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Sport O'Connor scores vital victory for NTT at Giro d'Italia

06:25  22 october  2020
06:25  22 october  2020 Source:   cyclingnews.com

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  How to watch the 2020 Giro d'Italia - TV, live stream from anywhere Not in a broadcast zone? Never fear, we have your solution hereAll of the rose-coloured glory of the Grande Partenza has been shifted from Budapest to Sicily amid the uncertainty, making for an almost entirely Italian percorso that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Alps as the autumn leaves begin to fall.

Ben O ’ Connor on his way to victory on stage 17 of the Giro . Australian Ben O ’ Connor won the 17th stage of the Giro d ’ Italia , a 203km mountain trek from Bassano del O ’ Connor gave the NTT team, who are looking for a sponsor next year, a much-needed win as he prevailed from the day’s 18-man

The 103 edition's ranking of the Giro d ' Italia . Discover all the updates on time trials, times and detachments of participants in the pink race. stage winner. O ' CONNOR Ben. NTT PRO CYCLING.

NTT's Ben O'Connor celebrates his victory on stage 17 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia © Provided by Cycling News NTT's Ben O'Connor celebrates his victory on stage 17 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia

Ben O'Connor's stage win on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday really couldn't have come at a better time. His NTT Pro Cycling squad is searching for a new main sponsor for 2021, and his solo victory on the climb of the Madonna di Campiglio should go some way to showcasing just what the Australian and his team are capable of.

"For sure, it's a good way of getting some personal attention, but for now we're just going to have to wait and see," O'Connor said in the post-stage press conference, with NTT having announced at the end of September that it wouldn't be continuing its sponsorship of the team into next year.

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  Vincenzo Nibali 'would think twice' before stopping Giro d'Italia due to coronavirus concerns Italian faces defining weekend doubleheaderAt times, the bike race seems almost incidental to this year's Giro, which is increasingly couching itself as a symbol of Italy's response to the coronavirus pandemic. EF Pro Cycling's request to end the Giro a week early was perceived in some quarters as an attack on the race – "Shameful," read one headline – and, ergo, a slight on Italy itself.

Fuglsang unlucky as Giro loses Matthews, Jumbo-Visma, Mitchelton-Scott after COVID-19 positives. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his first victory in more than a year on stage 10 of the Giro d ’ Italia , winning solo from the breakaway after 177 34. Ben O ' Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling.

The Giro d ' Italia is one of cycling's three Grand Tours. A stage race that generally lasts for three weeks, it awards a number of jerseys for winners of certain classifications – the current competitions that award a jersey are: General classification, for the fastest rider to complete the race.

"I think the point of racing is to try to win bike races. That's why sponsors also join a team – so that you can show yourself to the media, and victories are what you strive for as an athlete, and as a team is what you should do as a professional team," he said, "so for sure I hope it is a really positive saving grace and can go far in helping us find a future – not only for us as riders but also for the staff as everyone at this team deserves a career and a future.

"I think our team really needed this win," O'Connor later added in a team press release. "I really needed this win, as did my family and friends, who put a lot of faith in me."

The 24-year-old nevertheless won a stage of the Etoile de Bessèges at Le Mont Bouquet back in February, but came close to a stage win at the Giro as recently as stage 16 on Tuesday, when he finished second to Bahrain McLaren's Jan Tratnik.

2020 Giro d'Italia stage 17 highlights - Video

  2020 Giro d'Italia stage 17 highlights - Video Watch Ben O'Connor win atop Madonna di CampiglioThe Australian soloed to the victory after attacking the day's breakaway on the final climb. He finished 31 seconds ahead of chasers Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren) in second and 1:10 ahead of Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in third.

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) took his maiden Grand Tour stage win on stage 15 of the Giro d ’ Italia on a dramatic day that saw João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) cling onto the maglia rosa by the skin of his teeth after Wilco Kelderman and his Sunweb Ben O ' Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling.

Discover all the participants and all the teams of the 103 edition of the Giro d ' Italia and get ready to support cyclists in the 2020 race.

"I think I cried as it was a sense of overwhelming relief because the amount of effort and work that not just I put in, but everyone around you does," O'Connor said of his emotional victory the day after he'd come so close. "Just from yesterday there was so much support that it would have been a shame not to try again.

"I'm quite emotional as a person and it just means a lot because of everything this year, I guess it's been an incredibly tough year for a lot of people and when you have such joy what else can you do but cry?

"You know the team situation – everyone does – and it's not good," he said of the sponsor situation. "But it's racing like we are now that gives hope to the team and to everyone, as it's proof that we can do it."

Team principal Doug Ryder added: "What an amazing stage for Ben, and a brilliant stage for our team. This is something that we've worked so hard for as a team.

"For this race, [just] as we went into the Tour de France with expectations to win stages and ride fairly high in the general classification, the team showed that even though it's struggling times to find a new title partner, there is complete unity and that everybody's committed to each other," he said.

"Today, having three riders in the breakaway [O'Connor, Louis Meintjes and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier] all supporting each other, and then with Ben clearly the strongest after finishing second yesterday and feeling so disappointed in himself, and then getting up again today and doing what he did, shows his character.

"It showed how committed every single one of these individuals is to try to make a result and support the team that's supported them over the years. It's just a beautiful story," Ryder said. "I'm just so happy for Ben, and of course for the team."

Geoghegan Hart, Ineos top prize winners in Giro d'Italia .
Team takes home €430,693 with €314,781 won by Geoghegan HartIneos Grenadiers took home roughly €430,693 - excluding the daily Intergiro sprints and combativity bonuses. In comparison, the top team in the Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates, won almost €200,000 more.

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