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.
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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