Martinelli blasts Lopez after further time loss
Giuseppe Martinelli is back in the Astana team car as lead directeur sportif at the Giro d'Italia and quickly made Miguel Angel Lopez aware of his mistakes, blasting him for crashing in the finale of stage 5.
The 24-year-old Colombian is the team leader for the Giro d'Italia. He lost 56 seconds in the opening time trial in Jerusalem and then 21 seconds on the uphill finish in Caltagirone on stage 4. He went off the road in the finale of stage 5 and lost a further 43 seconds.
"He's got to learn to trust his teammates, who will help him limit the risks. If you end up in the grass despite being on a teammate's wheel, it means you've still got a lot to learn about fighting for position and staying up front every day," Martinelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It's his first Grand Tour as team leader with an important team. I told him to stay cool but he's perhaps feeling the pressure."
The Giro is won in the team bus
This year's Giro d’Italia covers a total distance of 3,562 kilometres, with the riders covering a similar distance in the team buses as they travel to and from their hotels for the stages and for any transfers between stages.
Recovering from the fatigue of the stage while on the team bus is a vital part of modern racing, with riders showering after stages, getting medical treatment, eating an early recovery meal and often napping on the bus. Before stages the bus hosts final stage strategy meetings and allows the riders to prepare for the day ahead.
Riders will spend several hours each day in the team bus and cover almost as many kilometres as they do in the race.
Stage 6 is a perfect example of role of the team bus. Teams stayed in Agrigento on Wednesday night and so faced a 60km drive to the start. The team buses will await the riders at the finish near the summit of Mount Etna and then descend to Catania and for a 100km drive Messina. They will then cross the Strait of Messina by ferry before finally reaching their hotels around Reggio Calabria after a final 15km drive. That means a total of 175km on the bus.
On Friday morning, the riders face a 120km drive to the start of stage 7 in Pizzo on the Calabria coast.
Curvers avoids a crash and expulsion from Giro d'Italia
Roy Curvers of Team Sunweb was lucky twice on stage 5 to Santa Ninfa. First he avoided crashing after a close call with the Shimano neutral service car in the final 15 kilometres, then he escaped with just a 100 Swiss Franc fine for angrily throwing a bidon at the car.
His actions reminded many of Mario Cipollini, who threw a bidon at a motorbike judge in the 2003 Gent-Wevelgem. In 1997, Tom Steels was kicked out of the Tour de France for throwing a bidon at sprint rival Frederic Moncassin during the sprint on stage 6. Curvers was lucky to avoid a similar punishment.
"I was at the back of the peloton and the car wanted to overtake me but it drove too close. I felt something pushing against my shoe and then I saw a blue car close to me. I was terrified," Curvers explained to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, justifying his actions.
"You can shout and swear but they don't hear you in a car. I wanted to make it clear that I didn't like the driver's behaviour; they should always take the rider's safety into consideration. You react in this way in the heat of the moment."
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