Changed man’ Pozzovivo finishes sixth in vintage Giro d’Italia

AG2R La Mondiale has delivered its best result at the Giro d’Italia in years, racing on Factor Bikes in a Grand Tour for the first time.

Domenico Pozzovivo, 34, returned to past form and the French outfit finished second in the team classification.

Sports director Laurent Biondi praised Pozzovivo at the end of the race in Milan on Sunday, heralding a changed man.

“For three weeks, we had a completely different Pozzovivo from the one I knew. He was in the game, he brawled like never before in order not to waste time where it could cost in the end, he took risks and I am very satisfied to see him so well placed in the general classification,” Biondi said.

“The team also contributed well throughout the race. Hubert [Dupont] was exemplary. He completely fulfilled his role as road captain. Hubert [who finished 19th overall] is a role model for everyone, especially the young riders.”

The 100th Giro, which Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) won, will be recorded in history as a vintage edition, which AG2R La Mondiale, and by extension Factor, influenced and animated.

Pozzovivo finished sixth overall – his best result since a fifth place in 2014.

“My major goal for this Giro d’Italia was to get back to my level in the mountains. I proved, especially in the third week, that I could compete with the best. It’s been a long time coming, and I am very happy to take this place in the general classification,” the Italian said.

The Giro d’Italia was Factor’s first foray in Grand Tours. Pozzovivo is set to return to three-week stage racing at the Vuelta a Espana, leaving Romain Bardet, who has been on an intensive training camp, to vie for the maillot jaune at the Tour de France in July.

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