Tour de France: O'Connor claims memorable stage win as Pogacar tightens yellow jersey grip

By Sports Desk July 04, 2021

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  • Giro d'Italia: Stefano Oldani lands first professional win, leads home Italian one-two Giro d'Italia: Stefano Oldani lands first professional win, leads home Italian one-two

    Stefano Oldani gave Italy its second winner in two days at the Giro d'Italia as the man from Milan grabbed stage 12 glory in Genova.

    The 24-year-old fended off compatriot Lorenzo Rota in a mad dash for the line after they and Dutch rider Gijs Leemreize staged a three-man breakaway, riding for over 50 kilometres as a trio before it became every man for himself at the finish.

    Oldani, of the Alpenin-Fenix team, followed Alberto Dainese in delivering a home victory after the Team DSM man won on Wednesday. Until that point, Italy had been waiting for its first stage winner of the 2022 race.

    Leemreize made the first dart for glory as the riders wound up for a big finish, but his legs soon went and it became a duel between the Italian duo, with Oldani earning his first Grand Tour victory, remarkably also a maiden professional race win of any kind.

    Oldani said of his win on Eurosport: "For sure it was not easy. I knew Rota, he is my friend, so I knew that he was also fast, so I had to watch out.

    "And for sure, the other guy, it was obvious that he wanted to try to anticipate, so it was not so easy to manage it, but in the end it looks like I did it."

    The stage from Parma, a 204-kilometre ride, stretched out when Leemreize, Oldani and Rota raced clear of a breakaway group with just over 50km remaining.

    Four riders continued to loosely track them but sat 44 seconds back with 20km remaining and never looked like fully closing the gap, finishing 57 seconds back. The peloton, meanwhile, was eight minutes down the road as long-time leader Juan Pedro Lopez retained the Maglia Rosa – the leader's pink jersey.

    Lopez said: "For sure when I arrived here my objective was to try to win some stage, but now I live one dream, nine days in Maglia Rosa, and it was amazing."

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:26:47
    2. Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
    3. Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) +0:02 seconds
    4. Bauke Mollema (Tre-Segafredo) +0:57s
    5. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) +0:57s

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

    General Classification  

    1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 51:19:07
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
    3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 185
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 99
    3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 96

    King of the Mountains  

    1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
    2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
    3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

  • Giro d'Italia: Dainese gives Italy first win with stunning sprint Giro d'Italia: Dainese gives Italy first win with stunning sprint

    Alberto Dainese gave Italy its first success of the 2022 Giro d'Italia as he claimed victory with a stunning late sprint on stage 11.

    Dainese came from way back on the final sprint to the line at the end of the 203km flat stage from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.

    The DSM rider appeared to have been boxed in but found an infusion of pace when it mattered most to get his wheel just ahead of that of Fernando Gaviria.

    It marked Dainese's first win since the opening stage of the Herald Sun Tour in February 2020.

    That is a gap of 833 days, with Dainese saying afterwards: "It feels pretty amazing."

    Dainese, whose home stage will come on stage 18 when the Giro heads to Treviso, added: "Especially being so close to home, it's something incredible.

    "I cannot believe it happened, I'm super happy."

    The sprint came after Dries De Bondt was reeled in going into the final kilometre following his solo breakaway.

    General classification leader Juan Pedro Lopez was predictably not in the mix for the stage win but keeps ahold of the maglia rosa.

    Dainese hails Bardet after ending wait

    While Lopez did not feature prominently at the end of the stage, his GC rival Romain Bardet gave Dainese a key lead-out to set him up for triumph.

    Dainese said: "I was just trying to stay relaxed, following the guys, it's insane that Romain sitting third in GC (now fourth) gave me a lead-out to the last corner, that shows we really work as a team.

    "I was a bit boxed in but then I found a gap on the left and I just went to the line, I think I had Gaviria on the right, the last 20 metres I could pass him, that feels super."

    At 24 years, one month and 23 days, Dainese is the youngest Italian to win at the Giro since 2016.

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) 4:19:04
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Simone Consonni (Cofidis) same time
    4. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) same time
    5. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

    General Classification  

    1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 46:43:12
    2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
    3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

    Points Classification

    1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 173
    2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 96
    3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91

    King of the Mountains  

    1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
    2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
    3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

  • Giro d'Italia: History-maker Girmay withdraws after suffering freak eye injury Giro d'Italia: History-maker Girmay withdraws after suffering freak eye injury

    Biniam Girmay has withdrawn from the Giro d'Italia after suffering a freak eye injury following his historic stage 10 victory on Tuesday.

    The Eritrean became the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage when he sprinted away from Mathieu van der Poel in a sprint finish in Jesi.

    Girmay's celebrations were cut short when he leaned down to open a bottle of champagne and was struck in the eye by the cork.

    The 22-year-old was taken to hospital, where it was discovered that he sustained a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye.

    Girmay was able to return to the team hotel on Tuesday evening, but did the Intermarche-Wanty Gobert rider will play no further part in the Giro.

    Team doctor Piet Daneels said: "Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay.

    "His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days. In order to minimize the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure,

    "It is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that's why we decided together with the rider and the sports direction that Biniam will not appear at the start of the eleventh stage."

    History-maker Girmay had finished second in the opening stage and secured another three top-five finishes before winning stage 10.

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