It was not the most exciting day in the Giro d’Italia first week. Surprisingly, the peloton decided to take a day off and allow one of the three breakaway riders, Davide Bais, Karel Vacek and Simone Petilli, to take a stage win on the mighty Campo Imperatore.
It was a challenging 218.3-kilometre stage with more than 4,000 metres of elevation gain. It was not perfect for high w/kg performances but the final 3.9 kilometres at an 8.26% gradient with a finish above 2000 metres of sea level was sufficient to create some differences in the GC if a team had tried, despite the headwind.
Jumbo-Visma and DSM seemed interested in controlling the break formation. In the end, it was a classical four-man television breakaway with Davide Bais, Karel Vacek, Simone Petilli and Henok Mulubrhan, with the Eritrean dropping out of the group early. After every team refused to hold even a mediocre tempo in the peloton, it was clear one of these three breakaway riders would take the first pro win of their career with DSM having no interest in bringing the group back lest Leknessund lose his jersey. After a gruelling day out front, it was Davide Bais from EOLO-Kometa who was victorious, thanks to a 4.82 ᵉW/Kg for 14:25 min performance on the steep part of the Campo Imperatore. It is the second victory at the Giro for Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso’s team after Lorenzo Fortunato’s glorious breakaway win on Monte Zoncolan at the 2021 Giro. It might be the lowest w/kg performance for a mountain-top win in recent years in World-Tour but it is still a Grand Tour win that many teams passed on, so credit to those in the breakaway today.
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The peloton was sleeping for the whole climb but upped the tempo on the steep pinch at the finish. Remco Evenepoel was first from the GC group, doing 5.85 ᵉW/Kg for 11:44 min and getting extra UCI points for Soudal-Quickstep. It was surprising to see that INEOS or Jumbo-Visma did not try to test Evenepoel on Campo Imperatore after the Belgian crashed multiple times on Stage 5 which might have affected his performance.