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Giro d'Italia

Taaramäe 3rd atop Etna

This Tuesday, Rein Taaramäe finished third on top of the Etna in the first mountain top finish of this Giro d’Italia, which was also the first stage on Italian soil.

The Estonian rider joined the early breakaway of fourteen riders, which quickly gained an advantage of more than 10 minutes and a chance on taking the stage win.

They started the final climb (23.3 km at 5.9%) with a lead of more than 5 minutes battled for the stage victory from the first slopes. An acceleration of Taaramäe caused a split in the group.

Even though he was distanced by four competitor, Taaramäe continued his effort at his own rhythm and crossed the line in third position. Behind, Domenico Pozzovivo and Jan Hirt accompanied the best riders in the peloton for a long time and finished 24th and 26th respectively.

At the end of this first mountain stage, Taaramäe is third in the provisional classification, Pozzovivo is 20th and Hirt 24th. The last stage on Sicily tomorrow is suited for sprinters, however, a climb of almost 20 kilometer (4%) animates the first race half.

« I came well prepared to this Giro d'Italia and this stage was a perfect opportunity for a breakaway. I dreamed of repeating my stunt at the latest Tour of Spain and with today's third place I was pretty close. I is thanks to my experience that I finished on the podium today, because my body didn't want to cooperate today. I wasn't feeling great and I had a difficult moment when López and Kämna accelerated. But I knew that it was possible to gain a second wind on such a long climb, so I didn't panic. As other riders of the breakaway faced their limits, I maintained my own rhythm until the top. I gave the best of myself, hoping that the two leaders would start looking at each other but they cooperated well until the end. » « In each of the stages, there will be opportunities for our team. I take my sixteenth Grand Tour day by day. In the first stage I set the pace in the peloton in order to prepare the sprint for Biniam Girmay and today I was the first rider of the team to attack. I believe in the strategy of our sports directors Valerio Piva and Steven De Neef, who will make sure that I will perform in service of my leaders or in chase of a stage win until the difficult third week! »


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