Enrico Battaglin looked to be out of it.
Having been part of a 21-man breakaway, the Italian seemed set to miss out on victory as he trailed Dario Cataldo and Jarlinson Pantano heading into the final corner of the 14th stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia.
But timing is everything and Battaglin found a late burst to emerge victorious at the famous Oropa Sanctuary.
Reflecting on the win on Giro d'Italia Classic Stages, a 90-minute live and on-demand interactive daily show on Eurosport bringing to life the most memorable stages of Giro from the last seven years, Battaglin said: “It’s a climb where many great champions have won. It’s an important win but I don’t think it can be compared to [Marco] Pantini and company, who made history.
Big names have been victorious there and it’s nice to know that I have my name, like the other winners, on one of the hairpins on a climb that’s so important in the history of the Giro.
Explaining how the stage unfolded, he added: “I got in the break, a big break, we started Oropa with a nice advantage and I managed to play my cards right, because I was sort of hidden away from the favourite but I got back on in the last few kilometres and was able to do my sprint and win the stage.
“When you’re there in front, you don’t really think about what you’ve won or haven’t won. Everybody was giving everything and I just thought about managing effort and wanted to keep my eyes on these in front and not lose sight of them. I knew that if I kept it like that until the last kilometre and a half or so, it would flatten out a little bit. That was my plan and it came off.
“When we started the cobbled section I did my sprint, the left turn and the straight line to the finish. I managed to keep my cool and pull off my sprint.”
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