Cunego does it again in the Giro. I haven’t watched the TV coverage yet, but I’ve been following it on the live updates on the Cycling News web site, and it seems like a masterful ride once again.
For most of the ride he was content to sit in the “Gruppo Maglia Rosa” with his senior SAECO team-mate Simoni. Simoni is the defending champ, and he was supposed to be the guy winning this race, but Cunego is in the leader’s pink jersey right now, and only today and tomorrow’s mountain stages for that to change.
They got to the last mountain, and Simoni made his attack and got a gap. But unfortunately for Simoni, one of the other top riders lept off after him, which meant that Cunego had to go as well, and even worse, so did Gonchar. Gonchar is second over-all, ahead of Simoni, so he’s trouble. That group caught Simoni (Cunego still being the good team-mate and not helping them catch him, just going along for the ride).
With the finish looming and Gonchar in the lead group, Cunego had no choice – either Simoni had to win the stage or he did . If Gonchar got the win, he’d get the 20 seconds bonus and that would put him in the overall lead. So when Gonchar took the lead and Simoni didn’t attack, Cunego had no choice but to leap out in front of him and take the win.
I sure would like to be a fly on the wall of the Team SAECO hotel room tonight – you’d probably learn a lot of Italian swear words.