Our team executed the pre-race strategy perfectly in having Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Matteo Sobrero in the breakaway, who would play crucial roles later on as the competition for the general classification ignited and they were reeled in.
Domenico Pozzovivo and Ben O’Connor both sat fairly comfortably in the maglia rosa group but an unfortunate mechanical for Pozzovivo on a descent with the car unable to reach him left him lose crucial time, and despite a blistering finishing climb it wasn’t enough to catch the race leader again.
The Italian finished 12th just over two minutes behind winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (INS), with O’Connor 3 places further back.
We had a nice tactical plan to put two up there and it worked perfectly in having Amanuel and Matteo in the break as we knew that would also help us later in the final; we knew the break wouldn’t make it (to the line).
It was all fine and we kept to that but unfortunately both Amanuel and Domenico had some issues; and for Pozzo we just couldn’t get to him on the descent (due to other vehicles). It was a bummer as he was really, really strong today and we could have secured a top position here. Cycling isn’t always sunshine though and the team worked really well.
We’ve had some great results over the last few days in the mountains so at this point of course we’re happy but we had some bad luck today and we have to live with it.
It was a tough stage and I saw all the riders from the other teams also on the limit today. I wasn’t so bad and was confident I would be able to do a great final climb but unfortunately on the final descent I had an issue.
I then used Amanuel and Ben as we tried to do the best climb possible; I showed that I had very good legs but I was very unlucky in not being able to use them for the stage result and to improve on the general classification.
The entire team has been fantastic – and today again – we were just really unlucky.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About NTT Pro Cycling:
Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) (NTTProCycling.com) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka's learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
Qhubeka (Qhubeka.org) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
About NTT Ltd.:
NTT Ltd. (hello.global.NTT) is a global technology services company bringing together the expertise of leaders in the field, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace and deliver services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.
Visit us at our new website hello.global.NTT
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Giro d’Italia: NTT Pro Cycling 6th overall ahead of final stage