Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) may be taking part in his first Giro d’Italia and first Grand Tour this year, but the 25-year-old has wasted no time in making his mark, netting the King of the Mountains lead on stage eight to Montecopiolo.
A winner of two stages in the Tour of San Luis this January and the Tour of Langkawi in 2013, the Colombian attacked from the early break on Saturday’s stage close to the summit of the Cippo di Carpegna (Cat. 1) climb.
He still had a 50 second lead on closest pursuer Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) at the foot of the next challenge, the Villaggio del Lago (Cat. 2) climb, and he remained 55 seconds ahead of counter attacker Pierre Rolland (Europcar) at the summit.
However, 2.8 kilometres from the top of the final Montecopiolo climb, with victory looking tantalizingly close, Rolland first caught and then passed him, and the Trek Factory rider eventually crossed the line in 27th place, 3:10 back.
Arredondo has nonetheless garnered a solid lead in the mountains classification with 49 points, whilst Diego Ulissi (Lampre), in second place, has 35.
“My main objective was the stage,” Arredondo - fifth overall in Tirreno-Adriatico this spring after performing well on nearby climbs to stage eight - told reporters afterwards.
"That’s why I was in the break and with a few kilometres left to go I actually thought I could make it.”
“But it’s good to be in the lead of the King of the Mountains competition, too, and the important thing overall was that I proved I could be up there.”
“The team have given me a great opportunity to do well in this year’s Giro, and I hope I’ll be able to pay them back some day.”