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Inside the Baby Giro: Charlie Quarterman’s race diary #8

Charlie enjoys a day in the crosswinds as the Columbians once again dominate

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’.

We had crosswinds all day long, which led to a very nervous peloton with one or two big crashes, and a fight all the way into the climb

Stage 5 recap

The fifth stage of the race from Sorbolo Mezzani to the summit finish on Passo del Maniva was another day where the Columbians stole the show. Race leader Andres Camilo Ardila (Columbia) took his second mountain-top stage win in a row to extend his lead at the top. In fact, the Columbians bagged the top four places on the stage.

The best of the rest included Great Britain’s Ethan Hayter, who finished an impressive 6th place, his 5th top 10 place in just 6 stages at the Baby Giro. Hayter is now up to 9th overall. Holdsworth-Zappi’s best GC contender, the lightweight Mason Hollyman, slipped down the overall classification after suffering in the crosswinds.

Andres Camilo Ardila wins stage 5. Photo: U23 Giro d’Italia

Charlie’s race diary #8

On paper, today’s stage looked very straightforward. Flat all day long with a bit of a cross-head wind before a mountain to finish, I thought I’d give it a little go to get in the break and if I don’t make it, then I just help the skinny boys to head into the climb in front. 

It turned out to be a very different story. The wind was actually quite strong, and with our route being all in one direction, we had crosswinds all day long, which led to a very nervous peloton with one or two big crashes, and a fight all the way into the climb. Thankfully I had really found my legs since the last few stages, and I actually felt like I was putting out the best power I had all week! So I could play in the winds as well as try to shepherd our two GC boys up and down the peloton to try to keep them safe and relaxed. I actually had a great day out. It’s amazing how much fun you can have on these flat, fast roads! It was, of course, still a very hard day and I went backwards after I finished my work leading into the mountain finish, but I come away fairly happy. 

Unfortunately it wasn’t such a great day for the team as a whole. Because our GC hopes rest with two particularly light riders, they both found it hard all day and the result at the top of the climb. Even though we finished on a mountain, the big boys could still have their fun in the winds, and this really had quite a big impact on the results. But tomorrow we have the double Mortirolo day, which should suit both our boys better, so fingers crossed! 

I am of course terrified of having to climb that beast two times. 

Ciao. 

Stage 6 preview

Two words: double Mortirolo. The feared climb, now iconic thanks to the senior version of the race, will be faced by the riders today. Just 94 km long, this wil be a short, aggressive and yet very testing day in the saddle. The searing gradients on the Mortiolo, especially on the second, steeper pass mean this will likely be the fiercest test the riders face all race.

Featured photo: U23 Giro d’Italia

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