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Inside the Baby Giro: Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #5

Charlie battles through the strade bianche as Fred Wright takes 4th and Ethan Hayter loses the maglia rosa

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’s amazing the amount that we, as a peloton, put ourselves through to get a win, or a day in the breakaway, or just to get to the finish line to fight another day

Stage 3 recap

A chaotic, eventful stage, by all accounts, as the ‘strade bianche’ lived up to their reputation for creating tense, exciting racing.

Stage 3 profile

Fabio Mazzucco (Sangemini – MG.Kvis Vega) broke Great Britain’s race hegemony with a solo win, and with it the maglia rosa. Fred Wright (Great Britain) was the best British finisher in 4th place – a fine result considering he suffered a crash and a late puncture.

The word is that it was Great Britain’s plan to lose the jersey today so that didn’t have to defend it in the mountains. Perhaps no surprise then that overnight race leader Ethan Hayter finished over four minutes down on the race winner. GC favourite Mark Donovan (Team Wiggins Le Col) suffered a nasty crash but finished the race, albeit 12 minutes adrift.

Will Tidball (Great Britain) and Corentin Navarro (Team Wiggins Le Col) both finished over the time limit. Great Britain are down to just 4 riders now after Rhys Britton pulled out on stage 2 due to concussion. Our diarist Charlie Quarterman also suffered on the white roads, as he explains below…

Charlie’s race diary #5

Well, that was quite a day! It’s amazing the amount that we, as a peloton, put ourselves through to get a win, or a day in the breakaway, or just to get to the finish line to fight another day! Today’s stage was a brutal example of that to me. It was crazy from the start with half of the field desperate to get up the road, so we set off at an incredible speed and this continued for the first 60 km or so, which is when several big groups had finally taken enough time out of the peloton to bring some calm in the race – for a good ten minutes anyway. 

I had a real tough time squeezing my way to the finish

We were racing for the first sector of gravel at around 40 km to go in the race, and this is actually where the problems came suddenly to me. After a rapid descent with everyone brawling for position at 85+ km/h, we took a sharp left turn onto the gravel. The pace was surprisingly steady once we were onto it, but I had a massive, almost audible, “crack” as I finally paid for the time racing hard in the scorching Tuscan weather. I gave all I had left to make the ride more straight forward for our two GC boys, Mason and Calum, before I went almost literally backwards on a gravel climb. 

Charlie on the strade bianchi. Photo: Andrew Peat / espoirs.world

In the end, Calum crashed three times on the gravel and lost some minutes in the GC, but Mason finished in the group of favourites, and although they were several minutes down on the stage winner, we all think he’s in a good place in the hunt for the white jersey as we head into the mountains. 

As for me, I had a real tough time squeezing my way to the finish. At the time of the explosion I had started to feel sick, and the heart rate had risen to about 30 bpm higher than I’d expect. This obviously meant that every turn of the pedals was more strained than the last, but I eventually made my way back into a small gruppetto to take me to the finish. 

Now we head to the mountains, so we do all we can to recover and my goals are now to stay in the peloton as long as possible to help our climbers, and hopefully guide them into the final climb in the front. 

Ciao. 

Stage 4 preview

The first summit finish of the race should see the serious GC contenders come to the fore. It’s a testing, hilly stage throughout, with a finish at 1653m at Vetta Amiata. With Mark Donovan bruised and battered after his crash and not expected to contend, it might be up to Quarterman’s teammate Mason Hollyman to fly the flag for the Brits on the mountain slopes.

Read more

Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #4

Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #3

Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #2

Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #1

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