Groundhog Day for Derek Gee on stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia. One other lengthy breakaway, one other second place and, for good measure, one other EF Training-EasyPost rider beating him to the road in Viareggio.
There was, nonetheless, appreciable distinction within the element. In Fossombrone on Saturday, Ben Healy was already nicely out of sight by the point Gee took out the dash for a second place that felt virtually like a victory. Shedding out to Magnus Cort within the three-up dash right here, then again, had a harsher style, even when the Dane’s ending pace brooked little argument.
“This one harm just a little extra, simply because you possibly can see the win proper there,” Gee mentioned after wheeling to a halt past the end line on Viale Carducci, having spent 184km off the entrance with Cort and Alessandro De Marchi (Jayco-Alula).
“I’m guessing De Marchi and I each knew that Cort was too quick, however with 35k to go, it was contact and go for a bit that we’d even keep out in entrance. I’m fairly shocked we stayed away, as a result of I assumed for lots of kilometres we’d be caught. And at the beginning, when there have been solely 4 of us within the break, I assumed there was no shot.”
The Ottawan had already stayed off the entrance for simply shy of 200km on stage 8. Now, along with his Israel Premier Tech chief Domenico Pozzovivo compelled out of the race by COVID-19 in a single day, he was given the liberty to attempt his hand at infiltrating the early break once more. The rugged early terrain, which included the Passo delle Radici, gave the escapees a combating probability of staying clear, even when the flat and quick run-in to the coastal city of Viareggio appeared to tip the steadiness in favour of the sprinters.
“It was sort of depressing at the beginning,” Gee mentioned. “With Domenico, sadly, dropping out, we had no GC man anymore, in order that plan was at all times to get within the break. I can’t actually consider it made it to the end once more, I didn’t consider that may occur once more. It’s cool to make it to the end, nevertheless it’s irritating as nicely to get second twice, even when it’s nonetheless fairly particular to be within the break with guys of that calibre.”
The Canadian time trial champion is in his first season as knowledgeable, having targeted totally on the monitor forward of the Tokyo Olympics, the place he lined out within the workforce pursuit. Though Israel Premier Tech had been relegated to Professional Continental degree final 12 months, Gee has competed solely in WorldTour occasions in his first full marketing campaign on the workforce, having made some cameos whereas racing for his or her feeder squad in 2022.
Forward of this Giro, the 25-year-old’s most notable outing of the season got here at Paris-Roubaix, the place he hung out within the early break. His show on the street to Viareggio, nonetheless, was of one other calibre, and he compelled Cort to earn his dash victory by attacking forcefully with 2km to go.
“Everybody is aware of he’s quick, he’s so good at that – getting within the break and simply being the quickest man by lots,” Gee mentioned. “Kudos to him, there wasn’t actually any manner I might handle it. I attempted to go a few kilometres out, however when he got here throughout to me, I just about knew I used to be cooked there. I attempted, however I simply didn’t have any snap left.”
With the sprinters’ groups apparently struggling to police the race on behalf of the quick males, would-be escapees like Gee would possibly but have one other probability earlier than this week is out, even when the Grand Tour debutant was cautious concerning the prospect. “There are a whole lot of days to go, however my legs harm now,” he smiled. “They harm lots.”