Dunbar goes close to stage victory on Giro d’Italia debut

For a Grand Tour debutant, the midpoint of the race can be the most daunting of all. By the second week, he has already raced for longer than ever before, but he must cover the same distance again just to make it to the finish. After wading this far into the deep end, it’s a case of sink or swim.

At the start of stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia in Carpi on Wednesday, Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos) ran the rule over the opening half of his maiden Grand Tour and saw encouraging signs.

“The level is quite high here but I think at the moment my body is coping quite well,” he said. “The harder stages are coming and I’m looking forward to them, which is a good sign.”

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Those words were prescient. Stage 12 of the Giro saw the race enter the mountains for the first time, and Dunbar showcased his abilities as a climber and his powers of endurance by placing third on a stage won by Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) in a five-up sprint.

“I’m a bit disappointed really,” Dunbar said after rolling to a halt past the finish line in Pinerolo. “I felt like I was one of the strongest there. I knew I wasn’t the quickest, but I was certainly one of the strongest.”

The Corkman had set out from Cuneo seeking to grab any opportunity that arose. He was swiftly aboard the break of 25 riders that forged clear after 15km and he proceeded to attack on the first category 1 climb of the race, the Montoso.

Team Ineos

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