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Giro d’Italia: Froome’s tenacity is rewarded

Chris Froome lights up the Giro with a monumental attack

He’s done! That’s what the general conses was among cycling enthusiasts with regards to Chris Froome’s Giro d’Italia chances. The four-time Tour de France champion looked to be out of sorts as compatriot Simon Yates looked dominant in the Maglia Rosa.

Team Sky have been accused of being too conservative, being too afraid to take risks and attack. Froome blew that sentiment out of the water on the Colle delle Finestre, Stage 19 when his magnificent 80KM attack stuck. Long-range attacks are almost certainly reigned in by the peloton. When they are executed there’s generally a handful of riders that will follow, not on this occasion. You have to go back to the days of Eddie Merckx to find consistent evidence of such tactics. Elia Viviani’s tweet sums up what an achievement Froome’s attack was.

Froome showed a glimpse of form when he took stage 14 on the iconic Monte Zoncolan but he was still 3’10” way off the GC leaders. Tom Dumoulin, Domenico Pozzovivo and Thibaut Pinot looked like were the only ones of catching Yates in the pink jersey.

It’s all about what happens in week 3. Sir Dave Brailsford

History in the making?

Froome wears the pink jersey going into the penultimate stage from Susa to Cervina with a 40-second advantage of Dumoulin. The 214KM route features three category one climbs. It’s a day that would normally suit Froome but yesterday’s brilliant ride may have taken a lot out of his tank. Whether or not Froome will go on to make history and become the first rider to hold all three GC titles remains to be seen. The Colle delle Finestre will become synonymous with Froome, the haters can no longer accuse him, or Team Sky of not having the bottle to take the race on.

“I don’t think I’ve ever attacked 80km from the finish in my career so far, riding on my own and going all the way to the finish. The team did a fantastic job to set that up for me. First we had to get rid of Simon Yates and then to ride away from Tom Dumoulin. To go from fourth to first, I wasn’t going to do it on the last climb. Colle delle Finestre was the perfect place to do it. Gravelled roads remind me of Africa. There’s another hard day tomorrow but the legs are feeling better and better as the race goes on.” Chris Froome

In summary, if Froome’s 2017 Tour de France win was a ‘park the bus’ effort, then the 101st edition of the Giro will go down as a ‘heavy metal’ attack.

Featured image courtesy of HotGomez – hotgomezfotografie@gmail.com

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