Giro 2022: Dries De Bondt ensures third Alpecin-Fenix ​​victory in Treviso

Giro 2022: Dries De Bondt ensures third Alpecin-Fenix ​​victory in Treviso

Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 5:11 PM

The eighteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022, with arrival in Treviso, was won by Dries De Bondt. The Belgian from Alpecin-Fenix ​​stayed out of the pack with fellow refugees Edoardo Affini, Magnus Cort and Davide Gabburo and defeated his companions in the sprint. It is already the third stage victory in this Giro for his employer Alpecin-Fenix. Richard Carapaz remains leader with three stages to go.

The eighteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 was on paper the last chance for the sprinters to go for the stage victory. The stage between Borgo Valsugana and Treviso was 152 kilometers long and had only two categorized climbs, but a bunch sprint was certainly not written in the stars. In the third week of a big round, it is questionable whether the reduced sprinter teams are able to control things for their fast man. Moreover, it was also the last real opportunity for many attackers to make something of this Giro.

The riders got going just before 2 p.m. for the last flat stage of this Giro. João Almeida was no longer part of the peloton: the Portuguese leader of UAE Emirates, fourth in the standings and leader in the youth classification, tested positive for the corona virus before the start and was forced to leave the Giro. The battle for the flight of the day was not long in coming. The first attacks were skillfully nipped in the bud by the sprinter teams, who didn’t feel like chasing an extensive race all day.

Edoardo Affini in the flight of the day – photo: Cor Vos

Cort and De Bondt in the early flight
After the first skirmishes, four attackers were given the space of the peloton. Dries de Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) found each other at the head of the race, the sprinters teams let go and that was it. the flight of the day a fact. However, the four refugees had no real view of the stage victory. In the peloton, the dirty work was done by Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl, Groupama-FDJ, UAE Emirates and Team DSM, the teams of Mark Cavendish, Arnaud Démare, Fernando Gaviria and Alberto Dainese respectively.

These sprinter teams were keen to keep the four escapees within striking distance, so that the lead never exceeded three minutes. Cort, Affini, De Bondt and Gabburo meanwhile rode at a full trot towards the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio (1.1 km at 11.3%), the last executioner of the day at more than 40 kilometers. De Bondt was the first to get on top of this vicious climb, ahead of his escape companions, and then it was still more than two minutes to wait for the front guard of the peloton. The escapees clearly had something left and thus managed to force the sprinter teams to the limit.

Refugees force sprinter teams to the limit
With an almost completely flat final ahead of us, the difference between the escapees and the peloton was still two and a half minutes. With the ride to Cuneo still in mind, when the escapees were only caught in the last kilometer, the sprinter teams decided to shift up a gear. That was also necessary, because the front runners kept spinning well and were not about to stop. In the peloton it was now all hands on deck and this led to a split in the group. Former rose jersey wearer Juan Pedro López, who is still fighting for a top 10 finish in the general classification, was taken by surprise and lost a lot of time.

The front runners have already crossed the finish line in Treviso once, but still had to complete a local lap of good fifteen kilometers. The difference with the first peloton was still a minute and no matter what the sprinter teams tried, they didn’t come a single step closer to the very strong escapees. Cort, De Bondt, Gabburo and Affini had an excellent chance to win a Giro stage. The peloton came up a lot in the final phase, but the escapees stayed out of the grip and started sprinting for the stage victory. Affini and De Bondt proved to be the fastest and in the end it was the Belgian who managed to push his wheel across the line just a little earlier.

The sprint for victory – photo: Cor Vos

De Bondt records biggest win of his career, Carapaz remains leader
De Bondt, who was often in the attack in this Giro, booked his first stage victory in a big round. For his employer Alpecin-Fenix ​​it is already the third victory, after previous victories of Mathieu van der Poel (in the opening stage to Visegrád) and Stefano Oldani (in Genova). Cort, the favorite for the win after all, was not involved in the sprint and was third. Gabburo had to settle for fourth place. Not much later Alberto Dainese won the sprint for fifth place, ahead of Démare, Cimolai, Cavendish, Gaviria and Consonni.

Carapaz crossed the finish line safely in the peloton and is still in the lead. His big competitor Jai Hindley experienced a shock moment in the final. The Australian had a puncture, but did this within three kilometers and so this has no consequences for his classification ambitions.