Salsomaggiore Terme, 20 maggio 2014 - The French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, already the winner of stages 4 and 7, completed an impressive hat-trick of stage wins in Salsomaggiore Terme today, at the end of stage 10. He caught and passed the Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) to take the win. The former Maglia Rosa, Australia’s Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge), finished third.
Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) retains the overall race lead, although he lost a team-mate when BMC Racing’s Yannick Eijssen crashed a little under 25 km from the finish line.
Maglia Rosa – Balocco: Cadel Evans (BMC Racing)
Maglia Rossa – Algida: Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.FR)
Maglia Bianca – F.lli Orsero: Rafał Majka (TInkoff Saxo)
Maglia Azzurra – Banca Mediolanum: Julián Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing)
After the stage, Bouhanni and Evans spoke to the press.
A difficult sprint: “Team Sky rode very hard on the climb and made the first selection. I dropped back a bit, but iI still managed to cross the climb in about 20th place. In the team meeting this morning we were told that we would have to be among the first 5 at the turn with 500m to go. Sebastien Chavanel took me there, then rode at the front for me. The entire team was formidable today, always around me and working hard all stage. I’m very happy to be at the Giro with this team.”
On another level from the other sprinters? “I don’t underestimate anyone. There are very talented sprinters here, and I need the help of my team-mates to win”
Taking it all in: “It’s true that my first stage win, at Bari, was special. It was my first ever win in a Grand Tour, and the circumstances were special. I had had to wait at the side of the road to change bikes, and everyone thought I was going to miss out, but the team mobilised around me, and to come through and win the stage was a great moment for me."
Gaining notoriety: ”This is the 2nd time I’ve ridden the Giro but, this time. I’ve taken 3 stage wins. I feel that the spectators are starting to recognise me and encourage me from the roadside. It’s a great pleasure when they call out my name. In the mountains, I think they’ll push me and encourage me, because they’ll recognise the Maglia Rossa.”
The final 5 kms: “On paper it already looked a little bit intimidating to me. I think there we’ve got fresher riders, a bigger group coming in to the finish, and of course riders maybe seeing it as one of their last opportunities, the sprinters there, so they’re possibly taking more risks on the descent, and then of course, in the final there, with all the corners, there’s only so much space for so many riders, but a lot more want to be in the front.”
Team-mate Yannick Eijssen's crash: “We only hear these things on the radio, we don’t know what happens. and I only saw the images on TV after the race at the finish. To see a neck brace on anyone is scary - they say it’s only a precautionary measure - but of course we miss one team-mate. I first met him when he stagiaired in 2009 with our team, and I was really proud of him and I even complemented him on the road today for how good he was going and how much progression he’d made over these last weeks. It’s a big blow as well to us as a team.”
Tomorrow’s stage finish: “Yes, the Giro is characteristic of these types of finishes, on small roads. It’s another day, and we’ll search to be positioned well and pass without problems hopefully."