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Giro d'Italia 2012

Date range:
May 5-27, 2012
  • Giro d'Italia, Italy, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      8.7km
      Location
      Herning (ITT)
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      206km
      Start location:
      Herning
      End location:
      Herning
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      190km
      Start location:
      Horsens
      End location:
      Horsens
    • Rest day 1

      Start location:
      Horsens
      End location:
      Verona
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      32.2km
      Location
      Verona (TTT)
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      199km
      Start location:
      Modena
      End location:
      Fano
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      207km
      Start location:
      Urbino
      End location:
      Porto Sant'Elpidio
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      202km
      Start location:
      Recanati
      End location:
      Rocca di Cambio
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      229km
      Start location:
      Sulmona
      End location:
      Lago Laceno
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      171km
      Start location:
      San Giorgio nel Sannio
      End location:
      Frosinone
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Civitavecchia
      End location:
      Assisi
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      243km
      Start location:
      Assisi
      End location:
      Montecatini Terme
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Seravezza
      End location:
      Sestri Levante
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      121km
      Start location:
      Savona
      End location:
      Cervere
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      205km
      Start location:
      Cherasco
      End location:
      Cervinia
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Busto Arsizio
      End location:
      Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli
    • Rest day 2

      Start location:
      Lecco
      End location:
      Limone sul Garda
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      174km
      Start location:
      Limone sul Garda
      End location:
      Falzes/Pfalzen
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Falzes/Pfalzen
      End location:
      Cortina d'Ampezzo
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      139km
      Start location:
      San Vito di Cadore
      End location:
      Vedelago
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      197km
      Start location:
      Treviso
      End location:
      Alpe di Pampeago
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      218km
      Start location:
      Caldes/Val di Sole
      End location:
      Passo dello Stelvio
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      31.5km
      Location
      Milan (ITT)
  • Race history

May 23, Stage 17: Falzes/Pfalzen - Cortina d'Ampezzo 187km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage from the Giro d'Italia. It's stage 17, the first test into the Dolomites, and with four mountain passes to overcome the race will see fireworks with the top GC contenders set to do battle on the legendary Passo Giau.

  1. 10:59:34 BST

    Welcome back to our coverage from the most beautiful race in the world, it's stage 17 of the Giro and a stellar day is in store with four serious climbs, and some very tricky descents. The riders have just left the start for the 186km stage to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

    Here's where we stand in GC, with the top 15 riders bunched together.

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 69:22:04
    2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:30
    3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:22
    4 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:26
    5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:01:27
    6 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:36
    7 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:42
    8 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:01:55
    9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:02:12
    10 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:02:13
    11 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:56
    12 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:03:16
    13 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:17
    14 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:03:24
    15 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

  2. 11:01:09 BST

    For a video preview of today's stage click here. Michael Barry from Sky and Daniel Lloyd will take you through the stage profile, as well as give an insight into how to descent as a pro rider.

  3. 11:02:02 BST

    Into the Dolomites proper with a humdinger over four passes. They’ll begin with Falzarego, one of the climbs immortalized by Fausto Coppi, then wade into Passo Duran and the Forcella Staulanza. All of which are legendary and brutally hard, but the real pain is to be found on the last climb of the day, the heinous Giau. Though the shortest of the bunch at “just” 12 kilometres, it’s gradients are never less then punishing. With an average height gain of 9.9% it will conclude a 4,500 metre climbing day which may well decide the outcome of the race. This is the stuff of Giro legend, so even if you can’t be there in person make sure you tune in, turn on and drop out.

  4. 11:02:47 BST

    Bergonzi :


    “It’s the Dolomite tappone, the big one. The Giau has a great history with the Giro, and that’s because it’s so hard. It has sections of 14% or so, but the real issue is that it doesn’t give you any respite; it’s never less than 7-8%. Therefore it’s normally the climb itself that makes natural selections. Thereafter they descend into Cortina, but in reality very few make up the difference there.”

     

     

  5. 11:05:02 BST

    Included as part of the tappone to Gardeccia-Val di Fassa this year, the Passo Giau takes centre stage in 2012 and is just a short 17km descent from the finish in Cortina. The Dolomite town has itself hosted four Giro stage finishes in the past, including a victory from Fausto Coppi in 1948 after an attack on the Passo di Monte Croce.

  6. 11:06:34 BST

    Last year, the Giau featured on the toughest stage of the race to Gardeccia, but with Alberto Contador already safely ensconced in pink and with two more passes still to come, there was little movement among the big names. Its positioning this time around should ensure that the likes of José Rujano (Androni Venezuela), and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) are more active, while the 17km plunge to the finish in Cortina d’Ampezzo will also provide thrills of its own. Vincenzo Nibali forged clear here last time, it remains to be seen who will take up the Sicilian’s baton on the descents in his absence, although his Liquigas teammate Basso might view this finale with some trepidation.

  7. 11:10:33 BST

    If the favourites are all together at the top of the final climb, it could be the perfect place to isolate Basso and put him under pressure on the descent. He's not the best when going downhill at speed, and the likes of Scarponi will fancy their chances of dropping him there. Both riders needs to make up time, Scarponi more so and neither can really wait any longer before showing their hand.Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale)

  8. 11:17:08 BST

    • Rabobank Cycling Team's 2012 Jersey

    We've around 50km of flat to gradually uphill roads to start with, likely territory for a break to form. A number of teams have yet to win a stage in this year's race so there's some pressure on. Rabobank, they're having a torrid time of it. While Gesink was able to lay down the law in California the Dutch team have struggled here. Theo Bos pulled out of the race this morning, meaning they're down to just 4 riders.

  9. 11:22:01 BST

    Bos isn't the only rider to miss today's start. Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) and Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge have also pulled out of the race.

  10. 11:23:20 BST

    Cortina d’Ampezzo has hosted five stage finishes in the past: In 1939, won by Secondo Magni; in 194, won by Fausto Coppi; in 1951, won by Luison Bobet; in 1955, won by Angelo Conterno; and in 1977, won by Giuseppe Parletto.

  11. 11:23:59 BST

    As for today's weather: The stage started under cloudy skies and temperatures of 17 degrees centigrade. Similar conditions are expected in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
     

  12. 11:32:49 BST

    Today of course marks the year anniversary since Xavier Tondo passed away. The Spaniard died in a freak accident at his home in Granada. The Movistar team will be especially motivated to ride with their hearts today and pay their respects to their friend.

  13. 162km remaining from 187km

    11:34:33 BST

    25kms covered in today's stage and the peloton is all together.

  14. 11:40:48 BST

    Pressure on Basso today. He's been getting some heat in the press for his team's tactics in the opening first two weeks but he's still in contention for the win.

    He's coming towards the end of his career now but still fancies another two or three Giri. He first came to attention - on a world stage - at the worlds in Zolder in 1998, winning the road race in the U23 category. He attacked with a South African rider, I cant remember his name, who pulled a foot out of the pedals. Anyway Basso went onto to win, with teammates Nocentini and Di Luca taking the silver and bronze medals.

  15. 11:46:21 BST

    Hesjedal sits 2nd on GC after two strong weeks in the race. He's finished in the top ten at the Tour (in 2010), finishing ahead of Rodriguez in fact but this is a different proposition and the Canadian is in with a strong chance of finishing in the podium.

    Like for a lot of his GC contenders, today will be the truest indication yet of his credentials. He's got one of the best time trials but he's gone from being very good, to a little bit wobbly in the mountains so far in the race.

  16. 147km remaining from 187km

    11:52:32 BST

    We've had a few attacks from the front of the bunch but nothing has stuck yet. Perhaps the first climb of the day will be the tipping point for the break to succeed.

  17. 12:07:34 BST

    Remember the South African rider I couldn't remember? Well someone has just emailed in. ..


  18. 12:08:48 BST

    Bret Copeland:

    That south african was non other than Robert Hunter. I clearly remember as I was manager of SA national team at that worlds....would have been a different result otherwise....:-)

     

  19. 12:09:13 BST

    Meanwhile, we have a break and will bring you the names as quickly as we can.

  20. 139km remaining from 187km

    12:11:31 BST

    Matteo Rabottini (Farnese-Vini), Branislau Samoilau (Movistar),  Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Jose Serpa (Androni).

    They have roughly a minute on the bunch. There were a number of counter attacks but they were quickly brought back. If that five can push clear they could do some damage, there's some decent climbers in that little mix.

  21. 12:15:21 BST

    The five have 2 minutes on the bunch and the road is starting to gently point upwards.

  22. 12:17:34 BST

    Rabottini of course won a thrilling stage 15 a few days ago and is clearly in good spirits and form. He's had a rest day, and yesterday's stage to recover but he'll be a marked man today. Surely he can't pull off the same trick twice?

     

    Serpa, a former winner of Langkawi and at Genting Heights is also here. A strong climber on his day he can certainly impress when the road points to the sky.

  23. 12:25:42 BST

    For me Seeldrayers is probably the most interesting rider in the break. It's hard to imagine that he's still just 25, but in 2009 he was the best young rider in the Giro, finishing in the top 15 overall.


    Since then he's failed to deliver on the grand tour platform and he's being used as a domestique so far in the race. Astana clearly have a plan,  throwing a rider up the road for Kreuziger to possibly use later on. It also means that they wont have to chase the break later in the race.

  24. 132km remaining from 187km

    12:26:58 BST

    Four minutes, roughly, for our five leaders.

  25. 12:31:11 BST

    • Movistar Team's 2012 Jersey

    Samoilau is similar to Seeldrayers. The Movistar rider was an excellent u23 rider, winning Liege and a stack of other races. He almost made the top 20 in his first Giro in 2007 but he's not really kicked on since then. A fine team player, and with a few placings in week-long stage races, he's yet to fulfil his potential in grand tours. Like the Belgian, he's still relatively young, at 26.

  26. 12:34:10 BST

    I know very little about Montaguti, it has to be said, other than he's an Italian on a French team. AG2R seem happy to throw him into the Giro and the Vuelta every year though. A solid domestique, with a track background, so probably the weakest climber in the break today.

     

    He'll go and win now, won't he...

  27. 12:47:47 BST

    The leaders are working well together under the blue sky. They're onto the first climb of the day, the Passo Valparola.

  28. 12:55:02 BST

    The peloton are on the climb as well now and they're not hanging around. Euskaltel, who missed the break, have put their men on the front, while up ahead our brave five continue to work together.

  29. 12:56:51 BST

    Rodriguez looks fairly comfortable with the pace for now. Today's a major test of his credentials as, while the autobus is starting to form, with a number of riders dropping off the back and looking around.

  30. 12:58:13 BST

    Montaguti is doing more than his fair share of work in the break at the moment, the leaders are closing in on the top of the climb.

  31. 13:00:39 BST

    Rabottini leads the mountains competition and will be looking to make the jersey secure today. He takes maximum points over the top, as his colleagues take the chance to put on some warmer clothes.

  32. 13:03:11 BST

    It's now a long, steep decent down towards Caprile where the feedzone is situated. We're seeing some fantastic scenery as the break begin their journey down the climb.

     

    Meanwhile the bunch plough on. They're down to around 60-70 riders already, although plenty of riders will make contact on the descent.

  33. 110km remaining from 187km

    13:05:30 BST

    The bunch go over the top, the gap to the break at 4'17. It would have been much higher had Euskaltel not worked so much.

  34. 13:10:39 BST

    Gadret told Eurosport this morning that he was 'going to dynamite the race'.
    That would be exciting to watch. He's lost a few minutes in the race already but he had such a strong race in the final week last year and these long gruelling climbs will suit him.

  35. 104km remaining from 187km

    13:12:46 BST

    Just over 100 kilometres remaining as we watch the break take a few risks on the descent.

  36. 13:14:19 BST

    Bruseghin and Carrara have nipped off the front of the bunch on the descent.

  37. 95km remaining from 187km

    13:20:45 BST

    The Euskaltel team are clearly motivated after their stage win yesterday, and continue to set the pace.

  38. 13:27:30 BST

    The peloton pass through the feedzone with 89km  to race. The men in orange continue their work while the Liquigas team hover around Basso.

  39. 13:35:54 BST

    The gap is under 4 minutes, now at 3:50.

  40. 13:37:30 BST

    We've mentioned Rodriguez but his team are under just as much pressure today. They'll be hoping that Liquigas once again take up the reins and lead the bunch over the next two climbs but if Rodriguez is put under pressure his team will have to be attentive.

  41. 13:38:27 BST

    Euskaltel continue to do all the work, they've put all their men on the front, although the gap has gone back out and now stands at 5 minutes.

  42. 13:40:11 BST

    The Cavendish group, which was dropped earlier on the the first climb have made their way back to the peloton.

  43. 77km remaining from 187km

    13:44:01 BST

    77km to race and we're closing in on the Passo Duran. This is where the GC contenders will really start to watch each other, who looks strong, who looks like they're struggling? From there it will be a pure and simple selection process and by the time we get to the foot of the second last climb we'll see who can really win this year's Giro because the way Euskaltel are riding now the bunch are unlikely to sit up once they reach the Duran.

  44. 13:45:01 BST

    The gap is down to 3:36 with 73km to race.

  45. 13:50:38 BST

    Liquigas have moved closer to the front and Scarponi is paying attention and moves up, sitting behind Ivan Basso.

     

    Rabottini, meanwhile, changes bike. So the break are on the footsteps of the Duran.

  46. 13:53:04 BST

    This climb will test some legs, it's 12.2km in length, with an average gradient of 8.1% but some pitches reach 14%.

     

  47. 13:54:11 BST

    Our five leaders are still together but their lead is down to 2:42.

  48. 13:55:30 BST

    Rider after rider are being dispatched from the back of the bunch as Euskaltel carry on setting the pace.

  49. 68km remaining from 187km

    13:58:28 BST

    In some ways this nullifies Astana having a man up the road. They would never chase under these circumstances anyway but they're still having to stay near the front and keep their leaders protected.

     

    We've talked about pressure and we've talked about how hard today could be but in reality it's going to be tough for every rider out there, it's just a case of how deals with the pressure and pain in the best manner.

  50. 14:00:06 BST

    Vande Velde has a puncture and needs a new wheel. He'll be key for Hesjedal's stage.


    As Liquigas move up, already and start setting the pace. Can Basso turn the screw?

  51. 14:01:09 BST

    This will stop a few of the pocket rocket climbers from attacking for now. Basso simply wants to keep things together for as long as possible but he's already running out of teammates.

  52. 14:01:53 BST

    Vande Velde is coming back through the bunch to the leaders.

  53. 14:02:59 BST

    Scarponi is marking Basso. He's been on his rival's wheel since the start of the last descent.

  54. 66km remaining from 187km

    14:03:41 BST

    The gap to the break is 2 minutes but Montaguti has been dropped.

  55. 14:04:31 BST

    Ballan has been dropped from the bunch. He's been quiet in his Giro debut. Just one attack that I can remember.

  56. 14:04:54 BST

    Basso has three teammates left.

  57. 14:06:55 BST

    Liquigas are isolating Rodriguez though, a number of his teammates being pinged off the front.

  58. 14:07:14 BST

    Off the back rather.

  59. 14:09:55 BST

    The maglia rosa has just one teammate with him, Basso has three.

  60. 14:10:56 BST

    Scarponi looks to be on his own though with Cunego a bit further back in the bunch.

  61. 14:12:22 BST

    Rujano has been dropped already.

  62. 14:12:52 BST

    But up ahead, his teammate, Jose Serpa leads the break.

  63. 14:15:20 BST

    Just been informed that 10,000 people are currently following live on CN. Hello and thanks for supporting the site.

  64. 14:16:02 BST

    But back in the race Euskaltel have attacked with two riders.

  65. 14:16:45 BST

    Nieve has been launched up the road. There are still 62 km to race, another 3,4 km to top of this climb. That's a brave move to go so early.

  66. 14:17:12 BST

    Up ahead Rabottini is leading the break but his head and shoulders are rocking all over the place.

  67. 14:18:13 BST

    Nieve won a stage in the race last year into Gardeccia-Val di Fassa and he's around 4 minutes down on GC this year.

  68. 14:19:01 BST

    The Spaniard cuts the gap to 1:16 to the break so he could catch them before the top of the Duran.

  69. 14:20:11 BST

    Gadret is back with the team car, making an alteration to his jersey.

  70. 14:20:30 BST

    The break are 3km from the top of the climb.

  71. 14:20:45 BST

    Nieve has 30 seconds on the bunch

  72. 14:22:21 BST

    Liquigas have pulled the gap to the break to 1:31 but Nieve has nearly a minute on the bunch. Euskaltel are opening the race up.

  73. 14:26:45 BST

    Liquigas will have to take note of Nieve's and they're starting to claw back time on the Spaniard.

  74. 14:28:18 BST

    Rabottini comes to the front of the break again as he's looking for more KOM points while the bunch are strung out behind.

  75. 14:30:03 BST

    The Farnese rider leads over the top of the climb. Nieve crests the top 31 seconds later.

  76. 14:31:03 BST

    Basso is down to two teammates, Hesjedal on the Italian's wheel.

  77. 56km remaining from 187km

    14:32:02 BST

    The bunch head over the Duran, with dry roads ahead of them, with the gap at 1:15 to the break, around 36 seconds to Nieve.

  78. 14:34:14 BST

    Nieve is closing on the break but the bunch are closing on him too.

  79. 14:35:13 BST

    There's been a crash, Larsson has hit the ground on a tight corner on the descent and goes into the barrier. He looks a little sheepish but he's back on and chasing.

  80. 14:35:58 BST

    Liquigas are setting a fast pace on the descent here, which is going to cause havoc on these tight, technical roads. The break has splintered with Seeldrayers ahead and on his own.

  81. 14:36:48 BST

    Nieve looks so relaxed that it's hard to tell if he's at full tilt or sitting up.

  82. 14:38:42 BST

    Seeldrayers continues alone on the descent, taking a few risks on the corners. It looks as though Nieve is now the next rider on the road, the rest of the initial break having sat up. 50km to go.

  83. 14:39:11 BST

    Nope Nieve is just coming to the remnants of the break now.

  84. 14:42:41 BST

    Nieve and the stragglers with him has a minute on the bunch. Rabottini has sat up.

  85. 14:44:53 BST

    The next climb, the Forcella has started with Seeldrayers starting the lower slopes alone and with 20 seconds on the next group. Nieve is doing all of the work as you might expect.

  86. 14:47:31 BST

    The lone Astana leader calls for the team car, gets a bottle and that should be all the time Nieve needs to close the gap.

  87. 48km remaining from 187km

    14:48:55 BST

    And the junction has been made and we now have four leaders. Nieve is riding as if he's on his own and isn't even asking for any help. His group have 1:12 on Liquigas who have taken their foot off the gas a little, allowing them to regroup on the front of the peloton.

  88. 14:59:18 BST

    Rodriguez is now on his own, without any teammates.  The gap to the Nieve group is down to 30 seconds.

  89. 15:00:14 BST

    The maglia rosa group is down to less than 30 riders

  90. 42km remaining from 187km

    15:01:30 BST

    The break is coming back to the peloton.

  91. 15:02:09 BST

    It looks like Vande Velde has lost contact, Serpa has been dropped as well.

  92. 15:02:34 BST

    That means Androni dont have a single rider in the lead group.

  93. 15:03:34 BST

    Basso has two men, Scarponi as well. Hesjedal is on his own, so is Rodriguez.

  94. 15:04:03 BST

    The 25 maglia rosa group is down to just 25 riders.

  95. 40km remaining from 187km

    15:07:35 BST

    Oh dear, Roman Kreuziger is off the back and dropped. That's surely curtains for his podium chances as up ahead Liquigas increase the pace.

     

  96. 15:08:32 BST

    The Astana leader is being paced back through the cars, maybe this is just a blip, but it doesn't look good.

  97. 15:08:52 BST

    Tiralongo has stayed with the leaders.

  98. 15:09:12 BST

    Scarponi is well placed, he's not used Cunego or his other teammate yet.

  99. 15:09:59 BST

    Just under 2 km until the summit of the climb.

  100. 15:10:59 BST

    The maglia rosa looks comfortable and it looks like Roman Kreuziger is cooked.

  101. 15:11:48 BST

    The Astana leader is around 100 meters back. He'll get back on the descent but the Giau will surely be too much for him.

  102. 15:13:00 BST

    Farnese have a man on the front, probably to take up some points for Rabottini.

  103. 36km remaining from 187km

    15:15:49 BST

    Liquigas lead on the descent. They've been on the front for the last 40km but it will count for nothing if Basso can't press home the situation on the final climb.

  104. 15:18:33 BST

    Roman Kreuziger dives down the descent but Liquigas will be giving it everything to make sure he can't get back on.

  105. 15:19:25 BST

    Sylvester Szmyd has been kept under wraps all day but Basso has moved him forward. Can Scarponi count on Cunego to play a similar role?

  106. 15:21:34 BST

    We're nearly onto the lower slopes of the climb. The Passo Giau. 9.9km, with pitches of 14%.

  107. 15:22:37 BST

    If you want to win the Giro you have to make today's stage count and you have pull out a performance. All the favourites are here apart from Kreuziger.

  108. 29km remaining from 187km

    15:23:13 BST

    There are less than 30km to go.

  109. 15:24:17 BST

    Cunego is the rider marking Basso. I'm not sure what he'll be able to do with the really punchy climbers open the race up on the main climb.

  110. 15:24:47 BST

    And we're onto the climb.

  111. 15:24:59 BST

    Liquigas 1,2, 3, at the front.

  112. 15:25:12 BST

    Scarponi and Basso together.

  113. 15:25:28 BST

    Hesjedal is there too along with Rodriguez.

  114. 15:25:44 BST

    Kreuziger is still on the descent.

  115. 15:26:16 BST

    Sylvester Szmyd has a problem with his bike and has to stop.

  116. 15:26:54 BST

    That's a blow for Basso but Scarponi has to keep his cool, Rodriguez too.

  117. 15:27:48 BST

    So Basso just has one man on the front of the bunch. Will that force him to change tactics?

  118. 15:28:13 BST

    Moreno from Katusha is dropped.

  119. 15:28:53 BST

    Scarponi is right on Basso's wheel. They're all looking at each other as they twist around another hairpin.

  120. 15:29:18 BST

    It's so tense. It's the first real mountain stage and they all know how important it is.

  121. 15:29:46 BST

    We're on the lower slopes and more and more riders are being dropped. There goes De Gendt.

  122. 15:29:58 BST

    Cunego looks weak and is slipping back.

  123. 15:30:18 BST

    Ryder H on Scarponi's wheel. He'll like the steady pace..

  124. 15:30:37 BST

    And Gadret blows, Tiralongo too. They're all over the road.

  125. 15:30:57 BST

    And now Basso is on his own and leading the group.

  126. 15:31:11 BST

    We;re down to less than 9 riders though.

  127. 15:31:28 BST

    We've still 7km to go until the top of the climb.

  128. 15:31:59 BST

    No one will help Basso but his pace seems good enough to keep them all in check for now. Caruso was Basso's last man.

  129. 15:32:12 BST

    Henao is dropped now.

  130. 15:33:16 BST

    It look s like 6 riders in the Basso group. Basso, Scarponi, Ryder, Pozzovivo, Uran. Rodriguez

  131. 15:33:29 BST

    Cunego has been dropped too.

  132. 15:33:54 BST

    Basso looks around he wants some help from the others but no one will help him.

  133. 15:34:13 BST

    Basso increases the pace again. He's doing a good job at the moment.

  134. 15:34:54 BST

    Scarponi look s back to see what damage has been done but Basso just keeps pushing away on the pedals.

  135. 15:35:34 BST

    The Garmin rider looks over to the maglia rosa to see how the Katusha rider is doing.

  136. 15:36:03 BST

    Around another hair pin and Basso continues to control the pace.

  137. 15:36:28 BST

    They all look able to keep up with the Liquigas leader though.

  138. 15:36:48 BST

    Will someone attack?

  139. 15:37:14 BST

    And Hesjedal has attacked. 23 to go and the Canadian has gone.

  140. 15:37:25 BST

    He's brought back  by Basso.

  141. 15:37:46 BST

    Basso gives Scarponi a good old fashioned stare.

  142. 15:38:08 BST

    Basso again moves to the front of the group to restore some kind of order.

  143. 15:39:02 BST

    Scarponi looks to be suffering but he's glued to Basso's rear wheel. Rodriguez is getting a free ride at the moment.

  144. 15:39:38 BST

    Basso again ups the pace but it's not enough to create any gaps. Rodriguez looks very good at the moment.

  145. 15:40:06 BST

    And Pozzovivo is back with his team car.

  146. 15:40:57 BST

    And Uran takes up the pace with a little dig. Basso drifts back.

  147. 15:41:53 BST

    Hesjedal now moves to the front of the group.

  148. 15:42:41 BST

    They're all watching each other again and Basso moves to the other side and increases the pace. I think that's because Nieve is coming back.

  149. 15:43:46 BST

    Nieve is closing very quickly. He's about 20 meters back.

  150. 15:44:39 BST

    That's a great ride from Nieve to come back into contention. Gadret is also closing on the leaders too.

  151. 15:45:29 BST

    Basso grits his teeth and ups the pace and the gap to Nieve increases again. Basso needs to think about pink not about Nieve.

  152. 21km remaining from 187km

    15:47:31 BST

    Rodriguez is at the back of the group and keeping out of trouble. He'll be happy enough with the stage so far, and might even attack as we close in on the top of the climb.

  153. 15:48:42 BST

    Inside the last 3km of the climb and Basso ups the pace, getting out of the saddle for the first time.

  154. 15:51:15 BST

    20km to go. So less than 3km to go until the top of the climb. Nieve is closing again.

  155. 15:53:31 BST

    Scarponi takes up the pace setting as we move closer to the top of the Passo Giau.

  156. 15:56:19 BST

    No one has been able to attack. We've had one dig from Hesjedal , one from Uran and a lot of pace setting from Basso. They're all on the rivet.

  157. 15:56:54 BST

    And Scarponi is struggling now. Pozzovivio moves up and increases the pace with 500 to go.

  158. 15:57:37 BST

    Scarponi is losing some ground.

  159. 15:57:52 BST

    The Colnago climber is dropping the defending champion.

  160. 15:58:12 BST

    Scarponi is losing more ground, it's maybe 40 meters.

  161. 15:58:24 BST

    Uran has also been dropped.

  162. 15:59:05 BST

    So Basso, Pozzovivo, Rodriguez and Basso crest the top together. Scarponi will have to chase hard now.

  163. 15:59:27 BST

    He should get back on but mentally that will damage the Lampre leader.

  164. 15:59:41 BST

    Meanwhile Nieve and Gadret are riding together.

  165. 16:01:04 BST

    Scarponi can see the cars ahead of him so he's closing in on the leaders.

  166. 16:01:35 BST

    Hesjedal is doing the work on the descent and he'll want to make this as hard as possible for Scarponi to come back.

  167. 16:03:40 BST

    Scarponi is coming back to Uran but up ahead there's a real battle because Hesjedal is using all his skills to drop the others. Rodriguez comes around Basso.

  168. 16:05:02 BST

    Hesjedal and Rodriguez are are dropping Basso.

  169. 10km remaining from 187km

    16:05:51 BST

    Scarponi isn't making much of an impression on the leaders yet. He's 20 seconds back and it looks like he's not chasing. He's got cramp!

  170. 16:06:11 BST

    Meanwhile the four leaders have re-formed.

  171. 16:07:25 BST

    And Basso takes over the pace setting on the descent.

  172. 16:07:42 BST

    Scarponi is at 29 seconds now.

  173. 16:08:56 BST

    8km to go and there's the slightly uphill finish too. Rodriguez surely the favourite for the stage.

  174. 16:09:58 BST

    A slight uphill section and it looks like Uran is coming back so we could have 5 riders in the lead group now.

  175. 7km remaining from 187km

    16:10:57 BST

    7km to go.

  176. 16:12:55 BST

    Scarponi coming back? The gap is 19 seconds.

  177. 16:13:32 BST

    13 seconds now.

  178. 3km remaining from 187km

    16:14:13 BST

    Scarponi cuts another second off the gap so it's down to 12.

  179. 16:15:24 BST

    7 seconds and that's a great recovery from the Lampre rider. He looked down for a few km ago.

  180. 2km remaining from 187km

    16:16:25 BST

    And Scarponi is back, so we're up to 6 riders again.

  181. 16:16:45 BST

    And Basso attacks, Hesjedal chases.

  182. 16:17:09 BST

    1km to go

  183. 16:17:22 BST

    Basso leads

  184. 16:18:01 BST

    It's going to be a straight out sprint.

  185. 16:18:21 BST

    Rodriguez at the very back of the group.

  186. 16:18:35 BST

    Basso still leads with 500 to go.

  187. 16:18:45 BST

    Scarponi goes

  188. 16:19:02 BST

    Basso comes over the top.

  189. 16:19:37 BST

    But Rodriguez come around him and takes the win. Basso has to settle for second, Hesjedal 3rd.

  190. 16:20:46 BST

    The chase group containing De Gendt and Cunego comes over the line 1:21 back.

  191. 16:21:57 BST

    Tiralongo is inside the final 1km. His GC aspirations are probably over now. There's still no sign of Roman Kreuziger.

  192. 16:22:33 BST

    It looks like Uran took 4th. Scarponi 5th.

  193. 16:23:25 BST

    Scarponi lead out but Rodriguez was so good he could afford to start right at the back and make sure he had not complications in the sprint.

  194. 16:28:16 BST

    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 5:24:41
    2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:00
    3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:00
    4 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:00
    5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:00:00
    6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:00:02
    7 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:22
    8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:01:22
    9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:22
    10 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:22

    General classification after stage 17
    1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 74:46:46
    2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:30
    3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:22
    4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:36
    5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:56
    6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:04
    7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:19
    8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:13

  195. 16:31:20 BST

    In the end, after an exciting stage, we've not seen who will win the Giro but we've certainly seen who will lose it. The big losers of the day, Androni and Astana, who saw both their main men lose contact. Gadret another man who has lost more time but the maglia rosa will be the happiest rider, having taken the stage and defended his lead overall in the race.

  196. 16:34:38 BST

    Thanks for joining us today. You can find results, images and a report, right here.