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Along with the vast majority of the bunch, Jai Hindley and his teammates were all too happy to take it easy on the final day of the Giro’s second week. Except for a rush to the line at the finish, there was little action on the GC front as the group of favorites rolled in 7:48 behind the day’s winner Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo).
For Hindley and the others, it was a case of making it through the stage in one piece and getting into the final rest day.
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“I think there were a lot of tired bodies out there. I was getting the vibe that everyone just wanted to come home and get the day done and head into the rest day,” Hindley said at the finish. “I guess it was pretty boring, but what can you do, grand tour racing is all about the long game. It was a hard day yesterday, and it wasn’t too hard [today], but I think everyone was a bit cautious.”
As the second week reaches its close, the overall classification is still finely poised with Hindley sitting just behind the maglia rosa of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) at seven seconds. João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) rounds out the provisional podium at 30 seconds back.
The final ascent up to Cogne didn’t put any of the major favorites into any difficulty. Though it was long at 22 kilometers, its relatively shallow gradients didn’t provide much of a launch pad to try and put time into rivals, even if the riders weren’t exhausted from the previous day’s exploits.
“I think if the final climb was much harder then it would have been a different scenario but with a flatter gradient like that, it’s really hard to do something in the final. I think everyone was like, let’s call it a day,” Hindley said.
There was a little bit of post-race action as Hindley appeared to be in deep discussion with Almeida shortly after the finish line. There didn’t appear to be any love lost between the pair, though Hindley wouldn’t reveal the details of the conversation.
“We were telling each other how much we like each other’s company,” he said with a laugh.
Thankfully for those watching, there was some action during the stage with a large breakaway getting up the road shortly before the first climb of the day. Bora-Hansgrohe did try to get a rider in the break as it searched for another win to add to Hindley’s from the first week, though it didn’t work out.
“Lennard Kämna has shown that he’s a bit of a breakaway specialist and we knew today was going to go to the breakaway so we thought we would try to get the win,” Hindley said.