There’s still lots of life in the legs of our ‘veteran’ cyclist Robbie Hunter and he finds himself second on the General Classification after five stages of the Giro d’Italia race in Europe, writes Mark Etheridge.
Hunter, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, took fourth in Thursday’s fifth stage, a ride of just under 200 kilometres from Modena to Fano as Britain’s Mark Cavendish recovered from Tuesday’s crash that saw the Team Sky rider take a nasty tumble within sight of the line.
GreenEdge’s Matt Goss took second while Daniel Bennati of the RadioShack-Nissan outfit was third. Riding for Garmin-Barracuda, Hunter filled fourth with all being given the same time of 4hr 43min 15sec for the stage.
Hunter’s fellow South African, Daryl Impey, ended 138th in the stage, 5sec back in the second bunch.
The General Classification sees Hunter sitting pretty in second spot behind team-mate Ramunas Navardauskas, just five seconds adrift while Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal makes it a clean sweep of the top three for Garmin-Barracuda. Hunter said on his Twitter feed after Thursday’s stage: “Wasted to much energy trying to get back up there for the kick &only managed 4th..so close & yet so far! Good Job Cav & Gossy!”
Impey finds himself 34th on the GC, 50 seconds down.
Friday’s sixth stage is a 207km ride from Urbino to Porto Sant’Elpidio.
Hunter and Impey, along with rising star Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, are all in contention for a slot in the road race cycling event at the London Olympics later this year.