The Quick-Step Floors team has won 30 races so far this season, but the Belgian team was left with little to celebrate in Imola after Elia Viviani suffered a bad day while the team struggled to communicate in the high-speed, rain-soaked finale of stage 12 at the Giro d’Italia.
Viviani finished 145th on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodromo, nine minutes behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), who stole the Italian’s thunder in the downpour to match his two stage wins and move to just 22 behind Viviani in the points competition. Viviani will race Friday’s 13th stage from Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia in the ciclamino, but Bennett could take the jersey if he secures another haul of points in the expected sprint finish. Viviani has accumulated 184 points, with Bennett on 162.
Viviani pulled on the ciclamino jersey but quickly headed to the Quick-Step Floors team bus to avoid being grilled about his, and the team’s, bad day in the rain. Directeur sportif Davide Bramati was left to explain why the strongest sprint team in this year’s Giro d’Italia had struggled in the rain.
“We’ll try to understand what happened but it as probably just a bad day compounded by communication problems,” Bramati said keen to defend his riders while also hinting at the problems out on the road.
Viviani was caught out too far back when the peloton split with 30km to go. His teammates continued to lead the peloton in pursuit of the break, but the rain and high speeds made it difficult to hear orders to ease up via the team’s radio.
“Everything went to plan until the wind came up and there was a split. It was a bit chaotic, and the race commissaries did a barrage meaning that we couldn’t go up to them. Remi Cavagna was pulling on the front but didn’t know that Elia was in the second group…” Bramati explained, his words heavy with frustration.
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