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Sunday, May 21, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered. - Aeschylus

Story of the Giro d'Italia volume 2

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 2: 1971 - 2011 is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Giro d'Italia stage fourteen team reports

We posted the report from GC leader Bruno Amirail's Team Groupama-FDJ with the results.

Here's the report from stage fourteen winner Nico Denz's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After only one day in Switzerland, the riders returned to Italy today for the 14th stage, but first they had to contend with the Simplon Pass. The rest of the stage was on flat terrain. The expected hard fight for the breakaway lasted almost until the foot of the Simplon Pass, only shortly before 29 men broke away from the peloton, with Nico Denz again in the group at the front for BORA - hansgrohe.

The peloton quickly ceased to play a role in the day's victory, as the group's lead grew to over 15 minutes. The front group split and then broke into other small groups, with Nico in the first chasing group. At the 1000 metre mark there were still three riders at the front and Nico in the group behind, but with an energetic performance he was able to close the gap and win the sprint yet again, to take his second stage win in this Giro. The new overall leader is Bruno Armirail, who was also in the large leading group, with Lennard Kämna slipping back one place in the general classification as a result, and is now in seventh place.

Nico Denz wins stage fourteen. Sirotti photo

"I really wanted to race for the win today. When you already have a victory in the bag, you don't want to finish fourth. That's why I took the risk and closed the gap. I saw that the others were looking at each other a bit and then I went straight to Bettiol's rear wheel and gave everything I had left in the tank. I managed to win and I don't fully understand yet what just happened. But it can go on like this for another week… all good things come in threes!" - Nico Denz

"It's really special when a helper wins two stages at the Giro and can celebrate his biggest successes in his career here with us. We knew that the break had a good chance of getting through. But for us it is of course very important that we also support Lenni well here and that's why Nico was the only one we chose to let go into the break today. We knew it would be very difficult, but he's just in the form of his life. Today was the 13th win for BORA - hansgrohe in seven years at the Giro that I could be there to celebrate, and I'm personally also very proud of that." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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Here's the report from second-place Derek Gee's Team Israel-Premier Tech:

The Derek Gee show continues in this year’s Giro d’Italia. On Saturday’s stage 14, the young Canadian came ever so close to taking the win but had to settle for second place yet again.

Team Israel-Premier Tech before the stage start. Sirotti photo

“This is the closest one yet. I did everything I could today. I’m sure when I look back, I will be happy but for now, this one really really hurts”, Gee said after losing out on the victory with the length of half a wheel.

The day started out in sunshine in Switzerland and despite his hard effort yesterday, taking fourth place in the high mountains, Gee was eager to get up the road once again. As said as done.

When a big break formed at the front, Israel – Premier Tech was represented with no less than three riders in the form of Gee, Simon Clarke and Stevie Williams. The front group quickly got a big gap on the peloton, which seemed happy to the let breakaway fight for the win.

“We knew it was going to be a day for the break. I had a big day yesterday, but the legs were good again today so I gave it another crack with Stevie and Simon”, Gee explained.

As the riders took on the ascent to the Simplonpass, the rain made another unwelcome return and accompanied the riders for the rest of the day. The front group with Gee, Clarke and Williams worked well together until the final 50 km, when attacks started to occur.

A small group got away and gained nearly a minute on the chasers but the IPT riders never gave up. Williams worked hard to minimize the distance between the two groups and when Gee attacked and set his sight on the leading trio, the gap started to crumble.

“We ended up on the backfoot but Stevie came to the rescue and we managed to close the gap enough for me to jump across. Simon knows these roads really well and he told me exactly where to go and what to do, what the roads were like and all that. His experience was invaluable today”.

The chase group with Gee kept getting closer and closer and in the last few kilometers, they could see the front group up the road. On the final uphill stretch towards the line, Gee rode his heart out to catch the leading riders and pass them but he still had to settle for second place after a photo-finish.

“I’m disappointed that, after all the work the team did for me, I couldn’t take the win today. The stage was 200 km long but it could have been just a few meters longer, that would have been nice!” Gee finished off with an exhausted smile.

Today’s second place is the third time IPT’s 25-year-old Canadian is runner-up in this Giro d’Italia, his first ever Grand Tour. He’s now second in the points classification, while Israel – Premier Tech has moved up to second place in the team’s classification after today’s strong performances.

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Here's the report from Geraint Thomas's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Geraint Thomas moved down to second overall after the breakaway prevailed on stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia.

Bruno Armirail (Groupama - FDJ) moved into the maglia rosa after being the best-placed rider in a large break that amassed a sizeable advantage of nearly 20 minutes over the Grenadiers-led peloton.

It was a raining as the peloton ascended the Simplon Pass.

The team focused on safely navigating a technical final in sodden conditions, with the aim to conserve energy and recover ahead of a tough stage 15 and a difficult final week, finishing 21 minutes behind stage winner Nico Denz and 20 minutes after Armirail crossed the line.

Sunday's stage sees the Grenadiers take on another climbing test, with four categorized climbs and over 3800 meters of climbing.

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And here's the stage fourteen report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma:

The fourteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia was unremarkable from the point of view of Team Jumbo-Visma. The question before the stage was whether the stage would end in a sprint or whether escapees would get their chance. The latter was the case, with Nico Denz taking his second stage win.

The stage started on Swiss territory in Sierre. The peloton crossed the Simplon Pass, a climb of around 20 kilometres, and then headed back to Italy. Today it was also drenching with rain. Team Jumbo-Visma rode at the front of the peloton for a short time in the early stages to keep some high-profile riders in check.

The pink leader's jersey changed hands. Early escapee Bruno Armirail and his companions opened a gap large enough to compensate for the 18 minutes he was trailing behind. The peloton finished more than 21 minutes after stage winner Denz.

"It was another cold and wet day”, sports director Marc Reef said. "We dressed well and rode in a good position all day. That way, we got through the stage well. We're glad it didn't turn into a bunch sprint because that would have caused a lot of nervousness. We didn't expect the pink jersey to change hands today. As the day went on, that scenario became more and more realistic. Now another team will take control of the race. FDJ will do everything it can to defend the pink jersey. Tomorrow's stage could see some changes in the general classification. So far, apart from the time trial, the GC riders have only tested each other once. Many factors will determine how tomorrow's stage will unfold. We all know that the last week will be decisive.”

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