Kelderman gives up on Giro d'Italia overall despite time gains

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the stage 12 breakaway at the 2022 Giro d'Italia
Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the stage 12 breakaway at the 2022 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Wilco Kelderman came into the Giro d'Italia as one of Bora-Hansgrohe's hopes for the final overall classification, but a bad day on the stage to the Blockhaus put paid to those ambitions. Despite gaining back 8:11 on the group of the main contenders by making the breakaway on stage 12 and moving to within three minutes of them in the standings, the Dutchman says he is not thinking of the general classification.

"I wanted to go for the stage win but there were too many guys in front," Kelderman said after finishing fifth on the stage from a large breakaway.

"GC doesn't matter for me anymore. I'm just not good enough on the long climbs. It's still really far. I think you have to stand on one minute to be in GC. For me, I'm just not good enough to be able to fight for GC. I think Jai [Hindley] and Emu [Buchmann] are in really good shape and they can really fight for the podium."

After a frantic first hour of racing covering almost 54 kilometres, Kelderman emerged in a group of 22 riders that formed the day's winning move. He was the highest-placed rider in the standings at 11:02 from race leader Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo), but the message about his disinterest in the GC must have filtered back because the peloton let up in the final kilometres and allowed the gap to grow.

That left the breakaway to fight for the stage win over a pair of category 3 climbs, La Colletta and the Valico di Trensasco, both in the final 55km. It was on the former that Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) attacked and formed the winning breakaway of three, while Kelderman was stuck chasing with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious).

The presence of three Alpecin-Fenix riders in the breakaway gave eventual winner Stefano Oldani an advantage, while Intermarché had both Rota and Rein Taaramäe to play a tactical game. Once the trio of Rota, Oldani and Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) went clear, Kelderman said they were too strong to pull back.

"I was just riding for place five or something. I expected it to open up a little bit later. I think Alpecin and Wanty played really well, they both had one guy in front and they were with more in the front group."

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