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Inside the Baby Giro: Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #6

The race hits the mountains and Charlie's legs feel the strain

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 felt like we were climbing almost the whole day

Stage 4 recap

The first summit finish of the race and race was once again turned on its head. This time it was the Columbians who came to the fore on their favoured territory. Andres Camilo Ardilo (Columbia) took a solo win atop Monte Amiata and with it the maglia rosa. All told there were 3 Columbians in the top 7.

Just behind, Ethan Hayter took an impressive 8th place, underlining just what a great all rounder he is. He’s now 15th overall. And our British tip for the stage, Mason Hollyman finished in 14th, bumping him up to 7th in the white jersey competition. Our man Charlie Quaterman rolled in in 87th after a day supporting his teammates.

Charlie’s race diary #6

It’s hard to imagine how they managed the U23 Giro last year without a rest day. Today was maybe the toughest day of the Giro so far, especially with the tiredness in the legs from the strade bianche stage. It felt like we were climbing almost the whole day, and every descent seemed much shorter than what we had just climbed, so it’s fair to say the day dragged!

Start of stage 4. Photo: U23 Giro d’Italia

With a large group out front for a lot of the stage, the tension was high. The pace was on for all but 5 minutes of the race. To make it worse, it was also the hottest day of the Giro so far, with my Garmin reading 43 degrees on the start line, so we got well and truly cooked out there!

At the moment I was dropped, my legs were completely finished and ready to go back to the hotel

Anyway, I had a better day than expected. With the heat and the scary profile, I wasn’t sure how long I’d last in the peloton, but I managed to suffer through the harder moments and was there for a long time to support our GC duo. I headed back to the car for food and drink at least six or seven times throughout the stage. I lasted until 25 km to go, so it was about 13 km before the final climb started when I got shelled out the back of the severely reduced peloton going up the penultimate hill. That meant job done for the day for me! I found myself in a small gruppetto with some familiar faces, which made the remaining, gruelling kilometres slightly easier at least. 

Something that never gets shown or understood with the TV footage of long tours in the mountains, is how hard it is to actually ride your way to the end of the stage. At the moment I was dropped, my legs were completely finished and ready to go back to the hotel, but they had to grind their way up the big mountain that would decide the day’s standings. I can tell you this is not what you fancy doing after a long, hot day in the mountains at the service of your teammates! 

Our boys did well. Mason Hollyman took a strong 14th place, and with a lot of his contenders for the white jersey falling by the wayside today, he leaps up the GC. Consequently, although we are all knackered, morale is high going into the rest day! Can’t wait for a gelato. 

Ciao.

Stage 5 preview

It’s a well-deserved rest day tomorrow for the riders. They’ll be thrown straight back into the mountains when they return, with a 158km stage featuring a summit finish on the Passo del Maniva. San Colombano marks the start of the 13.3 km long climb up to the summit. With an average gradient of 6,8%, it’s a fairly steady climb on the whole. With a flat profile before the climb, this may not be a stage for fireworks. And with a double helping of the Mortirolo to look forward to on stage 6, riders may be wise to save themselves!

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