Stage 13 finished in a bunch sprint with Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) sealing his third win in the 2022 edition of the Italian Grand Tour.
The Frenchman held off Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) after some ferocious jostling for position after a 150km ride from Sanremo to Cuneo, and the studio addressed the mechanics of a leadout during The Breakaway.
Adam Blythe, who rode for Lotto-Soudal in 2019 and Orica GreenEdge in 2015, revealed that Caleb Ewan encouraged him to use the means - within reason - necessary to ensure that the Australian sprinter was positioned perfectly at the crunch time.
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“Caleb [Ewan] used to say to me in sprints, ‘if you're argy-bargying with people, headbutt them, elbow them, just get them out of the way,’” began Blythe.
“He doesn't care if I get relegated to the back of the bunch and he wins, it doesn't matter where I come. He was like, ‘just get your elbows out, push and move them, do what you have to do to get me to where I need to be’. [He’d say] not in an awful way, ‘I don't care about you, the team cares about me, so do what you need to do.'"
“It is a fine line between being disqualified and being relegated, but if you can just stay below the line and get relegated and they win, then perfect job.”
The next sprint stage will come on Stage 18, a 152km ride from Borgo Valsugana to Treviso.
- Demare hat-trick as Cavendish and breakaway cruelly denied on Stage 13
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While Demare may have all but secured the maglia ciclamino at this year’s Giro d'Italia, there was despair for Romain Bardet, as his quest for the maglia rosa was undone by illness.
And, talking on the Breakaway, Dan Lloyd said the devastation will have been team-wide, given the sacrifices made in preparation for a tilt at general classification glory at a Grand Tour.
“Romain looked so good in the mountains,” began Dan Lloyd on the Breakaway
“It is devastating. They would have been hopeful overnight that he would make a miraculous recovery or at least been able to get him through today's stage and recover even more for tomorrow,” said Lloyd.
“But it's like Matt White (directeur sportif at Team BikeExchange–Jayco) said to us before, there's so much preparation and training goes into being at a Grand Tour in good enough condition - as Roman Bardet was - but it's not just the team leader, everybody.
“The staff members in the rest of the riders there to support are also putting an equal amount of work to get there in the right condition. So, to see it all come undone, just from a stomach bug, it must have been devastating for them."
'It is devastating' - Lloyd after Bardet maglia rosa quest undone by illness
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Stream the Giro d'Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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