Weening 10th from winning break on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia

Thu 28 May 2015

2014 stage winner Pieter Weening has finished in tenth place having spent the day in a successful break on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia today.

A strong move of 14 riders was allowed some flexibility for the first time this Tour, establishing a 13-minute advantage ahead of the day’s late category one climb.

Weening lost touch on the ascent as four riders rode clear. A chase group of four, including eventual solo winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), bridged across ahead.

“It took 50km for the break to go again today,” sport director Matt White said. “The first hour covered 49km and the second hour was 48km so the first 100km was at warp speed.”

“The guys who did make the break today were the guys with some of the best legs at this stage in the Tour.

“There was obviously a few attacks on the climb and Pieter just didn’t have the legs to go with that front group, but he battled on for a solid tenth place.”

How it unfolded

With a reasonably flat front half of racing ahead of a solitary category one climb, today’s stage 18 was seen as a rare chance for a breakaway to survive.

It made it a hotly contested break to make, but eventually 14 riders established a strong move in front.

With ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Weening amongst them, the group quickly moved out to a nine-minute advantage. Unfortunately an incident involving a motobike caused the crash of two riders and the group was reduced to 12.

Together, they worked out to a 13minute advantage ahead of the start of the major climb but the challenging ascent began to see the break splinter.

Behind, the action headed up once more as a crash held up much of Astana Pro Team and Team Sky and race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) went on the attack.

David De La Cruz (Etixx – Quickstep), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky), Amael Moinard (BMC Racing Team), Francesco Bongiorno (Bardini – CSF Pro Team) crested the Monte Ologno climb as the head of the race.

A secondary group of four riders bridged across as the cat and mouse games began early.

Immediately, Gilbert made his winning attack, as those left in his wake looked at each other and battled for minor positions.