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most of us (including me) may not know much about #ag2r Nico Denz - but that was a great performance coming 2nd today in that stage. And he has just published a long blog post about it


What a day. I'll probably remember that for a long time. At the moment I am still a bit confused. I am not sure if I am disappointed not to have won or would rather be happy about my 2nd place. At the moment, the disappointment prevails over the big coup.

But still; there are not many such crazy days and then to be at the very front in the end still fills me with pride.

The stage started very stressful already when it was still neutralization, because everyone wanted to be up front.

At kilometer 0 then the surprise: A large group got clear immediately and drove out almost 3 minutes. But on the climb the war unleashed and we drove the 16km to the mountain classification full out. I had made a big red circle around this stage and wanted to be in the group. Accordingly, I was disappointed when Matteo Montaguti was ahead for us and I had to stay in the bunch.

So I kept on without significant problems over the mountain and the downhill, in which some drivers were realed back in.

Since Chaves - at this time runner-up - had caught a black day and the other favorites did not want to let him come back, the pace was accordingly high. The speed was extremely high during the first 160km and it hurt everyone.

My legs did a good job and when my teammates all told me they were so done, I knew that was my day.

They told me if you want to try something, today is your only chance - as I have to work on both the sprint and the mountain stages.

So I got my plan togteher and followed de Marchi and Henao on the last mountain classification. Then I pushed on myself and immediately had a gap. I waited. We changed by I pushed on again on a wave and again no one on the rear wheel so fully on, everything went through the departure. I felt fantastic. I had a day that was not so often.

I closed the gap alone to Villella and Mohoric in the downhill. Villella did not want to work, but was still able to follow everytime we increased th espeed. He turned into me from the side at the start already, because he thought I was in his way, so I wanted to get rid of him. He left a gap to Mohoric and I let him do it first. Until here I still felt really good. Then I jumped forward. Here I had to go really deep and went deep into the red area.

The last 12 kilometers we drove so two. I walked through the guide but prayed that he would not attack me, but he did it in every damn wave. But I bit through.

I also stayed cool in the sprint. 1300m before the finish, I was always at the rear wheel and focused only on the sprint. 500m on the bike. 350m on the bike. 250m it attracts. 200m I will come back. 150m we are handlebars to handlebars. 100m I lose 1m go really deep. Lactate 37. I lose another 1m. I will 2.

Second of the 10th stage of Giros. An amazing result. 2nd of a really blatant stage, which had brought everyone to the limit 250km; 4000hm and I finished second.

I will probably need some time until I can realize everything and be happy about it ...

Now I go but first eat something, because there are still 11 stages, so 11 opprtunities ;)
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