Gasparotto lost the top 10 in the final kilometer. Last stage tomorrow.
Bukovina Resort, August 9th2018. – Today’s stage is the shortest but doesn’t have a meter of flat ground, the whole stage is up and down with 13 categorized climbs between category 1, 2 and 3.
The stage started at Zakopane, a picturesque winter sport center, and breakaway of 7 riders formed soon after the start with our Valerio Agnoli in it. Peloton kept together for the most part, but about 28km to go, breakaway was caught, and peloton became smaller, sheading some riders along the category 1 climb. Around 40 riders took off including Gasparotto, Padun and Novak from our team. There were numerous attacks and the most dangerous were Team Sky two attacks. Gasparotto was able to react to first one but not to the second one that happened less then 2km to go. At the end he finished 15th, 15 seconds behind the winner Georg Preidler from Groupama FDJ. Gasparoto is now 13th in general classification, 46 seconds behind the leader and 23 seconds behind the podium spot.
Enrico Gasparoto was not happy with the result: “Like the other days, first of all I want to thank my teammates. Bonifazio, Cortina and Bole at the beginning of the stage did amazing job to keep me in the good position where I could save energy. It was really hard course and stressful, where only position counts. Then closer to the final Novak and Padun were with me all the way to the last climb, less then 10km to go. I’m not a climber, I know that, when I was neo-pro I was a sprinter, but with the time I improved resistence, but I’m not the pure climber. And that is the difference between me and the guys that arrived in front of me today. I gave my best, my wife and her family were there at the finish and I wanted to give them better result, but things are as they are, nothing we can do now. I gave my best but there are still more then 10 guys better then me.” Asked about last stage and his goals, Gasprotto said: “It’s not finished. I want to give my 200% tomorrow, to finish the race without any regrets, and clearly I would like to return into top 10.”
“If you’ve seen the profile, it was really difficult stage. The breakaway happened and Agnoli made a jump. Sky was making tempo behind, all the way up and down. 20km to go there was big explosion and peloton split up with about 40 guys in front, and Gasparotto was there with few teammates to put him in good position. So the team worked out perfectly, they did what we expected from them. In the final, we have to be realistic, there are some really strong climbers and Gasparotto just missed it a little bit, and he came off 15 seconds behind. No mistakes done by the team, everybody did their job, and you have to accept it as it is. – said Sports Director Tristan Hoffman, and continued: “It would be really nice to push Gasparotto tomorrow to top 10, he deserves it, team deserves it, but we have to be also realistics, the guys that are in front are really strong. You never know, we’ll give our best and hope to make the list of top 10.”
Tomorrow’s last stage of 136km is another up and down course, with 6 category 1 climbs. It will be interesting to see who is happy with the GC position and who will attack. Team Sky will try to answer all the attacks, while we will be looking to sneak in the top 10.