Giro d'Italia Stage 5: Uran Climbs to 4th overall with Uphill Finale Top 5, Brambilla Shows Courage
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Rigoberto Uran climbed to 4th place in the Giro d'Italia GC (+19") by placing 4th on the uphill finish of 203.4k Stage 5 in Viggiano on Wednesday.
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) was 2nd, and Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) was 3rd.
There was no certainty to the arrival in the final kilometers, as rain began to fall prior to a technical descent. However, OPQS rider Gianluca Brambilla showed courage despite the conditions, attacking with about 8.2km to go and giving it everything he had to try and win the stage and possibly steal the Maglia Rosa. He was down by just 19" in the GC going into the stage.
Despite a great effort from Brambilla, Katusha and a few other teams were settled on the group arrival. They pushed the pace on the front of the peloton, and Brambilla was caught with 1.4km to go in the stage.
Uran was in good position, which was the result of the whole team moving to the front for him with 24km to go and the original breakaway down to just a few riders. The final breakaway rider was caught with 14km to go.
Uran kept himself near the front despite some accelerations from other teams, and was able to contest the uphill finale.
OPQS looks next to a 247km medium mountain stage on Thursday. There is another uphill finish in Montecassino.
"Even today wasn't an easy stage with wind and rain in the final," Uran said. "I felt good today on the uphills, but I also felt super comfortable on my Specialized Tarmac on the technical downhill. Then in the final I tried to get a few seconds with the bonifications, but I didn't make it. Still I'm happy I feel good. Today was not really a climber's finish. The fast guys were there with the GC guys. So, we'll see what we can do day-by-day. I am confident with the way my team is working around me. Today they were great the entire day. They stayed with me and brought me to the front of the group. So, everybody did their job perfectly."
"Today I felt good the entire day," Brambilla said. "My legs felt strong. I tried to take a few seconds and I went. Despite the conditions on the descent, I was really confident on my Specialized bicycle. I was able to go full gas even if it was technical. I took a good gap, but the uphill to the finish there was a lot of headwind. It was difficult to defend my leadership from the strength of the group that was chasing me. I think without the headwind I could have done better. But the most important thing is how good my legs felt. I am OK and now I am able to help Uran in the next days. Also, this is a confidence booster for me. Last time I was in front like that was Stage 20 of the Giro last year, which finished in Tre Cime di Lavaredo. So, I'm happy to be there again."