Five stage wins, two jerseys, a top 10 overall and the Fast Team classification, this is our team’s harvest from the Corsa Rosa
Quick-Step Floors was one of the dominant squads of the 100th Giro d’Italia, a race which started more than three weeks ago under the blue sky of Sardinia and concluded after 3600 kilometers in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, which returned as a decisive race venue for the first time since 2012. And just like five years ago, it was an individual time trial, held on a 29.3km-long flat and non-technical parcours starting from the Monza Autodromo Nazionale, that led to significant changes in the general rankings.
One of these saw Bob Jungels put in one final solid ride, covering the course in 34:02, at an average speed exceeding 50km/h and overleaping white jersey Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) in the general classification en route to becoming only the third man in history to pull on the best young rider classification on consecutive years.
Eighth on the stage won by Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo), 24-year-old Bob finished the third fastest Corsa Rosa in history on the same position in the overall standings, seven minutes down on new champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), a result which further underlines his prowess and credentials in three-week races.
Bob, who’s been one of the Giro’s most consistent riders, impressing on both the flat and the climbs while at the same time laying down the watts for the team in Fernando Gaviria’s excellent lead-out train, also nabbed a success, in Bergamo, where he became the first Luxembourger in 56 years to roar over the line victorious on a stage, after taking the race by the scruff of the neck and attacking on the final climb in order to force a selection, before outsprinting all the other favourites.
“The battle for the white jersey was a really nice one. We both had good stages and bad stages, and at the end of the day I am happy for prevailing and winning this classification again”, said a jubilant Bob Jungels just after the finish. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my team, the boys were there over these weeks and helped me in achieving my goals. We finished this race with all nine riders, and this just shows the quality and depth of our team. It was a very tough Giro and to take the maglia bianca and eighth overall gives me something on which I can build in the future.”
Fernando Gaviria was another superstar of the 100th edition, taking home four stage wins at his Grand Tour debut (a performance not seen in the past 38 years) and the famed maglia ciclamino, thus becoming the first Colombian ever to win the points classification at a three-week race. After a rather quiet start, the 22-year-old rose to prominence on the wind-swept stage 3, when Quick-Step Floors smashed the peloton in the crosswinds, delivering Fernando to the finish line in Cagliari in a perfect position to break the ice.
Messina, Reggio Emilia and Tortona were the other cities in which the South American left his mark on the race in a spectacular way, proving he can win with a lead-out train but also on his own coming from behind, by making full use of his fast turn of speed, instinct and track skills.
“I can’t tell you what it means for me to enjoy such success in my first Grand Tour. To arrive in Milan together with this special team is something really incredible. We proved a fantastic spirit, we were always there at the front, we fought in every single moment and now we are very happy”, explained a beaming Fernando in Milan.
Gaviria, a history maker at the Corsa Rosa, talked also of the perfect run he has enjoyed at the Giro d’Italia, where he carved out an impressive palmares for a 22-year-old, who’s racing his just second season in the pro ranks: “Before the start, I was thinking of winning a stage, but to conclude the race with four victories, a stint in the pink jersey and the maglia ciclamino, which throughout history was won by some of the biggest sprinters in the world, like Cipollini, Petacchi or Cavendish, it’s beyond my imagination. I want to thank to the entire team, to my family and to my fans, this success is also for Colombia.”
But the Giro d’Italia wasn’t just a race of the winners, it was also a race of the riders who didn’t were into the spotlight all the time, but relentlessly did a huge share of work every single day: Eros Capecchi (instrumental in the mountains), Laurens De Plus (who concluded his maiden Grand Tour in 24th place, a sign for things to come), Dries Devenyns – the winner of Monte Grappa – Iljo Keisse, Davide Martinelli, Maximiliano Richeze and Pieter Serry, who controlled the breakaways and spent countless kilometers at the front of the bunch – all of them contributed to Quick-Step Floors’ resounding success in the Peninsula.
Quick-Step Floors’ magnificent Giro d’Italia, one of the team’s best ever outings at a Grand Tour, helped the squad managed by Patrick Lefevere extend the already impressive lead it possesses in the World Tour rankings to nearly 2000 points after 22 of the season’s 37 events.