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With two days to go, Johann Tschopp is eyeing a spot in the top 10. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
With two days to go, Johann Tschopp is eyeing a spot in the top 10. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Giro d'Italia, Stage 19: Tschopp Holds Position

25. mei 2012

Johann Tschopp held his grip on 11th place overall Friday after the most difficult day so far at the Giro d'Italia. But the BMC Racing Team rider said he knows he faces an event tougher challenge on Saturday's penultimate stage.

Santaromita In The Break
Earlier in the 198-kilometer race that featured five categorized climbs – including two ascents of the Category 1 Alpe di Pampeago – BMC Racing Team's Ivan Santaromita was part of a 17-man breakaway. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said it was beneficial for Tschopp to have Santaromita up ahead. "Ivan was able to give Johann a ZipVit bottle and gel to him in between the climbs so that was really good," Baldato said. Roman Kreuziger (Astana Pro Team) soloed to the stage win while Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha Team) held onto a slim 17-second lead over stage runner-up Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda). Tschopp said though he is still suffering the effects of a cold, he is giving his best effort. "I fought hard to stay close to the favorites on a tough day," he said. "In the end I'm satisfied I could finish near the best riders and keep my position in the overall. Tomorrow's stage there will be two big climbs. I know already Mortirolo – but we won't ride on the same side. I know about the Stelvio, too, since we were there in the Giro in 2005, but I don't remember the roads exactly."