Schachmann comes close to podium on Giro d’Italia stage 5
The young German was pipped on the line in the fight for a podium place on the uphill finish of Santa Ninfa.
The Giro d'Italia is just five days old, but Maximilian Schachmann hasn't lost any time in showing his amazing potential, which was heralded since his U23 days in several prestigious races, such as Tour Alsace, Giro della Valle d'Aosta and the World ITT Championships.
After time trialing to a top 10 finish in Jerusalem and playing an important role in Elia Viviani's lead-out train, he proved himself on the two hilly Sicilian stages which didn't pack a meter of flat, despite just learning the ropes in Grand Tours and facing several challenges along the way. Most recent of these came on the 153km stage 5 between Agrigento and Santa Ninfa, which saw Max delayed inside the final 15 kilometers after several riders crashed in front of him.
A massive joint effort of Schachmann and his teammates meant that the German returned to the peloton with seven kilometers to go, just as riders and teams began jostling for position at the front in the run-in to the short climb to the finish, which included 12% ramps. Brought in the upper echelon of the pack by Zdenek Stybar, Max opened his sprint moments after rounding the last corner and crossed the line in fourth place, being beaten in the fight for third by a whisker on the stage won by Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo).
"It was another hectic stage finish, but I am glad I overcame it with the help of my fantastic teammates, who helped me after being held up by that crash. Seeing the blue jerseys waiting for me was a confidence boost and reassured me that I'll catch the peloton before the climb. There, I didn't come out of the last corner in the perfect position, but it's a learning process and this is something that will help me in the future", said the best young rider of the race, who also talked of his chances of taking the white jersey home.
"I showed some potential in the first stages, but it's too early to talk of bigger things. I will try to defend it on Mount Etna, where I'm ready to fight and suffer, but it will be difficult. To be fair, my Giro was perfect so far and everything that comes between now and Rome will be a bonus", concluded Max, sixth in the general classification.
Another Quick-Step Floors rider, Elia Viviani, got involved at the intermediate sprint in Montevago and strengthened his lead in the points classification ahead of the first summit finish of the race.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images