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BEN O’CONNOR – 2018 GIRO DIARY: PART TWO

WestCycle catches up with Ben one week into the 2018 Giro.

The first week of the Giro has been long! The lead up consisted of time in Israel preparing for the TT. We went from Israel to Sicily with some hard stages along the way with long transfers, some well over four hours, it has certainly drawn out! Racing in Italy for the Giro felt much more as it should be – with tiny towns filled to the brim with tifosi, banners and cheers.

The 6th Stage was the first pivotal point of the Giro. Teams like UAE/Jumbo made the first hour or two of racing very hard with big groups getting up the road on a hilly start. As it turned out this worked well for Chaves who took a great win – but as for my story, it laid in the fact of just staying with the GC men as long as I could up Etna.

I was feeling really good until maybe 4km to go when Dumoulin attacked. I managed to get back but with 2.5km, I just couldn’t accelerate. It’s a long climb that just tires you out! My aim was to win the white jersey yesterday – I ended up sadly 15 or so seconds short. With two more mountain days before the first proper rest day, I’m going to try my all to wear it. To finish 12th in my first mountain-top Grand Tour finish is exciting – and gives me a lot of confidence.

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