fi'zi:k's Quintana second with mountains to come

Last week at the Giro d'Italia with fi’zi:k

The 100th Giro d’Italia enters its third and final week with fi’zi:k riders in contention for the maglia rosa. While Tom Dumoulin holds the lead, Nairo Quintana (fi’zi:k Antares 00 saddle and Movistar Team) sits in second 2:41mins behind. Thibaut Pinot (fi’zi:k Arione saddle) is in third, a further 40 seconds back. As the peloton enjoys Monday’s final rest day, there are signs that Quintana, at least, can catch Dumoulin.

On Sunday, Bob Jungels won the 199km stage from Valdengo to Bergamo but, surprisingly, the diminutive Quintana sprinted to second. In the process, the 27-year-old secured a 6-second time bonus to cut Dumoulin’s lead. Pinot finished third to remain in contention.

Quintana’s result was particularly impressive after he hit the tarmac through a sharp right turn on the descent of the category-two Miragolo San Salvatore, around 33km from the finish. But sterling work from Quintana and his teammates, including Gorka Izagirre (fi’zi:k Aliante VSX saddle) and Andrey Amador (fi’zi:k Aliante saddle), plus José Joaquin Rojas (fi’zi:k Antares saddle) who ‘donated’ his bike to Quintana, brought Quintana back to the leading peloton. Credit also to Dumoulin and his Sunweb team for taking speed out of the leading group.

‘We were lucky to come unscathed through such a difficult moment,’ Quintana said at the Bergamo finish line. ‘It’s a difficult descent and made even narrower by the fans. Happily I could reach the end without any further problems.’

Though Quintana has a significant chunk of time to reel in on Dumoulin, the final week is peppered with gradients that could play into the uber-climber’s hands. And it all starts on Tuesday’s 139km stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello, which includes a double ascent of the Stelvio – one of world cycling’s most notorious climbs that peaks at 2,757m. The Giro concludes next Sunday in Milan.