Atapuma devastated after coming close to big win in Giro

BMC’s Darwin Atapuma was close on claiming a big victory in stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia but in the end it was fellow Colombian Esteban Chaves raising his arm in triumph. Atapuma was caught in the finale of the Giro’s queen stage by Chaves, new maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and breakaway companion Georg Preidler, and with his dream of a victory sailing past with the trio, he crossed the line in the inconsequential position of fourth place wondering what could have been.

“To be honest I think I need a while to really absorb what happened today and reflect on the stage,” Atapuma said via a team press release having returned to the team bus without answering questions from the press. “To come so close, on a stage like today, is devastating. I felt really good throughout the stage, had good legs and good sensations, and it was going perfectly. I gave it absolute everything when I attacked on the final climb, I thought if I could just hold on to my gap in the descent, I could make it in those final kilometers.”

“I’m exhausted both mentally and physically. It would have been one of the best wins of my career. I just kept hoping and hoping that I would stay clear. But on a stage like today, it’s rare that everything goes to plan. I hope I’ll have more opportunities in the next week of racing,” he said.