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Team Jumbo-Visma hasn’t succeeded in getting in the breakaway in the 18th stage of the Giro d’Italia. In the longest stage of the race the escapees battled for the day’s victory. The peloton came in far behind.
In the turbulent opening stage the riders maintained a high tempo and it took dozens of kilometres for the final breakaway to take shape. Twenty-three riders managed to get in the breakaway. Paul Martens and Koen Bouwman tried to join the leading group, but both got no space.
The peloton then took it easy. It soon became clear that the winner of the day was in the front group. It was Alberto Bettiol who, after 231 kilometres in Stradella, clinched the victory. The Team Jumbo-Visma riders finished twenty minutes behind in the middle of the peloton. With Tobias Foss (9th), George Bennett (11th) and Bouwman (13th), the yellow-black formation goes into the heavy final weekend with confidence.
"The finish is approaching, but first we have to get through three days of hard work."
Sports director Arthur van Dongen looked ahead to the next three stages after today’s relatively easy day. “Paul and Koen tried to get away in the early stages. Unfortunately that didn’t work out. After that we focused on saving strength as much as possible. The next three days we will do everything we can to maintain the good positions of Tobias, George and Koen and improve them where possible. Should a chance for a stage win present itself, we will grab it with both hands. Tomorrow’s stage has a relatively flat approach, which will put lightweights like George and Koen at a disadvantage. The finish is approaching, but first we have to get through three days of hard work. First, there are two days in the high mountains and then we finish with a time trial in Milan. There, too, we want to compete for the win with Edoardo Affini. Three interesting stages await us.”