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Tobias Foss has maintained his ninth place in the general classification in a tough mountain stage in the Giro d’Italia. At the top of the Sega di Ala the Norwegian rider came eleventh, following in the footsteps of teammate George Bennett.
In the beginning it was Bennett who tried to be in the breakaway of the day. The New Zealander missed the battle, so he was not part of the nineteen-man breakaway. This group had a maximum lead of six minutes. Irishman Dan Martin was in the breakaway and won the stage.
At the foot of the final climb, most of the breakaway riders had already been caught by the peloton. Koen Bouwman, Bennett and Foss kept the Team Jumbo-Visma level high in the depleted group of favourites. Bouwman had to let go at six kilometres from the finish, after making some efforts in service of Bennett and Foss. The latter had to let go three kilometres before the end when Bernal, Yates and Almeida accelerated. However, the two refused to capitulate and eventually crossed the line in tenth and eleventh place. Bennett and Foss gained time on competitors like Bardet, Ciccone, Carty and Vlasov. In the general classification Foss jumped over Ciccone, but the Norwegian had to allow Almeida to come closer.
"I am doing very well uphill. My 14th place in the general classification also shows that."
Bouwman is in excellent shape and hopes to seal this with a good result in the coming days. “Today was a very difficult day. The final climb was tough with very steep parts. I did my best to bring George and Tobias to the front. Then I gave everything to hang on for as long as possible. I think that went well. At about six kilometres from the end I had to let go. Tobias fought to the end in the presence of George and is doing well in the general classification. I am doing very well uphill. My 14th place in the general classification also shows that. I am in good shape. In the coming days I hope to be able to compete for a stage win. I am happy with the freedom that I get from the team.”
"I’m a little surprised that I can mix in among the favourites in the third week of a grand tour."
Foss was satisfied with today’s stage. The Norwegian is also looking forward to the upcoming stages with hope. “I look back on today’s stage with a good feeling. Koen and George, but also Paul Martens and Edoardo Affini did a good job. We were well placed in the final. The final climb was particularly tough. Maybe a bit too steep for me, but with the help of George, who was constantly near me, I was able to ride up at a good pace. I’m a little surprised that I can mix in among the favourites in the third week of a grand tour. That’s a nice feeling. There are still some tough days ahead. We will try to win a stage as a team and ride full throttle in the remaining stages. I hope to be in the top ten after Sunday’s time trial.”