) won today’s Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, 162km from Perugia to Montalcino.

From the early breakaway of 11 riders, Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) finished second and third respectively.

Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao were the main protagonists of Team Bahrain Victorious. Damiano Caruso had great support in the right moments from all of his teammates, especially from Pello Bilbao. The Basque rider kept his eyes on him in the right moments on the gravel sections. Then he supported him to keep his position with the Maglia Rosa group, where Damiano was able to move up four positions in the GC into third.

Team Ineos Grenadiers led the head of the peloton throughout the stage, working hard for Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), who crossed over the finish line 3’09” adrift from the winner but gained more time against his GC competitors.

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 11th stage Perugia – Montalcino 162 km – 19/05/2021 – Damiano Caruso (ITA – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

Damiano Caruso shared his thoughts after the considerable effort: “I’m super happy because today was a key stage of this Giro. It was a tough and complicated one. In the end, I felt good, although when Maglia Rosa went, I couldn’t follow him. But I think I did a good race anyway. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team, both staff members and riders. Now it’s time to recover from the stage. Then we will see day by day. We need to keep calm, and at this moment, I want to think only about recovering well.”

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 11th stage Perugia – Montalcino 162 km – 19/05/2021 – Pello Bilbao (ESP – Bahrain Victorious) – photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Pello Bilbao was protecting and helping the team captain throughout the race: “I discovered the white roads only this season when I rode “Strade Bianche” for the first time in my life. I must admit that it became my favorite race, and today I got the confirmation that I really enjoy riding on the gravel roads. Although it was a hard day and we had difficult situations, we tried to solve them together with Damiano, who did a great job. We did our race, and we controlled the situation in the best way possible.”

(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainVictorious)

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Vlasov moves up to fourth overall after brutal Giro d’Italia stage 6 – Astana

Vlasov moves up to fourth overall after brutal Giro d’Italia stage 6

A tough day in the saddle on stage six of the Giro d’Italia saw Aleksandr Vlasov climb the General Classification rankings to move into fourth overall, 24 seconds behind new race leader Attila Valter.

Astana – Premier Tech’s Russian leader crossed the line in tenth place atop the San Giacomo climb in what was the race’s first summit finish in brutal conditions with cold weather and constant rain making for a difficult day.

“It was a very hard day, especially with the cold weather. I really couldn’t feel my arms or legs so I suffered a lot. On the downhill I didn’t want to push too hard and then on the final climb, I gave everything I had. I had great support from Harold Tejada so I was able to save some energy going into the final kilometres. It was not easy as I didn’t feel anything but I just tried to stay with the best as long as possible. I was able to answer the first attack but the second time Bernal went, I wasn’t able to stay on the wheel so I just held my own rhythm until the finish line. I did my best and in general, I am happy. Now we just keep taking things day by day and see what happens,” Vlasov said.

Gino Mader held on from the breakaway to take the solo victory while behind, the General Classification riders began to attack from the reduced peloton on the final climb. Vlasov, who had Harold Tejadad for support, responded to the first moves and clawed his way back to the front. Although he was wasn’t able to match a second attack within the last kilometre, Vlasov dug deep to limit him time loss on the finish line to cross the line 17 seconds behind a handful of General Classification rivals.

Heading back onto flatter terrain on stage seven, Vlasov now sits in fourth overall, eight seconds off the podium.

Race Profile

Giro d’Italia

Stage 6: Grotte di Frasassi > Ascoli Piceno (San Giacomo) (160km)

Top 3: 1. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), 3. Dan Martin (Israel Start Up Nation).

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 10. Aleksandr Vlasov, 30. Harold Tejada, 62. Gorka Izagirre

Photo: Getty Sport

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com