SIDI IN PINK ON THE ALPS! - Colombian Esteban Chaves captures the maglia rosa at Risoul.

There has been an upheaval in the classification for the Giro d’Italia. At the end of the 19th fraction, the major Alpine stage from Pinerolo to Risoul covering 162 km, Colombian Esteban Chaves came in third at the finish line, right behind an unleashed Vincenzo Nibali, to take the maglia rosa from Holland’s Steven Kruijswijk.

This morning the general classification for the Giro had Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) in 1st place, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) second, 3’00 back, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 3rd, at 3’23” and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 4th with 4’43” to make up. Many folks were saying that the Giro was a done deal and that everything had already been decided.

However, by the time of the finish line, everything had changed. In between there were 162 km of fantastic thrills, with the climb on Colle dell’Agnello. This was not just any climb; with its altitude of 2744 metres, it qualified as the Cima Coppi (meaningthehighestclimb) for the 2016 Giro. On this “Alpine Giant” the strongest riders turned out to be Chaves and Nibali, with Kruijswijk in the maglia rosa controlling the situation. But things took an unexpected turn during a curve at the beginning of the descent, when the pink jersey hit the ground in a ruinous fall.  

From this point on the race was split in two. On one end the pink jersey was fighting against the pain of his incurred injuries and ruing his bad luck. On the other, Chaves and Nibali were giving it their all to capture the pink, win the stage and reopen this Giro. For cycling lovers, seeing a champion lose the maglia rosa for a fall is never fun. But today on the Alps Chaves and Nibali didn’t steal anything from anyone. They rode their race and proved to be the strongest riders on the climbs, to have something more than all the other adversaries.  

At the finish line in Risoul Nibali won the stage and Sidi obtained the places of honour with second going to Mikel Nieve (Team Sky), who already won at Cividale del Friuli, and Esteban Chaves coming in third. The Colombian from Orica-GreenEDGE, who won on the Dolomites in Corvara, experienced the joy of wearing the maglia rosa. Esteban Chaves is wearing the pink jersey along with his Sidi Wire Carbon shoes, the top models in the Sidi Sport brand collection for road racing.

The new classification now reads Esteban Chaves 1st, Vincenzo Nibali 2nd, 44” behind, and Steven Kruijswijk third at 1’05”. Today we all got a lesson in cycling. The road is unpredictable and the race is never over until it reaches the finish line. Dangers lurk around every corner and the major climbs are the perfect terrain for terrific feats. We sure saw one today!

Who will win the Giro? We’ll know more tomorrow, after the final mountain stage with an uphill arrival at Sant’Anna di Vinadio. The Giro is still wide open, with four riders battling it out for the maglia rosa. Sidi Sport will cheer for his Esteban ChavesWire Carbon to be pink


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