Israeli rider Guy Niv found himself in the breakaway of the day in stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia, a stage that also cost Israel Start-Up Nation two of its riders.
Read more about ISN’s abandoned riders here.
The bad luck for the team didn’t hold Niv back from making the best out of the situation. He attacked. Out of the peloton, fifteen riders joined him. The maximum gap was eleven minutes, which was more than enough to make it all the way to the finish line.
The plan was to be with Alessandro De Marchi and Paddy Bevin to go into the breakaway, Niv admitted after the stage. “When Dema crashed, and after I heard that he was luckily doing relatively fine, I knew that I would have to try with Bevin to escape.”
Niv thought that a big break, including Bevin, would get space from the pack. They were caught. Niv tried his luck again after and got away with a bunch of riders.
On the long, penultimate climb, Niv dropped. However, he found his rhythm and regrouped with his fellow escapees halfway through. After another acceleration from his competitors, he, unfortunately, wasn’t able to return again.
Niv said after the finish he did not feel quite comfortable on the wet and sketchy roads of the downhill. “That’s where I ‘messed it up’. I lost too much time there.”
Despite dropping, Niv lit up ISN’s day with plenty of coverage and a 12th place in the stage classification. It’s the best stage result ever in a Grand Tour for Israeli cycling.
“I do think I could have gotten the team an even better result if I would have done the downhill better. I chased for 45 kilometers, mostly on my own, and gave everything I had to get the best result possible today for the team.”