The steep slopes of the brand-new Sega di Ala welcomed the peloton on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia as the general classification contenders took up arms once again in southern Trentino, east of Lake Garda.
After maglia rosa Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) proved the master of the Passo Giau, the Colombian showed his first signs of weakness all Giro after getting into trouble three kilometres from the top of the climb.
He had followed Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) on the attack a kilometre earlier but couldn't hold Yates' pace as the Briton pushed on to take third on the stage 30 seconds behind breakaway survivor Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and 17 behind fellow GC attacker João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious), who had been dropped earlier, soon made it across to Bernal and his teammate Dani Martínez, but the gap had already been established. In the end, Bernal trailed in 53 seconds (plus four bonus seconds) behind Yates, while Caruso finished just ahead to limit his loss to a total of 54 seconds.
The result sees Yates move up into third place overall, 3:23 behind Bernal and 1:02 behind Caruso. He leapfrogs Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), who were among the big losers of the day, timewise.
As was the case on the Giau, Vlasov, once again, shed a chunk of time. The Russian lost contact with the Ineos-led GC group nine kilometres from the finish and faced a lonely battle to the finish when teammate Vadim Pronskiy gave all he could for 1.5 kilometres of the climb. He eventually crossed the line 3:07 down on Martin to lose a total of 2:41 to Yates, and now lies in fourth, 6:03 down.
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was next to drop 300 metres later. The Italian had been caught in a crash descending the Passo di San Valentino and spent valuable energy re-catching the peloton. He held the wheel of Vlasov for a while before dropping completely eight kilometres out, eventually finishing 7:58 down and tumbling to 10th.
With 5.5 kilometres from the top, the pace-making of the Ineos pair Jonathan Castroviejo and Martínez saw off third-placed Carthy, seventh-placed Romain Bardet (Team DSM), and ninth-placed Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma), leaving a handful of men chasing Martin.
Foss was the first of the dropped trio to finish, accompanied by teammate George Bennett. The Norwegian finished 2:21 down to shed 1:51 to Yates, but remained ninth overall. Bardet crossed the line 32 seconds later but has moved up to sixth at 6:31.
Another minute passed before Carthy finished, the Briton 3:52 down on the stage and 3:22 behind Yates. He swaps places with Yates, dropping to fifth at 6:09 behind Bernal.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result||Time lost (-) /gained|
|1||Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||71:32:05||Row 0 - Cell 3|
|2||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious||0:02:21||0:00:03|
|3||Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange||0:03:23||0:00:57|
|4||Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech||0:06:03||-0:01:45|
|5||Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo||0:06:09||-0:02:29|
|6||Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM||0:06:31||-0:01:29|
|7||Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||0:07:17||0:00:00|
|8||João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:08:45||0:01:16|
|9||Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma||0:09:18||-0:00:58|
|10||Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo||0:11:06||-0:06:35|
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