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Edoardo Affini has finished the thirteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia in second place. The Italian of Team Jumbo-Visma was, to his own suprise, able to break away from the peloton in the last few kilometres and was only beaten by the up-and-coming European champion Giacomo Nizzolo just before the finish line
Three attackers set off almost from the start in Ravenna. They didn’t get more than eight minutes, partly due to the work of Paul Martens at the head of the bunch. Only at about 20 kilometres from the end, the pack got going.
Team Jumbo-Visma piloted Dylan Groenewegen well to the front in the final kilometres, but the Dutchman could not compete for the victory in the chaotic sprint and finished tenth.
"I’m still completely confused and I don’t know if I should be proud or disappointed."
“It was by no means the plan to attack”, Affini said. “I wanted to do the lead-out for Dylan, but at one point I didn't see anyone behind me. I didn’t know what was going on, but then I went full speed ahead. I’m still completely confused and I don’t know if I should be proud or disappointed. It was a special day for me because we rode through my hometown and here in Verona I was formed as a cyclist. But there was no way I could have seen it ending in such a special way.”
The Italian also dwelt on the missed opportunity for Groenewegen. “It was of course the intention to go for the sprint with him. It’s a pity it went like this. Whether I was closer to victory than in Turin? There I became second at ten seconds, but now at less than one, I think. I was very close, but I really gave everything in the last metres.”
Sports director Arthur van Dongen explaine d the situation that has arisen. “The plan was of course to just sprint with Dylan. Edoardo did a perfect lead-out, but there was some confusion in the group when he attacked. It was great to see how hard he cycled and almost won. Unfortunately Dylan lost our men in the scramble. Also because David did not have good legs today. I understand that Edoardo has double feelings when he gets on the bus.”
Groenewegen and Dekker will not start tomorrow. The fast men of Team Jumbo-Visma return home to prepare for their upcoming goals. “The pipe is quite empty with both guys. David is a neo pro who has never raced for thirteen days in a row and Dylan had not raced for quite some time before the Giro. As a team we are really satisfied with how they have performed in recent days, but to continue now would be too much for them. Those guys need to get some rest and then look forward to the upcoming races.”