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Giro d'Italia

Laurenz Rex puts on a show in the longest stage

Against the chase of the sprint teams all day, young Belgian rider Laurenz Rex (23 years old) put on a show in the lead of the race during the eleventh stage of the Tour of Italy, which was with its 219 kilometers the longest of this edition.

Not long after the start, the rider from Raeren made the decisive attack, enabling the early breakaway to be formed. Five other riders accompanied him, with the peloton never allowing them to build an advantage of more than 4 minutes.

One by one, the breakaway companions of Laurenz Rex had to let go because of the succession of the three climbs of the day: Passo del Bracco (10 km at 4.4%), Colla di Boasi (9 km at 4.0%) and Passo della Castagnola (5 km at 4.5%). Just after the sign of the final 20 kilometer, Rex dropped his last breakaway companion to start a solo adventure with a gap of less than 1 minute against the peloton, which had decided to contest the stage win in a bunch sprint.

The Belgian rider, who’s currently riding his first Grand Tour and who recently extended his contract with the team of Jean-François Bourlart until the end of 2026, fought for a long time with a 25 second gap and was eventually caught with 5 kilometer to go, concluding a breakaway of 210 kilometer.

The sprinters of the World Team, Arne Marit and Niccolò Bonifazio, then prepared for the nervous final through the streets of Tortona. First named achieved tenth place, or the seventh top ten of team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in this edition, just ahead of his teammate in eleventh place.

« So far, my first Grand Tour has been particularly difficult. Almost every day we had to brave difficult weather conditions, which inevitably leads to illness in the peloton. My profile of a classic rider luckily offers me good resistance to this kind of conditions. However, I really suffered yesterday. I was even one of the first dropped riders. It was difficult mentally, but the support of all team members helped me to understand that this is not unusual in a Grand Tour. » « I felt refreshed this morning. I attacked from the start of the stage with the same good legs as in the first week. But the peloton didn't give us any freedom, with a gap oscillating between two and three minutes all day, making it very hard in the front. Quite early I understood that I had to pursue the adventure alone in order to try to go as far as possible. I'm happy that I could show what I'm capable of for the first time this Giro. I hope to be rewarded with the red number for most combative rider by the fans on Twitter. I will now enjoy massage and a good night of sleep, hoping to not pay this day too much in the stage of tomorrow and then to pursue our battle for a stage victory. »


1.Pascal AckermannUAE Team Emirates5:09:02
2.Jonathan MilanBahrain-Victorious+0:00
3.Mark CavendishAstana+0:00
10.ARNE MARITIntermarché-Circus-Wanty+0:00ARNE MARIT


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