Paret-Peintre emulates older brother by winning a Giro d’Italia stage

CUSANO MUTRI, Italy (AP) — Valentin Paret-Peintre emulated his older brother by winning a Giro d’Italia stage on Tuesday for his first professional victory.

Paret-Peintre shook his head in disbelief as he approached the summit finish and then sat up, encouraged the crowd to cheer even louder, and whirled his arm above his head as he reveled in the victory on the 10th stage.

He finished 29 seconds ahead of French compatriot and idol Romain Bardet on the short but sharp 142-kilometer (88-mile) route from Pompei that ended with a top-classified climb to Bocca della Selva in Cusano Mutri.

“To be honest, I can’t describe what I feel now, it’s just amazing,” the 23-year-old Paret-Peintre said. “I was there to get a good result in the stage and why not win? Now I have a stage win for my first pro win, it’s amazing.

“I grew up watching Romain Bardet fight for the podium at the Tour de France. He made me dream of becoming a professional cyclist. To beat him today is incredible.”

Jan Tratnik was 1:01 behind in third. The Slovenian cyclist was out front alone for most of the final 40 kilometers before being caught and passed when Paret-Peintre attacked Bardet with three kilometers remaining.

Aurélien Paret-Peintre, who is five years older than Valentin, won the fourth stage of last year’s Giro. He is also riding in this race and was beaming in celebration of his brother’s victory.

“Last year when he won they did the bottle of champagne with my name on it, they made a mistake,” the younger Paret-Peintre said. “Today we’ll see if they do it with his.”

After being happy to let a large breakaway go, Tadej Pogacar and the rest of the contenders crossed the line 3:14 behind Paret-Peintre.

Pogacar remained the overall leader, 2 minutes, 40 seconds ahead of Daniel Martinez and 2:58 ahead of last year’s runner-up Geraint Thomas.

Wednesday’s 11th stage is a 207-kilometer (129-mile) route from Foiano di Val Fortore that features just one third-category climb before it heads along the Adriatic coast to Francavilla al Mare.

Meanwhile, race organizers announced that they had to alter the 16th stage because of safety issues as recent snowfall on the Stelvio Pass and high temperatures meant that the risk of avalanches was high.

The riders will still go partway up the famed ascent but to 2,489 meters instead of 2,758. That will nevertheless still be the highest point of this year’s race.

The peloton will then instead head along another pass into Switzerland before rejoining the original route.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 26.


AP cycling:

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