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Giro d’Italia rest day recap 2: De Gendting, a Blockhaus barney and Nibali’s retirement

Robyn Davidson
16 May 2022

Put your feet up and relive the drama on the second rest day of the Giro d’Italia

Congratulations on reaching the second rest day of the Giro d’Italia! 

The Grand Tour feels like it’s been flying by. Faster than Mathieu van der Poel doing... well, literally anything. 

From Stage 4’s Mount Etna to Stage 9’s Blockhaus battle, let’s recap some of the best moments so far. 

Stage 4: Explosions and implosions on Mount Etna

Michael Steele via Getty Images

Mount Etna held the title of being the first mountain-top finish at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) prevailed in a two-man battle to the line.

Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) almost clipped the German’s back wheel in the final corner ultimately hampering his sprint, but he did get the maglia rosa at the end of the day.

Behind, Astana suffered big blows.

Miguel Ángel López abandoned after picking up a hip injury from his opening day crash and Vincenzo Nibali pedalled backwards on Mount Etna.

Tom Dumoulin became the first big name to take a big hit, finishing over nine minutes behind Kämna and seven behind Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

Stage 5: Lo Squalo announces retirement

Tim de Waele via Getty Images

It was only fitting that Nibali announced his retirement as the Giro d’Italia Stage 5 rolled into his hometown of Messina.

After Arnaud Démare won the sprint finish, Nibali emotionally revealed to Italian broadcaster RAI that he would end his professional cycling career at the end of the 2022 season.

Stage 6: Démare double

Tim de Waele via Getty Images

The scripted early breakaway group – aka, at least two Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli riders up the road in the first few kilometres – never materialised, leaving Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) to fake it for the cameras, followed by Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma) smiling as they were reeled back in.

A relaxed peloton soon allowed Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) to be the lone rider up the road.

A solo 141km breakaway probably wasn’t his idea of a perfect day out, but then again at least you can plan dinner or talk to yourself without any questions.

Démare doubled up into Scalea, the maglia ciclamino winning against Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Mark Cavendish (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl).

Stage 7: L’elastico

Tim de Waele via Getty Images

Stage 7’s misty route from Diamante to Potenza took in over 4,000m of climbing.

The Giro d’Italia account itself told me my ‘Italian word of the day’ should be elastic.

Why? Because of Diego Andrés Camargo, who kept coming back to the leaders even when getting dropped in the process, eventually heading back to the peloton with 30km to go.

But this also applied to Dumoulin, who continued to ride at his own pace and made it back to his breakaway companions.

Eventually a quartet would contest the win. Comprising 50% Jumbo-Visma riders, it would have been a big loss had they not capitalised on it.

Koen Bouwman was the only man to not have a Grand Tour stage win in the group. This all changed after Stage 7.

Take a Bouw, man.

Stage 8: Classic #DeGendting

Michael Steele via Getty Images

Before I was a professional journalist (depending on who you ask), I was a fan of Thomas De Gendt.

The Lotto Soudal rider produced my favourite moment of the Giro d’Italia so far.

Not in his usual #DeGendting solo breakaway style, but by towing a group to the line and still having the power to outsprint them all.

De Gendt said after the Napoli stage that he silenced his biggest doubter: himself.

It’s always nice to be reminded that even when you doubt your own abilities, you can still prove yourself wrong.

It also delivered a tough blow to Aimé De Gendt in the De Gen-eral classification standings, which has been more exciting than the maglia rosa battle so far.

Stage 9: From popping bottles to throwing bottles

Luca Bettini via Getty Images

Speaking of the maglia rosa, Juan Pedro López has continued to lead the GC standings since Stage 4 on Mount Etna.

But fireworks exploded elsewhere than just the Stage 9 finale.

After Jai Hindley (Bora–Hansgrohe) won the stage, it was surprising to see the maglia rosa look so glum in interviews.

He began to apologise to Jumbo-Visma’s Sam Oomen for ‘losing his mind’ and throwing a bidon at him on the road to Blockhaus.

In his own words, the pair suffered a ‘moment of tension’ after Oomen ‘tried to push’ him.

I don’t think the commissaires noticed this during the stage so it'll be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

And also if an apology was offered off-camera.

What next?

The peloton heads north throughout the following week. The next stage on Tuesday will be a 196km ride fron Pescara to Jesi.

It begins to get hillier with a punchy stage finish in Torino and three mountains in the final 80km into Cogne before the next rest day.

We’re getting towards last chance saloon for the sprinters too, with only two more flat stages until said rest day on 23rd May.

For all our Giro d’Italia content, visit our Giro hub page.

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