Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) has won stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia in a shocking manner, was this luck or miscalculation? De Bondt was part of a breakaway group and the Peloton failed to calculate their true speed which led them furiously to the finish line.
The Peloton definitely tried their best here, but they were still no match for the breakaway group. The group was formed by De Bondt, Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma), and Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè). Their amazing performance allowed them to have a lead of two minutes over the whole peloton. Things seemed hopeful in the last 45km but as the Peloton became furious, so did the breakaway group, and cashing this opportunity De Bondt soared to the finish line.
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There were huge efforts from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Groupama-FDJ, Team DSM, and the UAE Team Emirates, all of them wanted their “Big Players” out in the front but during the last stretch, all of those efforts failed. This is the first-ever Grand Tour stage win of Dries De Bondt with plenty more to come in his growing career. He managed to break free from the group, especially from Affini, Cort, and Gabburo.
Alpecin-Fenix is seemingly back in the game thanks to this amazing win by Dries De Bondt. What remains to be seen now is that who will take the ultimate win, who will win the Giro d’Italia?
How It Went Down
Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia was a far cry from the rest of the stages, especially from the rigorous mountainous stages of this week. This stage was a bit more on the calmer side, the race would start from Borgo Valsugana and end at Treviso providing a flat route with ease in the last kilometers.
Trouble started brewing for Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) who came in the Maglia Rosa, he had to fend off attacks from ai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe). The most shocking news came with the revelation of João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) dropping from the Giro after being afflicted with COVID-19.
The start of the race was quite predictable with multiple attacks coming from all the possible directions. The breakaway group started forming very soon as Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) were joined by Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè).
Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl along with Team DSM tried very hard to control the Peloton very early on in the race. They wanted their fast men to take the charge and lead the group but that would work more in theory than in action in this stage. Arnaud Demare, Mark Cavendish, and Alberto Dainese were all searching for another victory chance but De Bondt had already planned to overwhelm them.
With the different series of attacks and numerous tries by teams to bring the Peloton into play, it was De Bondt who won stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. Other riders like Cort and Gabburo just could not match De Bondt’s speed. In the end, it was a duel between De Bondt and Affini and the Alpecin-Fenix riders came out on top.
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Featured Image Via YouTube/Cycling Pro Net