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BELVEDERE, Italy (VN) — Joe Dombrowski (Astana-Qazaqstan) has had to regret his bad luck in the breakaways after being caught by what he believed to be a safe chance for the break on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia.

The American tried his hand at Blockhaus in the first week only to be caught up by GC rivals looking for a stage win.

He had another try on Saturday at the mountainous circuit around Turin but was finished off with just under 70km to go after Bora-Hansgrohe tore up the scripts with an all day heist at the race. Dombrowski lasted as long as he could but ended up 18th, more than 10 minutes back.

Also read: Dombrowski last driver in blockhouse break

“I was in the breakaway but like my day at Blockhaus, the peloton decides if they want to let you go and today they decided against it,” Dombrowski told VeloNews after crossing the finish line. “I’m not having the best luck with the breakaway game, but you gotta try. Cycling is not just about the legs, you also need a bit of luck.

“It was tough and hot, I don’t expect to suffer from the heat like I did in the Vuelta, but I did in the Giro.”

Dombrowski was part of a 12-man break that was clear early in the stage and established a reasonable lead over the rear peloton. However, it was quickly demolished when Bora-Hansgrohe started to pick up the pace with about 84km to go.

“To be honest when we had this group and I saw it going to two minutes 40 I thought they were going to just let us go but then on Blockhouse I thought they were going to let us go and I would win the stage. But that’s how it works,” he said.

Even though Dombrowski’s luck ran out again, it was still a very good day for the Astana team as GC leader Vincenzo Nibali was one of the few to stay on top in the final. With the time gaps so wide at the finish, Nibali shot up five places in the standings to finish eighth at 2:58 behind Race Director Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).

As the GC battle heats up, Dombrowski may be called up to serve as his team leader, but the 31-year-old believes his days as a breakaway aren’t over.

“Vincenzo is a rider who has always gone well in the third week, but I think I’ll have my space and my opportunities and I think I can help him, we’re just playing by ear,” said Dombrowski.

Speaking to VeloNews, Dombrowski revealed he suffered from back pain while riding during this Giro d’Italia. He attributes it to changing seating positions on his bike and hopes to find a solution soon.

“I’m struggling a bit with some position changes but I think we’ll sort it out. Sometimes that’s just how it is,” he said.

After many bumpy stages in week two, the Giro d’Italia returns to terrain more suitable for Dombrowski. He’ll try to make it into the break as often as possible, but he’s particularly eyeing the mountainous Stage 17 from Ponte di Legno to Laverone.

“I’m going to try again all last week. It’s all a matter of trying to be in the breakaway. For example on stage 17 when it starts with a climb it’s easy to be there because if you have the legs you are there,” he said.

“All last week if you want to try to win a stage from the break I think you have to try every day to make it suit you because it’s not every day you try to be in the break that you will be there.”

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