Derek Gee has spellbound the world of cycling in this year’s Giro d’Italia. On stage 19, Israel – Premier Tech’s Canadian fan favorite put on another magical performance to take second place yet again.
“If I stayed in the peloton, there was no chance I could win so I may have got second a lot but at least I gave myself a shot”, an exhausted Gee said after catching his breath at the finish.
With an eye on securing second place in the points classification, Gee wanted to get up the road despite the 5400 meters of climbing awaiting the riders on today’s queen stage of the race.
“I thought this would be a GC day but after the intermediate sprint, the peloton gave us a bigger and bigger gap. Suddenly, I had to wrap my head around going to the finish. My legs were already done by that point”, Gee said.
The break kept working well together but on Passo Giau, the group started to break up. Now eyeing a top result in the KOM competition as well, Gee dug ever so deep to stay in contention on the steep slopes towards the top and after an incredible effort on the final meters, he crossed the top first moving up to third overall.
Despite having depleted his energy levels again and again, Gee found it in him to give it one last go on the final climb, going all in on the ascent to Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
IPT’s 25-year-old neo-pro went solo in a final attempt to get that elusive stage win in the Giro but in the final two kilometers, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) caught him and Gee had to settle for second place once again. His fourth second place in the race.
“I think that one will take awhile to sink in, to be able to fight for the win on a stage like today was something I never imagined coming in to this Giro. Four second places hurts for sure, but it makes me hungrier moving forward to get that first win. I’m super proud of the team at this Giro, we showed what we are made of and even if we didn’t get that stage win, I think we gave ourselves the best chance to do it almost every day.”
After today’s incredible performance, Gee is now second in both the points and the KOM classification.