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by Shane Stokes
May 10, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: UAE rider Polanc wins atop Mt. Etna at Giro d’Italia, Jungels moves into maglia rosa; Debusschere takes stage one of Four Days of Dunkirk; Froome shaken after hit and run incident in France; Nibali loses Moreno after disqualification for fighting; New race leader Jungels sees Giro as career milestone, but uncertain about chances of holding pink; Thomas jumps to second thanks to finish-line bonus; Zakarin only race contender to break elastic; Dennis out of Giro d’Italia; Van Garderen: I felt good on the climb; ‘A metre matters’ legislation likely to pass Victorian upper house tomorrow; We want to hear your feedback! Please take the CyclingTips reader survey; Audio: Six years after his passing, Elke Weylandt remembers brother Wouter’s character; Video: How Eritrean Cycling Made it to the Top of the Giro d’Italia; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – stage four pre-race
On Saturday’s second stage of the Giro d’Italia Ilnur Zakarin was delayed due to a flat tyre. While his Katusha teammates helped him to chase back on, splits in the peloton saw him lose 20 seconds to the other overall contenders.
On Tuesday he almost overhauled that deficit, jumping clear of the main group towards the end of the climb of Mount Etna and hitting the line ten seconds ahead of them. Thanks to the time bonus for second, he is now just eight seconds adrift of Geraint Thomas (Sky) and four behind the other contenders.
“It was a good day for me,” the Russian rider said afterwards. “It was really hard on the final climb to Mt. Etna because we had a strong headwind so there were not many attacks. In the end I tried to go away to get back some seconds from my competition.”
Zakarin has a good history in the race, making his Grand Tour debut in the Giro two years ago and winning stage 11. He rode strongly last year and was sitting fifth overall heading into stage 19, but crashed, fractured his collarbone and had to withdraw. He bounced back with a win on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
His display on Mount Etna suggests he should be in the fight for pink, although his team had a setback due to crashes involving Pavel Kochetkov and Alberto Losada. Kochetkov is out of the race with a fractured collarbone, while Losada had to have his shoulder popped back into place but is expected to continue.