Stickybottle

Mark Downey finds his legs as Baby Giro field shreds to pieces

Posted on: June 13th, 2018

On Your Marks: Downey and Donovan flew the Team Wiggins flag on a very hard day at the U23 Baby Giro in Italy.

 

Mark Downey Team Wiggins in Baby Giro shake-up

 

Mark Downey has taken a top 10 placing on the Baby Giro. And his Team Wiggins squad has moved a man into 2nd overall.

Downey was in a group of about 20 riders sprinting for 5th after a four-man breakaway had won the day.

In that escape was Team Wiggins British rider Mark Donovan. He took 3rd on the stage.

The breakaway was 2:25 up on Downey’s group; the field shredded on the 12.7km stage 6 from Dimaro Folgarida to Pergine Valsugana.

Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman Axeon) claimed victory after 2½ hours n the saddle.

Australian Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) was 2nd. Next was Donovan and then stage 4 winner, Alejandro Osorio (Colombia), was last man of the escape.

Osorio had lost the race leader yesterday and reclaimed it again today. Donovan is now 2nd and fellow Briton Stephen Williams (SEG Racing Academy) is 3rd.

Williams had attacked impressively up the final climb on Tuesday’s stage 5 and took the overall lead. But he missed the move today.

 

On the way to eleventh place in the opening TT at the Baby Giro.

American Bennett wins the day.

 

Downey lost time on the climbs of recent days. However, for a man who has been focussed on the track for most of the last 12 months, that’s hardly a surprise.

He still blasted to 11th in the TT that opened this race. And now he has taken a 9th place on an undulating road man’s stage.

“It was a good day out today for the team,” he told stickybottle.

“It was a day I had looked at and fancied my chances if it was raced the right way. On paper, it was rolly steep in parts but not savage.

“After 57km we hit the first berg and from there until the finish it was full gas. It split to bits.

“I managed to get into the second group on the road with a lot of the GC men. There was that break of four with Mark Donovan and he is our GC man.

“So I just had to sit tight. And with him getting third and moving to 2nd overall; that’s great for the team.”

Asked about his own ninth placing today, he said he was “happy enough”.

“I was looking for a wee bit more. But that’s the way it panned out. The legs felt good today when I had to turn it on.

“We’re into the final three days now; two in the mountains and then a split day. That’s a rolly road stage and afternoon TT,” he added of Saturday’s final day of action.

“Saturday could be another opportunity,” he explained of the 72.8km morning road race, followed by the concluding 22.4km TT.

“I know the legs are there now. It’s just a matter of putting myself in the right place to improve on this result.”

At the time of writing, we had no results from today for Downey’s team mate Matt Teggart or Daire Feeley (UC Monaco). But we will update later.

Both riders are doing very well in what is one of the hardest U23 races in the world.

 

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