Welcome to episode five of our Baby Giro Diaries. If you’ve been listening to our previous episodes, you’ll know the crack by now. We give a short round-up of the day’s action and then you hear from our diarists Tom Gloag, Harrison Wood and Callum Ferguson for their reflections on how the day went.
Stage 5 was arguably the toughest of the Baby Giro so far, culminating in two category 1 climbs. Heavy rain and some particularly aggressive racing meant that this was no easy day out for any of the riders.
Fast from the off, it took until around 45 kilometres for a break to form, and our man Harrison Wood was in it. His break of 7 was eventually joined by about 20 riders, including Trinity Racing’s Ben Healy and some other GC hopefuls.
With little cohesion in the group, Harrison attacked with about 50 kilometres to go to form a leading group of 7, including Healy. The group was caught by the GC leaders on the penultimate climb and from there the GC battle commenced. At that point, Wood and Healy had been joined by the Maglia Rosa Ben Turner, our fellow diarist Tom Gloag and former race leader Juan Ayuso, amongst a few select others.
Healy then escaped solo but was caught again on the final climb by six others, including Tom and GC favourites Ayuso, Vandenabeele and Tobias Halland Johannessen. Ayuso then made his made move, staying away all the way to the finish. He crossed the line just over a minute clear of Johannessen and Healy, who were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Behind, Tom led in a select group of four a further 17 seconds back. The climbs were too much for Ben Turner, who nonetheless rode strongly to finish 28th, just under 3 minutes down, while Harrison was 30th, just two seconds behind Turner. Holdsworth-Zappi’s best finisher today was Jelte Krijnsen in 57th.
The result propelled Juan Ayuso back into the race lead. He now has a 1 minute 35 second advantage over Johanssen, in second, while Vandenabeele is now third overall, 2 minutes and 22 seconds back. Our diarist Tom Gloag is now up to a superb 4th overall, just one second behind Vandenabeele, with the two Bens – Healy and Turner – in 7th and 8th, just over 20 seconds further down. Harrison, meanwhile, is up to 42nd overall.
Tomorrow’s stage to San Pellegrino Terme looks a little less challenging on paper. It’s mostly fairly flat, with a category 2 climb topping out just 20 kilometres from the line, however, it feels much more like a breakaway kind of day than one for the sprinters.
In our diaries, Tom is once again on a high after another great day out for the team, and his roommate Ben Healy even makes a small guest appearance too. Harrison is also in an upbeat mood after a day in which he was in the thick of the action.
We haven’t yet had a dispatch through from Callum at Holdsworth-Zappi but, as usual, we’ll add that in to the edit once it arrives.
Show sponsored by Continental Tyres.
Featured photo: Giro d’Italia Giovani Under-23