Domenico Pozzovivo confirmed he is one of the best pure climbers in professional cycling by conquering the terrible Punta Veleno climb at the Giro del Trentino, winning the stage and taking the overall race lead.
Pozzovivo distanced all his rivals on the painfully steep slopes of the Punta Veleno climb. He spun a small gear on his Colnago C59 Italia bike and continued to gain time all the way to the finish. He finished 23 ahead of Sylvester Szmyd and 1:12 ahead of Damiano Cunego. Pozzovivo now leads overall, ahead of Cunego by 25 seconds.
It was a classy performance by the diminutive Italian climber as the Giro d’Italia approaches. Pozzovivo pulled on the leader’s ciclamino coloured jersey and also took control of the climber’s green jersey.
“It’s an incredible climb. Fortunately it went well for me. I’m really happy,” Pozzovivo gasped just seconds after reaching the finish. “I managed to stay calm and in control. The team controlled the race early on and then I attacked when I wanted to and I quickly got a gap. The climb was so hard that I had to use 34x29 and I only changed to 34x27 near the top.”
He and his Colnago CSF Inox teammates now have to defend the race lead during Friday’s final stage to the summit of the Passo Pordoi. Ideal terrain for such a strong pure climber as Pozzovivo.
“I hope to do well on the Pordoi. It’s not a difficult climb and so the team will be important, especially on the flat roads before the climb. There will be attacks but I’m on form and ready for a fight.”