Zardini takes The Tumble

The rumble on The Tumble I wrote about yesterday had a rather surprising finish. Surprising for both the spectators and the main contenders, it seems:

‘I didn’t even know who he was to be honest…’ Wiggins told Cycling Weekly when asked about the day’s winner: Edoardo Zardini from team Bardiani-CSF.

The Italian gave a poised performance in Wales, attacking when the men around him cracked and being ready for those with a bit of wind left in their sails. When Nichols Roche caught him at 1500m Zardini was smart enough to have kept a little in his reserves. Roche steamed past and clearly believed that he’d left the young man in his wake. Instead, Zardini dug deep and overhauled him to take the stage win.

Whilst the twenty-four year old might be an unknown entity, his team Bardiani-CSF Inox certainly isn’t. They won three stages at the Giro d’Italia and they have been around in Italian cycling under many guises for some time. With Edoardo they appear to have another good stage winner on their books.

Wiggins, a perennial favourite at the Tour of Britain, was rather sanguine about the day’s stage. The climb didn’t give quite the fight we were all expecting, but there are plenty of road miles to go and of course the finish in London, which suits Wiggins down to the ground. It’s certainly not impossible for him to triumph with some careful work over the next five days. At The Tumble yesterday Wiggins came over the line fifth, 24 seconds down on Zardini as current general classification leader.

The organisers of the Tour of Britain seem to like their stage finishes with a view. Wednesday’s finish comes at the top of the sharp, snappy climb of Bridge Valley Road. Get their timings wrong on there and the riders could find themselves watching the standings change before their eyes.

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