Another top ten in Italy for Stannard and Mitchelton-BikeExchange

Sat 9 Jun 2018

The first foray onto the climbs of the 41stGiro d’Italia U23 took place on stage two near Modena today, but the anticipated fireworks didn’t quite materialise with the stage win coming from the breakaway and Rob Stannard in sixth for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.

A super-fast start to the race saw 50kilometres covered in the first hour of racing before splits began to appear as the field hit the rolling roads of the Emilia-Romagna region on the way to the final climb up to Sestola.

Around 20-riders, including the race leader attacked off the front of the peloton with just under 70kilomtres remaining and gained an advantage of over one minuet on the bunch.

The group worked well together and despite continuing to reduce over the final 40kilometres they continued to hold the peloton at close to a minute before the inevitable attacks started to spring.

Fracturing on the climb up to Sestola three riders remained out front with Austrian Markus Wildauer (Tyrol-Cycling-Team) taking the initiative and accelerating away from the others to take the stage win by a clear 30seconds and Stannard in sixth on the day.

With a long way still to race Giro del Belvedere winner Stannard is starting to gain some precious seconds as the overall contenders begin to show themselves and the Chinese outfit biding their time through these early stages of the race.

Sport director James Victor:

“It was another controlled and patient performance form the guys today and we’re certainly not looking at the stage as a missed opportunity. There’s a long way still to go in this race and it was important that we stayed calm and conserved energy for the bigger and harder stages to come.”

“We didn’t need to get involved with the chase of the break today, but we had Jacob Hennessy up there for a short while and in the end, it was such a drag race onto the start of the final climb it wasn’t necessary for us to expend energy needlessly.

“Rob had positioned himself well again and gained a couple of seconds at the finish and we are where we want to be at this stage of the Giro. Tomorrow will be another fast one and more than likely end in a bunch kick. Our goal will be to keep out of trouble and maintain position as we look ahead to the hillier stages.”

Giro d’Italia U23 stage two results:

1. Markus Wildauer (Tyrol-Cycling-Team) 03:19:43

2. Alessandro Covi (Team-Colpack) +0:33

3. Michele Corradini (Mastromarco) +0:36

6. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:44

General classification after stage two:

1. Markus Wildauer (Tyrol-Cycling-Team) 06:45:48

2. Jasper Philipsen (Hagens-Berman-Axeon) +0:41

3. Alessandro Covi (Team-Colpack) +0:48

6. Rob Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) +0:52