Giro d'Italia: Stage 17 finish line quotes

Viviani, Bennett, Stybar and Juul Jensen talk about the sprinters' day

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) - stage winner

"We knew for sure it could be a really hard stage, because after the time trial and rest day, people will have recovered a bit of energy. The breakaway didn’t arrive, and then everyone wanted to take the breakaway to the finish line. It was a really strong breakaway, but it was just four guys and Bora controlled all the day really well with Lotto-Jumbo.

"We played a little bit today, but I think we played right. The second-to-last (sprint) stage before Rome, and we thought it was perfect for Bennett. If he gained points on us, he would come closer (to the points jersey). We didn’t want to take responsibility, so our next goal would be to win in Rome. For sure if we are having a bunch sprint, I said to my guys, 'Organize a really good lead out.' We did perfect - it was amazing today.

"I know - if you see I also leave a gap to Saba [Fabio Sabatini], because I know it was a headwind, and Saba started with 400m to go. Normally that is perfect, but with a total headwind I knew it was a little early. I tried to give a few metres to Saba until I saw 200m to go. Van Poppel saw me, and he just tried to anticipate me. But when he went, I thought, 'Perfect - move. I can keep his wheel and then go,' and then I gained 50 more metres. That is an important 50 metres when it’s a headwind."

Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) - lead-out man for Viviani

“All the stage was really hard, because we had an uphill start, and the break didn’t really go. For once I was in a nice group of 20 but it never really worked out. There were still a few guys jumping. It was just a really fast day, very hard. After the last climb we said, ‘Everything for Elia’. We had the jersey in mind and now we finished it off, so it’s really nice.

“On the first climb we said, ‘OK, we stay most of us with Elia, and if he can’t follow the pace then we bring him back to the front’, but he had a good day and his shape is great, even in the third week. He finished it off - his fourth stage - so it’s amazing.”

Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) - teammate of overall leader Simon Yates

"It was yet another mouthful. I think all riders, including myself, felt the fatigue of the Giro but luckily and eventually only three guys chipped off the front, and the sprinter's teams were able to control the race and we took care of Yates near the front. I think there are no days where it's lived up to what people have expected, its always been the unexpected here at the giro and especially today. It was hard, but we still have the pink jersey, and morale is high in this team so we can't really complain."

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) - 2nd on the stage 

“I had a few slips, and I just lost the nerve. I just couldn’t get out. I had the legs again and I just couldn’t get out. It’s just timing... I was coming from behind and just ran out of road. It’s just... I put a lot into it.”


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