The symbol of primacy remains in UAE Team Emirates.
After an exhilarating stage in the mountains, the first of this year’s Giro, Jan Polanc has risen up the GC rankings to take the pink jersey from team mate Valerio Conti, ensuring that UAE Team Emirates retains the iconic Maglia Rosa and takes it into the later half of the tour. Polanc crossed the line in 6th place behind stage winner Cesaee Benedetti (BORA – Hansgrohe), but the impressive team performance of the Emirati outift allowed the Slovenian climber to leap frog his closest rivals into the top spot. After the tactical masterclass played by UAE Team Emirates, Polanc now has a comfortable buffer of 4’07” over race favourite Primoz Roglic who sits in second spot and is 4’51” ahead of team mate Valerio Conti who sits in third place. The 158km mountain stage from Cuneo to Pinerolo was raced at a high pace, averaging over 42km/h, despite the peloton having to get over a challenging category 1 climb known as the ‘Muro’ or wall. The 9km ramp, which topped out at 14% played an instrumental role in splitting up the peloton and isolating a lot of the main GC contenders, making it difficult for them to chase down the 24 man breakaway. Jan Polanc was one of the GC hopefuls who managed to sneak into the early break and stayed with the group throughout the race.
With 20kms to go the lead group was down to a handful of riders but Polanc remained in the mix and looked strong, driven on with the knowledge that he was the virtual Maglia Rosa. Polanc, atoh on his Colnago equipped with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12 Speed electronic groupset and with Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels, continued to ride hard, picking up 3 valuable bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint in Cavour and finally crossed the line in 6th place after over 3 hours and 42 minutes in the saddle.
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