Pello Bilbao is still in the fight

The Basque from Bahrain is the most outstanding Spaniard on the first stage of the Giro, 39 "behind the pink jersey. He has taken advantage of his form on the Tour, the doubt is the accumulated wear and tear.


Pello Bilbao came to the Giro almost by surprise to be the leader of the Bahrain-McLaren and with one goal in mind: to take advantage of the form of the Tour de France, in which he was a lieutenant of Mikel Landa and finished 16th overall. In fact, the runner from Gernika (30 years old) did not stop since he arrived in Paris, since he then went to the World Cup in Imola to represent the National Team in the time and road test. All this made him stand at the start of this Giro with some fatigue, but a higher pedal stroke, as he has shown in the first nine stages: he is third, only 39 ”behind the leader, the Portuguese Almeida.

“We must continue with our feet on the ground and with our eyes set on the weekend, that we are going to have two stages to make a difference, the time trial on Saturday and the mountain day in Piancavallo. The goal is to get to the next break without wasting time ”, he analyzes. The truth is that it is within a shot of the pink jersey. "He came to the Giro without great expectations, but we have put it on track well with a good job from the team, which has kept me ahead and I think we can have options", this rider, with a decade of experience in professionals, takes stock since the Euskadi gave him the alternative in 2010, and who has achieved his best successes at the Giro. The sixth place in the final general of the 2018 edition is his best performance in a three-week race, while last year he finished 31st ... but with victory in two stages, in L'Aquila and Monte Avena. Two victories that shine in a record with ten conquests for this cyclist praised for his skills as a climber, but also able to shine in the chrono. However, he is the current champion of Spain in the specialty.

However, the question remains as to how he will reach the last week of this demanding Giro. Of the top ten overall, only the Spanish and Pozzovivo were on the Tour, but the Italian withdrew on the tenth stage while the Basque arrived in Paris. Pello now has 59 days of competition, 18 more than Nibali, 23 more than the leader Almeida, 27 more than Kelderman or 28 more than Fuglsang.

Although few dare to predict what will happen in an a priori appointment more open than ever, led by the young Joao Almeida (22 years old), who yesterday acknowledged his doubts as a candidate to win the race. Meanwhile, Pello Bilbao is still in the fight.

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