Nick Schultz climbed an excellent third place on the uphill finish to the second stage of Coppi e Bartali to move into fourth on the general classification.
The Australian broke away with a select group in the tough finale in Sogliano al Rubicone and crossed the line just behind stage winner Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) and second placed Ivan Sosa (INEOS Grenadiers).
The result leaves Schultz just five-seconds from new race leader Vingegaard with three stages to go. Young neo-pro Kevin Colleoni also moves into the top-10 overall after an impressive ride to 17th on the stage, just 15 seconds down on the day’s winner.
“For sure I‘m very happy with my ride today. It was a bit of a target to come to this race with good form and I was speaking with Gene Bates a couple of weeks ago and said I’ve been training well and so it would be nice to come here and try to get the victory.
“For now, we have to be happy with today’s third place and it was also a good collective performance by everybody in the team, so I have to thanks them for helping me during the race.
“Friday’s stage in San Marino will be very tough and probably will decide the final ranking in the GC. I’m expecting a quite similar stage with a hilly circuit and anything could happen and we’ll see.”
Gene Bates (Sports Director):
“We are very pleased today. We were thinking to go for the stage win today but this is very good considering the company Nick finished with. We thought this was a race that he could target, he trained well at altitude and came down ready to race which is excellent.
“We are also satisfied about Kevin’s performance and he will be another option to play in the coming days. With a lot of climbing coming up, it’s nice to have more than just one rider in the mix.
“Nick is now fourth on GC and he’s very close to the top, with four riders in five seconds, with some very big stages still to come the race is still very open. We will see who has legs in San Marino.”
2021 Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 2 Results:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4.17.53
2. Ivan Ramiro Sosa (INEOS Grenadiers) ST
3. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) +0:04
17. Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExvhange) +0:15
General Classification after Stage 2:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma) 6:48:25
2. Ivan Ramiro Sosa (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:01
3. Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) +0:03
4. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) +0:05
9. Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) +0:20
Photo Courtesy of Monguzziphoto.