Pozzovivo on course to Giro podium finish
At the 101st Giro d’Italia, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM continues to perform strongly after Matej Mohoric’s stage win. As the team’s designated leader Domenico Pozzovivo is on course for a podium finish after two strong rides in mountain stages, and Niccolo Bonifazio scored another podium result in a stage.
Before the third and final rest day of the Giro d’Italia Domenico Pozzovivo as the designated leader of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM is positioned in 3rd in the overall standings. The Italian climbing specialist laid the foundation for this on the Monte Zoncolan, one of the hardest climbs to be ridden in professional cycling. But he could not have done this without performing on a high level constantly and relying on the relentless help of his teammates - after all cycling is a team sport performed by individual athletes. Pozzovivo rode attentively in the finale of stage 11, being one of the first to react to an attack of overall leader Simon Yates in the demanding finale into Osimo. In the end, he lacked some explosiveness, so he had to settle for 5th place. One day later it almost looked as if Matej Mohoric could stun the sprint specialists on the way to Imola’s Autodromo: First, the young Slovene participated in the hard work to bring Domenico Pozzovivo back to his overall rivals after the peloton had split in the pouring rain. But as his last companion refused to contribute even a slight bit to the work, Mohoric was reeled in on the final kilometer. Seen these circumstances the 3rd place for Niccolo Bonifazio felt more like a consolation prize.
Stage 13 offered another opportunity to sprint specialists, but it was contested knowing that the next day offered a formidable challenge. After the early attackers had been caught, Elia Viviani powered to his third stage win while the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM decided to waste no energies in attack and did not contest the sprint. After all, the next day saw the first stage in the Dolomites, and this was a tough one: The riders were facing a series of climbs before tackling the Monte Zoncolan, known as one of the hardest climbs to be contested by professional racers. With average grades of 12 percents over a distance of 10 kilometers and ramps that peak at 22 percents, every rider had to tackle this monster of a climb at his own pace. Domenico Pozzovivo made good use of his vast experience, deciding to ride his own rhythm and being rewarded with a strong 3rd place on this iconic climb. Thanks to this performance he also moved into 3rd place in the overall standings. The next day Pozzovivo managed to defend this position with another strong showing in the mountains, finishing stage 15 in 4th and adding yet another top5 result to the team’s tally. But the real moment of truth is to follow on Tuesday when the riders are facing an individual time trial over 34.2 kilometers from Trento to Rovereto.
The Tour of Japan is being contested at the same time as the last and decisive week of the Giro d’Italia. Consisting of a prologue and seven stages, this race’s overall standings usually take shape on the flanks of the Mount Fuji. The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM has fielded six riders for this race, and due to his climbing abilities, Hermann Pernsteiner may well have the best chances regarding the overall standings. At the prologue in Sakai Grega Bole was the team’s best finisher in 7th with Meiyin Wang posting a strong time as well. Racing on home turf, Yukiya Arashiro is one of the crowd favourites anyway, and the team can rely on two able helpers with Valerio Agnoli and David Per in Japan as well.
101ST GIRO D’ITALIA
12TH STAGE: OSIMO - IMOLA, 214KM
1. Sam Bennett, IRL, in 4:49.34 hours
2. Danny van Poppel, NED, st
3. Niccolo Bonifazio, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, st
14TH STAGE: SAN VITO AL TAGLIAMENTO - MONTE ZONCOLAN, 186KM
1. Christopher Froome, GBR, in 5:25.31 hours
2. Simon Yates, GBR, + 0.06
3. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.23
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 15 STAGES:
1. Simon Yates, GBR, in 65:57.37 hours
2. Tom Dumoulin, NED, + 2.11
3. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 2.28