BAGNO DI ROMAGNA, Italy — Italian cyclist Andrea Vendrame held off the rest of the breakaway pack tofor his first victory in a Grand Tour. .
Vendrame, who rides for AG2R Citroen, edged out Chris Hamilton in a sprint at the end of the 212-kilometer (132-mile) route from Siena to Bagno di Romagna that featured four categorized climbs.
“What an incredible feeling. I can’t even speak or find the right words to describe how I feel now,” the 26-year-old Vendrame said. “After a difficult period where I had an injury, this win at the Giro is something indescribable.”
There was also a sprint for third, with Gianluca Brambilla narrowly beating George Bennett, but only after a late swerve that left Bennett throwing up a hand in frustration. Brambilla was later relegated to fourth. The duo finished 15 seconds behind Vendrame.
All four had been part of a large breakaway. Bernal crossed the line in the peloton to maintain his 45-second lead over Aleksandr Vlasov. Nobody is within a minute of the 2019 Tour de France winner, with third-place1:12 behind.
Vincenzo Nibali attacked over the top of the final climb and finished sevenof the peloton. The two-time Giro winner is still more than four minutes behind Bernal.
Theis an entirely flat 198-kilometer (123-mile) route from Ravenna to Verona that pays tribute to writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri on the 700th anniversary of his death. It will also give the riders a break before hitting the high mountains the following day.
“It was a every day. So for tomorrow, we focused.”for everyone, so we are happy because we have finished well, but it was a really tough stage,” Bernal said. “It’s a Grand Tour, and for the GC guys, there is no easy stage, you know, we need to go for
Several riders abandoned theduring the stage. Marc Soler and Alessandro De Marchi crashed in separate incidents, while , Kobe Goossens, Fausto Masnada, and Alex Dowsett retired due to illness and injury.
Soler tried to continue before eventually conceding. De Marchi was taken away in an ambulance. “Dema was taken to hospital and was diagnosed with a broken right collarbone and six broken ribs,” said De Marchi’s team. “He also broke his first and second thoracic vertebra.
“He did not suffer any head injury but does have to stay in the hospital for at least one night.” The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual. Vendrame claims 1st Grand Tour stage win, originally appeared on NBCSports.com