Giro d'Italia Stage 9: Brambilla 12th in Rainy Medium Mountain Stage
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Gianluca Brambilla was 12th, 1'03" back from solo stage winner Maxim Belkov (Katusha), who won out of an original breakaway that included OPQS rider Michal Golas in the 9th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday.
"Today was the first day after the crash that I felt better," Brambilla said. "I entered in the breakaway this morning and once they caught us, I managed to stay in the front group. I hope I can improve in the next days and, why not, try something again."
Golas and 11 other riders escaped after about 24km, getting an initial gap of 1'30". However, eventually Belkov, Robinson Chalapud (Colombia Cycling Team) and Stefano Pirazzi (Continental Team Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) dropped their fellow break mates. After relentlessly attacking each other over the next kilometers in the pouring rain, Belkov finally was solo with about 50km to go in the 170km stage.
Golas was caught along with other riders with about 9.4km to go, but Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia Cycling Team) and Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano) continued to chase from the original break. Eventually Carlos Betancur (AG2R - La Mondiale) attacked from the maglia rosa group and was able to catch and pass the duo for 2nd place. Pantano was 3rd.
"This morning during the technical meeting we decided to try and get into the breakaway," Golas said. "Brambilla was in the early attack but the other teams chased down their attempt. Once we caught them I entered in the counter attack. It was a good group of riders but we didn't really collaborate together. The thing is that i suffered a lot in the middle of the race because of the cold. In a bad moment I couldn't really follow the group. I kept riding and kilometer after kilometer the situation improved — but to be honest I didn't recuperate 100 percent. In any case I'm happy about the fact I was able to enter in the breakaway. Next time I will try to make it until the end."
OPQS looks next to a Giro rest day on Monday.