Israel – Premier Tech’s young riders are on fire in this year’s Giro d’Italia. On stage 15, Marco Frigo came ever so close to pulling off an incredible comeback victory but was overtaken in the final meters and had to settle for third place.
“I’m feeling both disappointed and happy at the same time right now”, Frigo said after crossing the line. “I could see the victory right there in front of me and that’s already really something. We will try again soon!”
Confident as ever, the IPT riders were eager to get in on the action once again and having already marked this stage beforehand, Frigo was extra motivated to get up the road. When a strong group took off, the 23-year-old Italian was quick to join together with teammate Sebastian Berwick.
The last time the two IPT riders were in a break together, Berwick finished third with Frigo in fifth place. This time, it was all in for the victory.
On the final categorized climb, Frigo was the first one to attack to make a selection. He was later joined by Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates). The trio worked well together but on the second part of the climb, Healy went solo, leaving Frigo and McNulty to chase.
Over the top, Frigo was alone, giving his absolute everything trying to bridge across to the two leading riders. Despite a time gap of over 40 seconds, the young Italian managed to claw his way back and join the front duo again on the final 10 km.
With three kilometers left to go, Healy took off again, this time together with McNulty, which left Frigo to chase on his own once more. It seemed nearly impossible to come back but with a big heart and strong legs, Frigo made contact with 500 meters to go and immediately went on the attack.
For a while, it looked as if he would manage to pull it off, but in the final meters McNulty and Healy passed him.
“I came back after doing a good descent and I managed my energy well on the flat part. When they started to look at each other, I closed the gap and then I played my card in the final the best way I could. We came so close again today and for sure we will try again next week. We are not done in this race!”
Today’s third place is the fifth time in this Giro d’Italia that IPT has finished on the podium. On Monday, the riders will be able to enjoy a well-deserved rest day before taking on the final week of racing.
“The boys are doing incredibly well and the moral is sky-high at the moment”, sports director Sam Bewley said after the stage. “We are going to take this momentum with us into the last week and keep trying to get that win. The guys have proved that they have what it takes to win in this race, and we hope that win comes soon!”