Cycling News

The Escape Artist: Derek Gee comes within centimeters of winning first Giro stage

The Escape Artist: Derek Gee comes within centimeters of winning first Giro stage

On Saturday, Derek Gee came within centimeters of winning the 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia. He lit out on his fourth 2023 Giro d’Italia breakaway in seven stages, one of those days being a time trial. The sole Canadian at the 106th edition, third in the points classification, fifth in the KOM competition and the best-placed Israel-Premier Tech rider on GC at 36th after Friday, Gee was part of an enormous escape that raced from Switzerland into Lombardy through the rain. He surged to catch Nico Denz at the line, but the Bora-Hansgrohe man, although he sat up prematurely, took his second stage of the race. Another fugitive, Bruno Armirail (France/Groupama-FDJ) took the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas.

The Course

After Friday’s disappointing lack of GC action on a weather-abbreviated course, there was nothing in Saturday’s Stage 14 profile that would spur the race favorites to action. A single Cat. 1 climb crested 55 km into the 194 km route from Sierre to Cassano Magnago. And, yes, it rained again.

Gee was part of a bridging party that linked up with the first breakaway, to create a platoon of 29 fellows, the second-largest escape of the 106th edition. After Thibaut Pinot’s fruitless bid for Friday’s stage win instead resulted in getting the KOM jersey back, it must have been disheartening for the Frenchman back in the peloton to hear fugitive Davide Bais retook the blue kit by lipping over Passo del Sempione first.

The gap back to the peloton started to tickle 9:00 on the tricky, wet descent. At the Villadossola intermediate sprint, Gee added 6 points to his tally to make 77. The gang began to break up on the way through Stresa, with 55 km remaining. Gee and 24 others chased a foursome containing Toms Skujiņš, the Latvian who was runner-up on Thursday. The pink jersey peloton splish-splashed 16 minutes in arrears. In the chase group Bruno Armirail of Groupama-FDJ…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…