Colombian riders dominated the first mountaintop finish of the Giro d’Italia Giovani (Baby Giro) with three riders in the first four. Alejandro Osorio (Colombian National Team) won the stage – hand in hand with second placed Daniel Munoz – and also moved into the race leader’s pink jersey.
Climbing away from the rest of the field on the final climb to Passo Maniva, the Colombian pair caught and passed the remnants of the breakaway on the climb’s 9% slopes. The time lost holding hands on the line almost cost Osorio the maglia rosa, which he holds by less than a second from overnight leader Markus Wildauer (Tirol Cycling Team).
The stage had been shortened from the 127km originally planned due to concerns about the road on the first part of the course. Two “local” laps of Mornico al Serio replaced the shores of Lake Iseo and resulted in a stage which was around 110km in length, but still taking in the spiralling category 2 climb of Passo Tre Termini.
Behind the Colombians, Aleksandr Vlasov (Russia National Team) and Stevie Williams (SEG Racing Academy) finished at 9 and 12 seconds respectively behind the leaders. Further back, 19-year olds U23 Joao Almeida (Hagens Berman Axeon), Alessandro Covi (Team Colpack) and Mark Donavan (Team Wiggins) were all impressive – whether they can hold on to their high standings as the week develops will be a real test for the young riders.
Robert Stannard (Mitchelton BikeExchange) had been thought of as a GC contender, but his attacks on stages 1 and 2 suggested that he never saw himself as such – and he was proved correct when he finished at 3:22 behind the Osorio and Munoz.
Tomorrow’s stage is 128km from Darfo Boario Terme to Dimaro Folgarida. The stage offers a tougher route than today’s, with a category 3 and category 1 climb before the category 1 summit finish.
Full results from procyclingstats.com