After multiple tries over the past two weeks, Attila Valter finally managed to join a breakaway in the Giro, on Wednesday, in what was another great mountain day into Lavarone. In the final, the young Hungarian could not match the best riders of the leading group for the win, but he still fought well to take a decent fifteenth place on the line. Arnaud Démare got to the finish without problem and could have the opportunity to compete another sprint in Treviso on Thursday.
Some more mountains were on the riders’ menu this Wednesday on the 105th Giro d’Italia. Besides, the climbing started as soon as kilometre 0 was crossed, with the partial ascent of the Passo del Tonale (9 km at 6%). A pouring rain was also present right at the beginning to make it even more difficult for the bunch. The fight for the breakaway promised to be tough, but from the first hundreds of metres, Attila Valter gave his all not to miss the right move. “Today was not about luck, but about pure power in the Passo Tonale”, said the former wearer of the pink jersey. “I knew there was a good chance that the breakaway would go there, so I just did a good warm-up and was ready to suffer from the first minutes. Then it went as I imagined”. A four-man group was first able to establish itself at the head of the race, before some twenty riders including the rider from Groupama-FDJ joined it. The bunch eased off a little, four minutes behind. “We were too many at the front for sure, we were not working well together”, added Attila. “Some worked a lot, and others did almost nothing. The day’s winner hardly gave a pull. It made the day long and hard. With 60-70 kilometres to go, we were already attacking each other”.
« One of my best numbers of this Giro », Attila Valter
Approaching the climb of Valico del Vetriolo (12 km at 7.7%), the penultimate one of the day, four riders managed to take a gap. Hugh Carthy then started a frantic chase, and Attila Valter was then unable to follow. “I managed to get to this first big climb in a good position, but then some were able to escape, and it came down to the legs”, he continued. “I tried to maintain a good power, and I think I did one of my best numbers of this Giro, but it just wasn’t enough to reach the strongest at the top”. The young Hungarian started the downhill around forty seconds behind a group of eight riders, whom Santiago Buitrago eventually dominated on the final climb before joining the line at Lavarone. A few minutes behind, Attila Valter kept on fighting to come away with a result after this day up front. He eventually crossed the line in 15th position. « The last climb was also hard, but I managed to produce almost the same power as the previous climb, » he added. “I had pretty good legs and it was nice to finally push some decent power. I’m happy with my performance and to see that I can still improve on this Giro. There are still two mountain stages, and a sprint tomorrow. I can’t wait to do my best in these last few days”. “Attila reassured himself, because he had doubts since the start of the Giro”, said Benoît Vaugrenard. “It was going better yesterday, and a bit more today. In the final, he certainly struggled, but he fought well to get a fifteenth place. It’s rather promising for the end of this Giro”.
About thirty minutes after Attila Valter, Arnaud Démare crossed the finish line surrounded by all his teammates. “The goal for us sprinters is to save as much energy as possible”, he said. “As soon as we feel that we can save ourselves a bit for the next day, we do it. We have an opportunity in Treviso tomorrow, even if the start seems hard on paper. I think it will be a bit like in Cuneo, where the breakaway gave us a hard time”. « Tomorrow’s stage suits us, but we know that everyone is tired and that these stages at the end of a Grand Tour are never easy, » added Benoît Vaugrenard. “Nevertheless, we have a solid team so I’m not worried”.