STAGE 14 – GIRO D’ITALIA
Stage 14 at the Giro d’Italia saw the peloton take on a testing 34 kilometre long time trial. Rolling down the start ramp in Conegliano the opening kilometres of the route were almost pan-flat, albeit on a slight drag. However, the riders were soon faced with the incredibly steep climb of Muro di Cà del Poggio – an ascent that averaged over 12% for a kilometre. Once over the top, the remaining 25 kilometres took on rolling parcours, which included yet more climbing before the riders crossed the line in Valdobbiadene.
With a tough day of climbing ahead tomorrow, team Sunweb set out to conserve as much energy as possible throughout the difficult course, with only GC riders Jai Hindley and Wilco going full-gas.
Penultimate rider off the ramp, Kelderman rode a strong time trial over the undulating parcours. A consistent effort saw him place in the top ten at every intermediate checkpoint, gaining time on the majority of the other GC candidates. Pushing on the pedals all the way to the finish, Kelderman crossed the line in a time of 44 minutes and 27 seconds which saw him claim a good ninth place on the stage.
As the dust settled once all of the riders had finished their efforts, there was a small shake up in the GC standings. Kelderman maintains his second place on GC for the team, now 56 seconds behind race leader Almeida.
“With the big mountains still to come I’m satisfied with the result from today,” explained Wilco at the finish. “I’m surprised with myself actually, the whole Giro is going better than I expected so I’m super happy with how it is going so far. I was focused on the time trial and I was looking forward to it before the Giro. It’s always a special day where it’s also hard to suffer so much. From the beginning of the season we prepared for here by focusing a lot on my time trial, training on the bike a bit more. When I look at myself I feel I did a nice time trial and compared to a lot of the other GC riders I set a good time. There are hard days still to come, with big mountains tomorrow and then a hard last week, so in the end it will probably come down to minutes and not seconds.”