Juanpe López sweats pink ink to keep the jersey

The favorites had the upper hand in the first big mountain stage, with two chained first ports, the Passo Lanciano and the Blockhaus, where Simon Yates, Carapaz, Landa or Bardet will finally have to go into action yes or yes.

Juanpe López sweats pink ink to keep the jersey

The favorites had the upper hand in the first big mountain stage, with two chained first ports, the Passo Lanciano and the Blockhaus, where Simon Yates, Carapaz, Landa or Bardet will finally have to go into action yes or yes. They have no other. This Sunday the hard ports arrive. And there Juanpe López, the Sevillian who wears the pink jersey, who took it on Etna, who is a good climber but who has never been seen in this situation of having to rub shoulders with the greats, will also have to defend himself.

With this horizon, it seemed that nobody paid too much attention to the Naples circuit. And López grew dwarfs between the many climbs to Monte di Procida and the steep neighborhood of Coroglio. Because Frenchman Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), who was 4m06s behind in the general classification, sneaked into the breakaway. So the Trek, Juanpe's team, had to get out the calculator to tie the jersey. Because the leader was left without allies when the sprinters Demáre and Cavendish washed their hands. He was left alone in the face of danger.

No one collaborated with López, who was running out of teammates. Cataldo, Mollema and Mosca were unable to tie up the escapees. And they even had to stop Skjelmose Jensen, who was ahead, to help control the deficit. Finally, with 11 km to go, the difference fell below four minutes. With the situation under control, Juanpe López was able to breathe easy. Although they had sweated pink ink to add their fifth day as leader.

The stage was run in pairs. As if they were communicating vessels, what one decided affected the other. A pair was that of the aforementioned Démare and Cavendish, who soon lowered their arms, lowered themselves and forgot about the battle, discarded for victory.

Another duo, the most spectacular, the one that was seen the most, was that of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché). The stage profile was like a short classic, with constant ups and downs, and that's how the Dutchman and Eritrean ran, as if they were in a one-day race in Belgium. Girmay was the shadow of Van der Poel. Stuck to his wheel like a limpet. Where the first leader of the Giro was going was his rival on the cobblestones. Everyone knew that both were two strong candidates. So both ended up in the day's breakaway, along with Jorge Arcas (Movistar), Martin himself and De Gendt (Lotto), another stage hunter who took the win. The Belgian already has the couple in the Giro, as he had in the Tour.

Another tandem that ran close, indivisible, were Juanpe López and Kämna, first and second in the general classification. The German, on the last slope, tried to surprise with an acceleration. But López, who had him well guarded, did not let him go even one meter. The jersey was in a safe place. The Blockhaus will be another story.


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