"It looked pretty funny on TV with Majka yelling at me" - Kevin Vermaerke confirms his team's attack in the downhill of Giro stage didn't have much understanding in the peloton

Kevin Vermaerke is currently in his fourth professional season with Team dsm-firmenich PostNL. The 23-year-old American recently made his debut at the Giro d'Italia in service of experienced leaders Romain Bardet and Fabio Jakobsen.

"I was a bit more of a support rider," Vermaerke explained his role to Velo. With both a sprinter and a GC leader to look after there weren’t many times to enjoy the Italian nature for Vermaerke. However his team was prepared to repay his hard work by giving him the opportunity to ride for himself on stages 12 and 19.

"I had amazing legs that day," he recollects about the twelfth stage. He went with the promising first move of the day. But when the breakaway grew to over 30 names, Vermaerke found himself in a situation too complicated to control and eventually saw a small group with teammate Gijs Leemreize ride away towards the victory.

But his failed breakaway attempts weren’t what turned heads at this year’s Giro. It was stage 17 where he and his team attacked on the techincal roads in Dolomites. Their GC leader Romain Bardet was in the depths of bottom half of top 10 and if they wanted to see the Frenchman move up the standings, a big action was necessary.

Unfortunately for Bardet's ambition, race leader Tadej Pogacar was ready to neutralize the attempt. "When I eased off the pace Majka came up to me and he wasn’t too happy about the pace on the descent," Vermaerke said. "After that his teammate Grossschartner came up to me and said that he had actually had fun on the descent and there wasn’t any risk. It was one of those heat of the moment racing situations where it looked pretty funny on TV with Majka yelling at me. I just said 'Man, calm down. It’s not that big of a deal. That’s just how it goes.'"

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