Pete Kennaugh continued to impress at the Girobio – the under-27 Giro d’Italia – on Friday, finishing sixth on the tough stage dedicated to Marco Pantani and moving up to second overall.
Great Britain rider Kennaugh won stage stage three last Sunday and is now just 11 seconds behind new race leader Manuele Caddeo (Team Hoppla) with two days left to race in the nine-day stage race.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded at stage finishes and so the 20 year-old from the Isle of Man must have a great chance of taking the leader’s jersey and perhaps even winning what is perhaps the most prestigious amateur stage race in the world.
Saturday’s 168.3km stage is from Pennabilli to Bucine in Tuscany. It includes two early climbs but the finale is mainly flat and ends with a rising finish. Perfect for a Kennaugh sprint. Sunday’s final 156.8km stage from Cavriglia to Gaiole in Chianti and is packed with nasty climbs in the Chianti hills and includes several sections of the dirt roads used in the Eroica sportive and pro race. It is ideal terrain for an ambush.
“We lost Luke Rowe today because of a temperature but the other lads are giving it everything and Pete’s obviously up for trying to win the Giro,” GB team manager Max Sciandri told Cycling Weekly.
“They’re all fighters and worked really hard during the stage. The climb to the finish was really steep and I told Pete to ride at his own pace. He did and it paid off because other riders blew badly and lost time.”
“Pete punctured the other day on the Croce d’Aune climb otherwise he would already have already had the leaders’ jersey by at least a minute. I think he can get it, perhaps even on the last stage, because the Eroica hills are tough.”
“We’re going to use a 25 gear to get over them and I’m confident that we can pull off the win because I know that the Hoppla riders are a bunch of individuals who won’t ride as a team. We will, with the aim of helping Pete win, because the other lads know they will also get their chance later in the season.”