The experienced Belgian took a solid top 5 finish in Asti.
Shortened by the organisers to just 124 kilometers due to the inclement weather and having its start relocated to Abbiategrasso, Friday’s stage had a rather unusual scenario, which at first saw the peloton keep on a really tight leash the large breakaway that took off soon after the flag was dropped before deciding to stop the pursuit some 40 kilometers from the finish.
This allowed the escapees to nudge out their advantage from a mere minute to more than seven in the space of just a couple of kilometers. Iljo Keisse was there for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, and the 2015 stage winner was among the most active riders, setting a strong tempo and shutting down a few attacks once the concord between the leaders went up in smoke.
When the group split, Iljo Keisse found himself at the back, but mounted a great recovery and joined the four men who was trailing lone leader Josef Cerny (CCC) by 40 seconds. Keisse’s hard work in the group helped the quintet claw back time, but eventually they ran out of road and the Czech took the victory in Asti, where the race returned after 17 years. Iljo came home a few seconds later, and despite the strong effort put in throughout the stage, he still had enough to take fifth place, another result that highlighted the team’s excellent Giro d’Italia.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images