Durbridge top ten in Giro d'Italia time trial

Sat 23 May 2015

Former Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge has put in a strong performance for tenth place on the tough stage 14 time trial at the Giro d’Italia.

The 59.4km trip from Treviso to Valdobbiadene featured a flat and open first half, before a more challenging undulating latter half featuring a category three climb.

Not a particularly suiting parcours for Durbridge, sport director Matt White was pleased with the 24-year-old’s ride of 1:19:28 to be one-minute 36seconds behind stage winner Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky).

“Luke has had a really good ride, one of the smoothest rides I think I have ever seen him do,” sport director Matt White said.

“I am pretty sure the wind direction changed so the earlier guys had quite an advantage and the top ten had some surprises in there but that’s not to take away from his result.”

Not necessarily an identified target for ORICA-GreenEDGE this Giro d’Italia, the rare long course gave the team an opportunity to work on pacing.

“Originally the plan, given the terrain, was not to have a huge go at the time trial today,” White explained. “But then in talking with some of the other staff we decided that given we don’t do many 60km time trials it would be a good opportunity to use it as pacing practice.”

“If selected, the only other time trial Durbridge would do of that distance is in the world championships.”

Earlier in the day, as the third starter for the stage, Michael Hepburn set the initial fastest time of 1:21:05, passing the two previous starters to be the first rider across the finish line.

Durbridge’s efforts also saw him sit briefly as the fastest time of the day as riders continued to roll in. 

Meanwhile, all eyes were on the final riders of the day, the general classification players.

They were not to threaten for the stage victory but the battle saw Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) reclaim the Maglia Rosa from Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team).

Tomorrow, races heads back to the mountains for a big day for general classification. The 165km 15th stage heads from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio and tackles two big category one climbs in the last 40km, the latter for a summit finish.