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Tobias Foss has succeeded in maintaining his top ten position in the general classification of the Giro d’Italia in the first Dolomites stage. Koen Bouwman made a brief appearance in a breakaway, but the favourites ultimately called the shots in the shortened stage to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Even before the start of the stage there was some consternation. The organisation decided to cancel the climbs of the Passo Fedaia and the Passo Pordoi because of the extreme cold. This left the riders with 153 kilometres, instead of the 212 kilometres that had been planned.
Koen Bouwman was part of an early breakaway, but it soon became clear that the Dutchman would have to settle for a supporting role in this stage. When classification leader Bernal finally accelerated just before the top of the Passo Giau, the competitors gave in one by one.
Foss then rode at his own pace to the top of the climb, at over 2,200 metres. After a descent of ten kilometres, the Norwegian finished tenth, more than two minutes behind the Colombian stage winner. The youngster of Team Jumbo-Visma moved up one place in the general classification. Foss enters the second rest day as the number nine in the general ranking.
"We will try to finish in the top ten with Tobias. He did very well today."
Sports director Addy Engels spoke of a successful day. “Even without the two deleted mountain climbs, it was a very hard stage for the riders. Though it went well for us. Koen was in the initial breakaway. Unfortunately it soon became clear that he was not going to be able to compete with the best riders in the group. Koen then dropped back and did the necessary work for Tobias. On the final climb it was each man for himself. Tobias decided early on to ride his own pace. He did that with flying colours. This resulted in the tenth place and a position gain in the general classification. Halfway through the Giro we had to adjust our goals. We will try to finish in the top ten with Tobias. He did very well today. For now the riders are ready for a well-deserved rest day.”