Derek Gee and Marco Frigo continue to impress in this year’s Giro d’Italia. On stage 18, the two young IPT riders finished in fourth and sixth place after another big day in the mountains.
“Today was another good day for us. We had pin-pointed this day as one for the breakaway to make it and we went all in”, Frigo said after the stage.
On the first big categorized climb of the day, Gee and Frigo attacked and got a gap. The IPT duo kept a high pace, which only allowed a handful of other riders to join the front group.
“I felt great on the first climb, so we went for it. Then I got to the top and thought ‘oh… there is still a long way to go’”, Gee joked as he looked back on yet another hard day at the front of the race.
The breakaway worked well together all day and on the top of the penultimate big climb, with 25 km to go, Derek and Marco still had a gap of nearly five minutes on the peloton. At this point it was certain that the stage winner would come from the break and at the bottom of the final climb, attacks started to occur.
Filippo Zana (Team Jayco AlUla) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) upped the pace and despite putting up a brave fight to stay in the wheel, Gee had to let go with about 8 km to go. Ultimately, the two riders stayed away to fight for the win, while our Canadian neo-pro turned himself inside out to finish in fourth place. His fifth Top5 result in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Zana won the stage.
“Marco and I were both pretty cooked coming in to the final climb, so we just decided to sit on and try to follow. Maybe I went a little too deep trying to go with Zana and Pinot but I’ve already been second three times in this race, so I thought that I might as well try today. At the end, the legs just gave out on me”, Gee explained.
Frigo, too, fought courageously on the final climb and little by little, he clawed his way closer to the leading riders. In the end, he crossed the line in sixth place, which is the 23-year-old Italian’s third Top10 result in the race.
“I gave everything I had on the last climb, riding my own pace. I’m really happy with today’s performance and once again, together with Derek, we showed our eagerness to try to get that victory!”, Frigo said.