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Tobias Foss has moved up to ninth place in the general classification in the eleventh stage of the Giro, a mini-Strade Bianche. The young Norwegian rider from Team Jumbo-Visma rode an excellent stage, in which Koen Bouwman and George Bennett also did well.
The flat opening phase from Perugia gave eleven escapees the opportunity to get away early on in the stage. The lead quickly increased to more than ten minutes, after which the classification teams maintained the tempo. The pace quickened on the way to the gravel sections, but it soon became clear that the attackers would be going for the day’s victory. Mauro Schmid went on to win in the streets of Montalcino.
Despite the chaos on the first gravel strip, Team Jumbo-Visma could enter the second sector with Bennett, Foss and Bouwman in good position. The New-Zealander and the Norwegian even ventured an attack at about 35 kilometres from the finish, but they did not get more than a 35-second lead. Partly thanks to Bouwman and Bennett, Foss was able to get to the front on the Italian gravel roads. In the hilly final stage Foss was still able to keep up with the top favourites. Eventually he passed the line in sixteenth place, less than half a minute behind classification leader Egan Bernal (eleventh).
"It’s a good learning curve every day."
“I like these kind of stages. The technical and the twists and turns suit me”, Foss said afterwards. “My legs felt really good. That’s why I was able to follow the strongest riders for a long time. This is a day I won’t forget soon. I can’t expect much from myself, because I have never ridden for a classification in a big tour. It’s a good learning curve every day.”
The Norwegian, who recently extended his contract for two years, also complimented his teammates. “We rode a really strong race as a team. The opening stage was pretty easy to do. After that it was about getting in a good position for the first gravel strip and we did that well. Due to crashes and the high pace, I ended up in group two, but fortunately we were able to rejoin quickly. George and I tried to get away, but unfortunately that attack could not last long. We have to keep up the way we rode today in the coming stages.”