On Friday, stage 13 of the Giro was contested at quite an easy pace between Ravenna and Verona, and it ended with anexpected bunch sprint. European champion Giacomo Nizzolo took the win while the Groupama-FDJ’s riders completed the day without any issue. Attila Valter thus remains twelfth overall before the iconic finish at the top of Monte Zoncolan this Saturday.

Two hundred. That was roughly the distance in kilometres to cover on stage 13 of the Giro on Friday. It was also, approximately, the total of elevation meters on the day’smenu. It was then easy to say that nothing could really prevent a bunch sprint in the streets of Verona after 5pm. Still, three men took the lead from the very first seconds of racing and quickly gained five minutes over the bunch. The sprinters’ teams then set up in chase and the ordinary scenario unfoldedfor almost 190 kilometers. Only a brief acceleration fromThomas De Gendt and Rémi Cavagna kind of broke the bunch’s monotony with fifty kilometres to go, and the Groupama-FDJ’s riders actually proved quick to respond. “These are things you feel inside the peloton,” said Philippe Mauduit. You can’t really expect that kind of movealthoughthere was the Traguardo Volante where we suspected there would be a bit of actionAfter that, some kept going and the guys were there indeed“.

“It was really relaxed”, Romain Seigle

The attempt was quickly reeled in and the pack got back into amoderate pace before gradually speeding up in the last fifteen kilometers. The leading trio was caught with 7k to go, Giacomo Nizzolo raised his arms in Verona and the entire Groupama-FDJ cycling team finished safely. “We can say that it was the first real transition stage in this Giro, said Philippe Mauduit. “The weather conditions let us think it would be aquiet day today, and it was. It’s obviously less demanding than if the bunch would have fought all day long. That being said, they still had to push the pedals for 200k”. Alongside Attila Valter in the final, Romain Seigle looked back on this peaceful day: “You can tell the peloton is really tired, it was really relaxed. There was side wind all day so the peloton was in line, but it was still a real transition dayThe time feels long in these kinds of stages, but we take the opportunity to chat a bit in the peloton. The goal for us was simply not to lose time with Attila and to spend the most peaceful day possible before the mountain stages to come.

The first of them will arise this Saturday with the brutal climb of Monte Zoncolan (14 km at 8.5%), including a final wall at 13% and some terrible slopes averaging 25%. “It’s a legendary finish,” concluded Philippe Mauduit. We will obviously give it a go, but I think we are not the only ones who’ve got this idea“.