News | Giro d'Italia | Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol • May 19, 2021
Alessandro Covi shines on memorable day at the Giro d’Italia
2nd for Covi in Montalcino, Bystrom battles to 3rd in Andalucia
Alessandro Covi put in the biggest performance in his young career, placing 2nd after a day-long escape on a brutally tough Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.
The action from Perugia to Montalcino (162km) was marked by gravel sectors with four sections of sterrato packed into the final 70km.
Covi emerged as one of the strongest of the 10 rider breakaway group which built up a lead of over 12’ on the main bunch distancing most of his rivals in the final 10km before the kick to the line.
Covi lead into the final kilometre in a two-man sprint with Swiss rider Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos). Schmid proved the stronger of the two to claim the stage with Covi finishing closely behind, to earn his first podium in his debut Grand Tour.
Covi : “ Today when I made it into the breakaway I knew immediately that I felt good. I had a rather unfortunate start to the season with various injuries and the thing I am most happy about is that I am back to feeling good again.
In cycling you win and lose, today I lost but I have no regrets: I did my best. It’s a long Giro ahead still, I’ll try again! “
Davide Formolo’s strong run in the hunt for the GC took a hit with the Italian rider losing time to drop back to 19th overall at 7’16 from race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers).
Stage 12 takes the riders over mountainous terrain from Siena to Bagno di Romagna (212km) on what will be the longest stage of this Giro d’Italia.
Meanwhile at Vuelta a Andalucia Sven Erik Bystrom climbed with the favourites to take 3rd place on the steep finale to stage 2 from Iznar to Alcala de la Real (184.8).
The Norwegian champion now sits 3rd in the General Classification behind new race leader Ethan Hayter (Ineos-Grenadiers) who also claimed the stage win.
Bystrom: “We had a plan today to go for me and Ryan in the final, and that worked out pretty well. Ryan went away inside the final 15km with around 10 riders, and I stayed with the reduced group behind. Coming into the last climb with 1km to the finish we were all together and I decided to be aggressive and hit the front.
I wasn’t able to match the speed of Hayter and Lopez when they passed me, but I am happy with 3rd. The team was really good today, as we had Rui in the main breakaway, and the rest of the guys working to put me and Ryan in good position before the final climbs.”
Rui Oliveira bravely went on the attack after suffering a crash on stage 1, successfully defending his lead in the mountains classification. The Portuguese rider suffered more bad luck when a crash in front of him in the breakaway forced him off-road and into a field, though he was able to re-mount and finish the stage.
Stage 3 takes the riders from Beas de Segura to Villarrodrigo (176.9km) where Bystrom will aim to defend his podium spot.
Giro d’Italia Stage 11 results
1.Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos)
2.Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) +1’’
3. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) +26’’
Giro d’Italia General Classification after stage 11
1.Egan Bernal (Ineos-Grenadiers) 42:35:21
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) +45’’
3.Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) 1’12’’
19. Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) +7’16’’
Vuelta Andalucia Stage 2 results
1.Ethan Hayter (Ineos-Grenadiers) 5:04:30
2.Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +7’’
3.Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates) +10’’
Vuelta Andalucia General Classification after stage 2
1.Ethan Hayter (Ineos-Grenadiers) 8:58:55
2.Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +10’’
3.Sven Erik Bystrom (UAE Team Emirates) +13’’