Edoardo Affini on accidental Giro d’Italia attack: ‘I’m still completely confused and I don’t know if I’m proud or disappointed’

The Italian very nearly stole the win, minutes after riding through his home city

The finish of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia
The finish of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Edoardo Affini said he’s “still completely confused” following his accidental late attack on stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia 2021.

The Italian rider was leading out his team’s sprinter Dylan Groenewegen inside the final kilometre of the stage into Verona, when he accidentally found himself off the front of the bunch. 

Affini (Jumbo-Visma) said he had no intention of attacking, but then decided to go full gas to the line, finishing second as only Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) was fast enough to catch him.

Speaking after the stage, 24-year-old Affini said: "It was by no means the plan to attack.

“I wanted to do the lead-out for Dylan, but at one point I couldn't see anyone behind me anymore. I didn't know what was going on, but then I went on full throttle. 

“I'm still completely confused and don't really know whether to be proud or disappointed. It was a special day for me because we drove through my hometown and here in Verona I was trained as a cyclist. But I never saw the possibility that he would end in such a special way. ”

It was an emotional end to the day for Affini, as earlier in the stage he was allowed to ride off the front of the bunch through his home city of Mantova, 40km from the finish. 

The Italian greeted his home fans, before getting his head down for the lead-out for Groenewegen, who has now left the race after 13 stages. 

>>> Five talking points from stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia 2021

On the missed opportunity for his sprinter, Affini said: “The intention was of course to go for the sprint with him. It's a shame it turned out like this. Whether I was closer to victory than in Turin? There I finished second at ten seconds, but now at less than one, I think. I was very close, but I really gave it my all in those last meters.” 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.