Holdsworth-Zappi rider Charlie Quarterman, one of our U23 riders to watch this season, is one of a host of British riders riding the Giro d’Italia Ciclista, this U23 version of the Giro. He is keeping a race diary for The British Continental throughout the ‘Baby Giro’.
It was a real tense, nervous day out
Stage 1 recap
Ethan Hayter once again took the honours on stage 1 – as we predicted might happen – extending his overall lead. Hayter followed an attack by Alexys Brunel (Groupama-FDJ Continental) over the top of the final climb and found himself in a late three-man move with Brunel and Georg Zimmerman (Tirol KTM). Hayter got the better of them at the finish to take his second win in two days.
Behind Hayter, Matt Walls (Great Britain) and Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ Continental) bagged top ten places in the bunch finish, with our diarist Charlie Quarterman finishing in the main group and retaining a top ten place overall. Jake Stewart now leads the youth classification.
Charlie’s race diary #3
“Probably a nice day for the sprinters” is what they said.
The Giro is certainly living up to its reputation in several ways; firstly, half of the climbs we went over today didn’t reply show up in the stage profile, probably because the organisers have a different definition of hill from me. It was also just a very stressful day out. We had a fast start, followed by a very brief moment to chill out on the flat roads near our Italian training base, before the fight for position started a long way out. I do mean “a long way out”. There was one 4 minute climb with 10 km of the 145 remaining, but the peloton was basically gridlocked for the 40 km before that. Before that, it was always tense with the odd crash, near-miss, or dodgy roundabout to take, with the peloton spread all over the road.
So yes, it was a real tense, nervous day out.
A crash at the bottom of the final climb made for a completely full gas climb for anyone outside of the top 15 riders
Our team got through everything okay today though! A crash at the bottom of the final climb made for a completely full gas climb for anyone outside of the top 15 riders, but the GC riders, as well as Tim James and myself, got over it and were there to roll into the finish with most people on the same time. Tim took 21st, which is another little success for us as a fairly small team in this race. I did lose my green jersey but I’m still in 7th place on GC going into tomorrow’s stage, behind the incredibly worthy wearer of the maglia rosa, Ethan Hayter, who somehow managed to sneak away in the last few kilometres of today to take his second win. Quite something!
Anyway, we’re all in high spirits after a fantastic day enjoying the moments of fame with a leader’s jersey in the team, but we remain focused as very important days lie ahead.
Stage 2 preview
173 km from Bagno di Romagna to Pescia are in store for Charlie and the rest of the peloton tomorrow, the longest stage in this year’s race. Once again, this should in theory be one for the sprinters, but with several climbs to take in early on, this is not a foregone conclusion.
The final kilometres are not straightforward either. There is a roundabout at under 1800 m to go and another, more testing one at under 800 m left. The final kilometre is also slightly uphill all the way to the finish. Once again, I’d expect Great Britain to be riding for a Matt Walls win, but don’t rule out Ethan Hayter either. Kaden Groves (SEG Racing) should be in the mix. And watch out too for Jake Stewart, who looks in good shape judging by the first two stages.