Another strong performance by the Team on the roads of Italy in the first climbing stage of the Giro
The fourth day of racing saw Trek-Segafredo earn a second podium finish of the Giro. One day after Pedersen’s second place, today Toms Skujins took third place in Lago Laceno behind Paret-Peintre (AG2R-Citroen) and Leknessund (DSM).
The Latvian fought it out in a two-man sprint with Albanese (Eolo) at the end of a day spent in a breakaway together with teammate Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Conci (Alpecin-Deceunick) and Barguil (Arkea-Samsic). This group was the only one to force their way out after more than 65km of battle.
The idea that the breakaway could succeed was expected, looking at the parcours. A medium-mountain stage, with Toms and Amanuel in the front group, the dream of a stage win became possible, as well as wearing the maglia azzurra (King of the Mountains) with Amanuel.
In the end, although the win remained elusive, there was a large satisfaction from having tried until the end. We asked Toms to give a deep analysis on what happened today.
In Toms' words
Well, it was not an easy day, let’s start from this point. We knew today it could have been a hard day, a quite hectic and interesting stage. It would have been also a hard stage to control, so being in the breakaway was our goal as team. Me, Amanuel, Bauke and Natnael were appointed to try. It took a very long time for the breakaway to go. Lots of attack, lots of moves to follow and only in the downhill of the first KOM we managed to make a gap and keep it.
I think the breakaway had success also because we worked together fairly on the front. There were different goals for me and Amanuel to chase, but of course then we had to cope with the opponents. The main goal was the stage win, then we had chance to take the azzurra jersey [best climber] with Amanuel. Then again, with some luck, there was the dream of the maglia rosa for me, even if Leknessund had a good advantage.
The situation became more clear on the final climb. I tried an early attack to distance Leknessund, but after his reaction with Paret-Peintre, it was clear they were the ones with the best legs. At that point, for the stage win, we decided to go for Amanuel, even if we knew it was not easy with those two guys.
Seeing how it the race ended, third is definitely not bad result, even if we have to admit we were hoping for more. Anyway, I think we can’t blame ourselves or have regrets. At the end of the day, we put up a good fight, we did what we could to try to win the stage, but simply the strongest guy won.