Williams takes the overall lead after powering to second in the day
Yesterday’s was the first real test for the GC contenders as the stage finished all the way up a first category climb. Today was no different, it featured three categorized climb, including two first category ones with the finish place atop of the Dimaro Folgarida. The stage, once again, was off to a really fast start with the main group stuck together for the first hour of racing. Eventually, a 16-man group broke clear of the bunch but was never allowed more than one minute. 

In the slopes of the Passo del Tonale, the second-to-last climb of the day, the peloton picked up the pace and quickly it was down to just 50 riders. Jan Maas remained at all times next to Stevie Williams, who started the day in fourth overall, and took the front of the favorites’ group with seven kilometers to go. The high pace set by the Dutchman reduced the main group to just a dozen riders. Maas made one last push with Williams on his wheel and shortly after our Welshman launched an attack that nobody could match and went on to pursue the leader. Unluckily, Williams fell just a few meters short the stage win but his amazing effort saw the Welsh climber moving up to the overall lead after a solid team effort all day long. 

The Ronde de l’Isard winner now holds 13 seconds to the second placed rider in the overall classification after six days of racing. Tomorrow’s stage presents a relatively flat parcour that will see the riders complete a total of 12o km. Regardless of the profile, another hard day on the bike is expected as a third category climb is placed just 15 km away from the finish line.

Stevie Williams, the new Maglia Rosa of the 2018 Giro d’Italia U23:
“We went out with the goals of saving as much energy as possible until the final climb, and that worked well. In the last climb, I still had gas left so I could make some gaps. It feels really good to be in pink, it is just a dream come true so I am really happy. The team worked great all day, on the last climb Jan (Maas) set a really high pace until two kilometers to go and then I attacked. The next few days are going to be tough, but we have a really strong team so hopefully, we can defend the jersey”.