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A complete team performance saw team manager Bjarne Riis declare himself delighted with the effort, even if the bad weather ultimately put paid to the team’s hopes of looking to make any possible time gains.
Victor Campenaerts was one of a large group in the breakaway before later on being able to drop back and assist Pozzovivo in the latter stages on the technical parcours.
The stage was won by Jhonatan Narvaez, who was part of the original breakaway, with fellow escapees Mark Padun second and Simon Clarke third respectively.
Excellent performances from every member of the squad saw Pozzovivo finish in the maglia rosa group in 16th position while still fourth on the general classification, 57 seconds behind race leader Joao Almeida (DQS).
I’m super proud, and super happy. I’ve never seen the team ride like this before and that what was deep in my mind this morning, actually over the last few days.
I wanted to test the team, to push them and to show what they could do today; I wanted them to take control of the race. Yesterday after the stage I went to see the parcours, the last 110km of the stage and I saw that it was very difficult: technical and tricky and some very tough climbs.
I actually thought that it was a lot harder than expected so what I wanted us to do is to really go out there and take control as maybe the weather might be bad, wet, so more dangerous. We felt it would be better to take control, be in the front and dominate the race, with the focus as much on Domenico as possible.
It was a hard day – featuring lot of rain and cold, as well as wind. As a team I think that we did a good a job. We were able to cause difficulties for a lot of riders in the peloton, while trying to stay safe in the 3km downhill on a very tricky parcours.
There was no change in the GC in the end but it was excellent for the morale of our squad for the upcoming stages.
It was great to take the race on today, we wanted to try and shake it up and I think we did that. It was nice to see the boys on the front and we showed our strength.
It was a shame that perhaps it wasn’t a mountain-top itself to try and allow Pozzo to get away but I think that we can be proud that we tried to make the race and test the others. That’s the point of racing so we enjoyed the day and hopefully you all enjoyed watching it.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
Media Contact: Jean Smyth (Head of Communications) Email: [email protected] Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About NTT Pro Cycling: Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) (www.NTTProCycling.com) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka's learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes
About Qhubeka: Qhubeka (www.Qhubeka.org) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
About NTT Ltd. : NTT Ltd. (https://hello.global.ntt) is a global technology services company bringing together the expertise of leaders in the field, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace and deliver services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.
Visit us at our new website: https://hello.global.ntt
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