fi'zi:k's Quintana storms into Giro lead

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

Nairo Quintana, aboard his fi'zi:k Antares 00 saddle and leading the Movistar team, wrestled the pink jersey off Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels on a potentially pivotal Sunday in the 100th Giro d’Italia. Quintana finished 24 seconds ahead of FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot (fi'zi:k Arione saddle) and Tom Dumoulin to win a stage shrouded in incident, with the Team Sky duo of Geraint Thomas (fi’zi:k R1B Climb Edition shoes and fi'zi:k Arione saddle) and Mikel Landa (fi’zi:k Antares VS saddle) caught up in a controversial crash involving a police motorbike.

The day’s stage from Montenero de Bisaccia to Blockhaus was a short one, coming in at just 149km. But what it lacked in distance, it certainly made up for in excitement. A nine-man breakaway group, including Omar Fraile (fi’zi:k Arione R1 saddle and Dimension Data) and Matteo Montaguti (fi’zi:k Antares VS saddle), set off early but this stage was always going to be decided on the 13.5km Blockhaus ascent.

The opening slopes are relatively gentle, flowing between 4-7% but with a little less than 10km to go, the road kicks up to above 9%. From there to the summit finish the average gradient is 9.4%.

Sadly, Thomas and Landa never had chance to test their form. The pace was high in the peloton group containing the GC riders as they approached the foot of the climb. Riders fought for a strong position. The tension was high. Unfortunately, a police motorbike was parked by the side of the road rather than the grass verge.

Wilco Kelderman couldn’t avoid hitting it and soon 10 riders were spread over the road including the Sky duo. They remounted and dug deep but Thomas and Landa would end the day down 5:08mins and 26:56mins, respectively, their Giro chances ruined.

The same can’t be said for Quintana who made the first of a series of attacks with 6.6km to go. Pinot followed diligently, escaping the clutches of Vincenzo Nibali, but no-one could live with Quintana when the gradients peaked at nearly 14%. It was a magnificent effort from the Colombian who is now in pink, 28 seconds ahead of Pinot and 30 seconds clear of Tom Dumoulin.