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Giro d'Italia stage 17 – Live coverage

2020 Giro d'Italia stage 17

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

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Giro d'Italia: Tratnik wins stage 16

Preview: Madonna di Campiglio marks beginning of Giro d'Italia endgame

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia.

It's a big stage today with three first-category climbs on the menu, including a summit finish at Madonna di Campiglio.

After the rest day and Tuesday's transitional stage in Friuli, it's into the Brenta Dolomites for today and then the Dolomites on Thursday for two summit finishes as the Giro reaches its endgame.

Sunweb's Wilco Kelderman is only 17 seconds away from pink. Will he take it off João Almeida today?

Bora-Hansgrohe's Rafał Majka is one of five riders within a minute of Jai Hindley's third place. The Pole lies 3:20 down on Almeida. Here's what he had to say at sign-in today.

The battle for the blue jersey, which was on yesterday between Giovanni Visconti and Ruben Guerreiro, will resume today, with plenty of points on offer.

Check out our stage 16 report here. Almeida added two seconds to his lead with a late attack as Jan Tratnik (Bahrain McLaren) won from the break.

Madonna di Campiglio was last part of the Giro d'Italia in 2015 when Mikel Landa won, but of course it's more famous for Marco Pantani's victory in 1999 where he won but was forced out of the race due to a high haematocrit.

The stage also features Forcella Valbona (21.4km at 6.7 per cent) and Monte Bondone (20.5km at 6.6 per cent). The latter is famed for its inclusion at the 1956 race, where Charly Gaul won by eight minutes in a snowstorm to take the race lead.

203km to go

Stage 15 winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) at the start:

We could see big attacks going relatively early today (the top of Bondone is 85.5km from the finish) given riders like Geoghegan Hart (+2:58), Rafał Majka (+3:20), Vincenzo Nibali (+3:31), Domenico Pozzovivo (+3:52) and Jakob Fuglsang (+5:09) have a lot of time to make up if they want to win the Giro or take a podium spot.

190km to go

There's 40 kilometres of flat roads until the first climb of the day starts.

Tanel Kangert (EF Pro Cycling) and Daniel Navarro (Israel Start-Up Nation) attack.

179km to go

15 kilometres to go until the Forcella Valbona climb.

170km to go

Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), Jonathan Caicedo (EF) and the Movistar duo of Davide Villella and Dario Cataldo are 30 seconds up on the peloton.

The five men are caught as they start the first climb of the day.

The race has already exploded on the lower slopes of the day's first climb.

160km to go

Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) leads the way.

Sunweb and Ineos are to the fore in the peloton.

1:20 between peloton and the breakaway at the moment.

The break: Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Óscar Rodríguez (Astana), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren), Victor de la Parte, Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis), Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling), Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ), Thomas De Gendt, Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Héctor Carretero, Dario Cataldo, Eduardo Sepúlveda (Movistar), Louis Meintjes, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Ben O'Connor (NTT Pro Cycling), Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

150km to go

The peloton has grown in size now as they sit up and let the break go. 3:50 is the gap.

RAI commentators have suggested that the Agnello will not be passable due to bad weather on Saturday. That would mean the Izoard is likely gone too, given that the Agnello is the only road to reach Izoard from the south. The suggestion is that a solution would be for the riders to head north instead and do a lap of Sestriere, riding the climb twice...

Forecasts ahead of tomorrow's ascent of Stelvio are more favourable, however.

145km to go

Meanwhile a reminder that maglia azzurra Giovanni Visconti didn't make the break today. RIval Ruben Guerreiro (30 points down) did, though...

Six riders on the front for Almeida. 4:55 is the gap.

140km to go

158 points for Guerreiro, 148 for Visconti. Filippo Ganna is third on just 48 points.

123km to go

A look at today's breakaway.

113km to go

Here's a look at Monte Bondone. It's 20.2km long at an average of 6.8 per cent.

The peloton head through the  feed zone in the valley and the gap goes up to 5:25.

105km to go

Deceuninck-QuickStep return to the front of the peloton after Almeida's nature break.

The Belgian team are in control and there's no hint of any other team taking it up to put pressure on Almeida.

Almeida has six riders in front of him at the head of the peloton. 6:10 to the break.

100km to go

The mayor of Briançon (featured on stage 20 after the Izoard) has said that the Giro will not pass through the city due to COVID-19 health restrictions prohibiting gatherings of more than six people. It's looking more and more certain that stage 20 will be heavily altered.

All the GC contenders bar Kelderman are around three minutes down on Almeida or more. It'll be tough to take that kind of time back today with nobody taking it up on Bondone, and with stage 20 looking certain to be heavily neutered it looks as though the likes of Nibali, Geoghgan Hart, Majka and Pozzovivo will be focussed on tomorrow.

95km to go

No change in the break; all riders are still together.

Six men including Keisse, Ballerini, Knox and Masnada work on the front for Almeida. The fact that the Belgian is still up there tells you how urgent the pace is.

90km to go

The arm warmers are getting rolled up in the break as the riders near the top.

Another 40 points for Guerreiro over the top. He leads the mountain classification by 50 points now.

A nice shot of the peloton from earlier on.

Dario Cataldo has clipped off the front of the break on the descent.

73km to go

The on-screen graphic gives us some informatino about the breakaway, telling us that AG2R's Geoffrey Bouchard's favourite music is Jacques Brel and Snoop Dogg.

64km to go

57km to go

Deceuninck-QuickStep still have five men around Almeida in the valley. Sunweb behind them. 6:20 to the Cataldo.

We're also running live coverage from the Vuelta a España today.

Zakarin, Carretero, O'Connor, Vanhoucke and Ghebreigzabhier have made it across to Cataldo. That's a strong lead group, who are now reportedly 30 seconds up on the rest of the break.

The break rides through the intermediate sprint with no competition for the points.

25 seconds between the two break groups as the leaders hit Passo Durone (10.4km at 6 per cent.

45km to go

Davide Villella is trying to get across now.

He's 30 seconds down while the peloton are 7:40 back.

41km to go

Villella has made it across now. 

Eight minutes between break and peloton now. Pernsteiner is virtual third overall.

38km to go

Deceuninck-QuickStep continue to lead the peloton down the descent. Diego Ulissi is brought back from the break.

The chase group behind the leaders are closing in now. 22 seconds down.

26km to go

Bouchard, Rodríguez, De la Parte, Hansen, Frankiny have joined the leaders. 15 men up front.

22km to go

A shot of the peloton from a little earlier.

De Gendt continues to push on at the front of the group.

17km to go

14km to go

The break start Madonna di Campiglio with De la Parte pushing the pace.

Carretero drops from the break. That's surprisingly early.

Cataldo drops soon after. Not great for Movistar...

Bouchard, De la Parte and Hansen are also dropped.

10.5km to go

Villella also looks to be in trouble here. This isn't the outcome Movistar were hoping for...

9.5km to go

Sunweb and now Trek-Segafredo take on the front of the peloton.

8.5km to go

Nobody is able to immediately respond and a gap opens up.

Dennis, De Gendt, Zakarin and Pernsteiner chase the NTT man.

The peloton, meanwhile, pass the 10-kilometre mark with Deceuninck-QuickStep up front.

Dennis loses ground to Zakarin, Pernsteiner and De Gendt.

O'Connor is 25 seconds up. Five minutes back to the Sunweb-led peloton.

5.5km to go

Masnada on the front for Almeida now. Right after Hindley put in a dig and Kelderman appeared to chase him down. What are they doing...

3.5km to go

Zakarin makes it back to De Gendt, the third group on the road.

Masnada, Almeida, Nibali, Geoghegan Hart, Kelderman, Hindley, Pozzovivo, Fuglsang, Konrad, Majka, Bilbao in the GC group.

Konrad, Majka, Pozzovivo and Bilbao are at the rear of that group.

1km to go

He's certain to take the win here after taking second behind Tratnik yesterday. It's his first WorldTour win!

Ben O'Connor (NTT Pro Cycling) wins on Madonna di Campiglio!

Pernsteiner is second at 31 seconds.

De Gendt easily outsprints Zakarin for third at 1:11.

Final two kilometres for the GC group. Nothing has happened.. Shocker.

The GC men sprint to the line. Majka leads the way ahead of Geoghegan Hart.

Geoghegan Hart takes it ahead of Hindley. No gaps in the group.

Outside of the O'Connor household and among his NTT teammates, that stage will definitely not go down in history as one to remember.

The stage highlights are in already!

O'Connor crashed out of his debut Giro back in 2018, of course. He was in the battle for a top 10 placing and riding well when he crashed on the descent off Sestriere before falling and breaking his collarbone.

A good ride for his teammate Gebreigzabhier, too. The Eritrean finished ninth on the stage and is a very solid climbing domestique.

"Yesterday it wasn't the plan to be in the breakaway, but when there's 30 guys you have to be there," O'Connor said. "Today the plan was to be in the break and if a team decides to come and chase us, we're up front for Domenico and we can play our cards. It's always a win-win situation. For the three of us to be up there it really helped. We could share the load a little bit. In the end it was a perfect day."

Giro d'Italia organiser Mauro Vegni has reportedly stated that stage 20 will see riders take on three ascents of climb to Sestriere rather than the Agnello-Izoard-Montgenèvre.

Ben O'Connor celebrates his win on the podium.

We'll have more news coming through the evening but do check out our Vuelta live coverage as the riders head down the descent of stage 2 to the finish in Lekunberri.

Mauro Vegni has confirmed that the route of stage 20 will change. He said that the stage will tackle Sestriere three times – once from the east and twice from the west.

Here's a look at the new route and the two sides of Sestriere the riders will tackle.