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Giro d'Italia

Double top 10 in the first sprint of the Giro

One day after the opening stage of the Tour of Italy, a time trial, the sprinters of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty brilliantly came into action this Sunday.

Young Belgian rider Arne Marit (24), who’s participating in his first Grand Tour, took fourth place in the bunch sprint which decided about the outcome of the first stage in the streets of San Salvo.

His teammate Niccolò Bonifazio, who was also in the mix in the final, ensured a double top ten for the team of Jean-François Bourlart with eighth place.

During the whole day, the riders of the Walloon World Team stayed united around their fast men, while a breakaway of five riders animated the major part of the 202 kilometer stage.

Marit and Bonifazio, who were brought to the front at the right moment by Laurenz Rex, left the two last roundabouts in the first positions of the peloton, starting the final 800 meter in a perfect way.

At the end of his very first sprint in a Grand Tour, Marit was close to third place with a bike jump. Niccolo Bonifazio, the recent stage winner in the Tour of Sicily, made it possible for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty to become the only team with two riders in the top ten.

« Before the start of this Giro, I said that I would be satisfied if I could manage to sprint to a top five in one of the stages of my first Grand Tour. Today, as from the first opportunity for sprinters, I took fourth place. I'm very happy to finish so close to the podium as a young guy in such a big event. It is the first time this season I team up with my lead out Laurenz Rex, who has been very unlucky with injuries during the first months of the season. He did a great job, to bring Niccolò Bonifazio and me to the front. Because of the slight bend in the final hectometers it was impossible to see the finish line, thus I maybe waited a little too long in the slipstream of Niccolò. But in the end I could launch my sprint from the slipstream of Fernando Gaviria. This gives me a lot of confidence for the continuation of this Giro. »

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