1 Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 5:50:59
2 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:31
3 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:10
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team 0:01:13
5 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:55
6 Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:49
7 Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team 0:03:29
8 Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team
9 Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) NTT Pro Cycling 0:03:30
10 Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis 0:04:32
1 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 71:41:18
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:17
3 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:02:58
4 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:59
5 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:03:12
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:20
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:31
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:03:52
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:11
10 Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC Team 0:04:26
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?
🗣️ @W1lcokelderman "The Maglia Rosa is close and there are only a few stages left to the end of the #Giro"."La Maglia Rosa è vicina e mancano poche tappe alla fine del #Giro" pic.twitter.com/DeKgR6uloBOctober 21, 2020
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.
"Yeah, it’s still open. We have two guys in GC, 6 and 9, me and Patrick, and yeah, we wanted to be today good, and depends on still make some good position in GC.
"Today is very important stage for the GC. I hope so I feel good because I have a little bit problem with the stomach, but still its fine and we try to today do it the best race, especially today is really hard climbs, like three really hard, this first and second is really hard climb already, long one, then after 6 hours, 5092, should be hard racing"
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.
💙The Maglia Azzurra competition enters a new phase. @GIOVANNIVISCON9 leads @Rguerreiro94 by 30 points. However, with 129 points available today, 148 tomorrow, and 138 on Saturday, the Maglia Azzurra remains wide open.#Giro pic.twitter.com/tnO0N3MS6hOctober 21, 2020
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 climb also hosted summit finishes at the 2011 Giro del Trentino (won by Romain Kreuziger) and the 2013 Tour de Pologne (won by Diego Ulissi).
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.
The third-category climb of Passo Durone also features as the penultimate climb of the day.
203km to go
Km 0⃣#Giro pic.twitter.com/NVodAtJWijOctober 21, 2020
Stage 15 winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) at the start:
"We’ll try for as much as we can. I don’t think one has to cancel out the other or, in the end, you try to get to the line as quickly as possible, and whatever happens, happens so, yeah, it’s going to be another big day. The Giro is very much open.
"I mean, tomorrow we go up to very high altitude on the Stelvio, and super long climbs today and tomorrow. It’s different from what we’ve had in the last days. So it’s far from done, we’ve seen in almost every Grand Tour big changes in the final couple of stages in the last few years so I’m sure this one will be the same."
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.
Given the uncertainty over the race passing the high altitude climbs of Stelvio (2,746m), Agnello (2,733m) and Izoard (2,360m) in the next three days, today could end up even more key than it already is.
The question 'Will the Giro climb the Stelvio, the Agnello and Izoard?' is covered here, in our Five questions for the final week of the Giro d'Italia feature.
190km to go
Back to today's stage, though, and the peloton is still together at the moment.
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
They're brought back though, and the peloton is back together despite attacks flying at the front.
15 kilometres to go until the Forcella Valbona climb.
170km to go
Five men have jumped off the front.
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
The gruppetto has formed as a group of around 20 are on the move up front. Around 30 riders remain in the peloton.
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
Domenico Pozzovivo has his three best climbing lieutenants in the breakaway.
Geoghegan Hart has Dennis, Bilbao has Pernsteiner, Fuglsang has Rodríguez.
Almeida, Nibali and Kelderman have nobody up front.
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
Deceuninck-QuickStep lead the peloton, 4:35 down on the break.
Hermann Pernsteiner is the best-placed man on the GC out front. He's in 15th overall, 9:53 down.
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
40 points for Guerreiro over the top of the Forcella Valbona. He's the new KOM leader after leading De Gendt, Zakarin and Dennis across the summit.
158 points for Guerreiro, 148 for Visconti. Filippo Ganna is third on just 48 points.
123km to go
The breakaway's advantage is 4:50.
A look at today's breakaway.
113km to go
The break is down in the valley now, with Monte Bondone the next challenge on the road. They're around eight kilometres from the start of the climb.
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
The break start Monte Bondone, now six minutes up on the peloton.
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 break passes the 100 kilometres to go banner. They're around a quarter of the way up the Bondone.
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 situation on the Bondone. There is little going on at the moment, to be frank.
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 break are four kilometres from the top of the climb. The gap is 6:55.
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
Cataldo is 25 seconds off the front. The peloton lies a further 6:50 down on the break.
Pernsteiner is almost on the virtual podium at the moment.
#Giro Guerreiro prende anche i 40 punti del Monte BondoneGuerreiro takes 40 points also on Monte Bondone#ForZabù pic.twitter.com/46iDhC5rTvOctober 21, 2020
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.
That's probably more interesting than the events of the Monte Bondone today.
64km to go
Cataldo is almost in the valley now. He's 45 seconds up on the break.
57km to go
Rohan Dennis has attacked the break now.
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.
Views like these 🤩 @giroditalia #Giro 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/zQ82tYyYT0October 21, 2020
45km to go
Pernsteiner and De Gendt have made it across to the leaders.
Davide Villella is trying to get across now.
He's 30 seconds down while the peloton are 7:40 back.
41km to go
Villella is closing in on the leaders. 20-second gap now.
Villella has made it across now.
So that's three Movistar men in the lead group, two from Lotto and NTT, and one each from CCC, Ineos and Bahrain.
Eight minutes between break and peloton now. Pernsteiner is virtual third overall.
38km to go
De Gendt leads the break over the top of the Passo Durone.
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.
Bouchard, Rodríguez, De la Parte, Hansen, Frankiny are there.
Meintjes, Guerreiro and Sepúlveda are further back.
26km to go
There's a rise now to the base of the final climb of Madonna di Campiglio.
Bouchard, Rodríguez, De la Parte, Hansen, Frankiny have joined the leaders. 15 men up front.
22km to go
6:40 for the break now. Deceuninck-QuickStep still lead the peloton.
A shot of the peloton from a little earlier.
De Gendt continues to push on at the front of the group.
17km to go
Five kilometres to the start of Madonna di Campiglio. Maybe someone will do something there...
14km to go
The final climb. The peloton are 5:50 behind the break.
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
Ineos and Sunweb show up at the front of the peloton. Deceuninck-QuickStep are still there with most of their team.
Villella also looks to be in trouble here. This isn't the outcome Movistar were hoping for...
9.5km to go
De Gendt makes a move. Dennis and O'Connor get on his wheel as the rest chasee.
Sunweb and now Trek-Segafredo take on the front of the peloton.
8.5km to go
Rodríguez and Vanhoucke drop from the break as O'Connor attacks.
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.
Dennis has ben dropped by the chasers.
5.5km to go
Jai Hindley hits the front ahead of Keldermand, Almeida and Geoghegan Hart. Only around 10 men left in the 'peloton' now. Majka, Konrad, Nibali, Fuglsang, Bilbao, Pozzovivo also in there.
Up front, De Gendt has dropped Zakarin as Pernsteiner jumps away in front.
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...
O'Connor is 22 seconds up on Pernsteiner.
3.5km to go
Pernsteiner isn't closing the gap.
Five minutes back to the GC group.
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
O'Connor reaches the final kilometre with a 30-second advantage.
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.
🇮🇹 #GiroWHAT. A. WIN!@ben_oconnor95 wins stage 17 of the @giroditalia! This means EVERYTHING to our team. 👊#BicyclesChangeLives pic.twitter.com/71jModIVEKOctober 21, 2020
The stage highlights are in already!
⚡️The moment the race was won.⚡️Il momento in cui si è decisa la corsa🚴♂️Featuring @ben_oconnor95 - @NTTProCycling pic.twitter.com/QHqxXdTsgROctober 21, 2020
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.
This is his fourth Grand Tour participation after racing the Giro and Vuelta last year, and if he didn't already have a new contract somewhere (with NTT likely to fold at the end of 2020) he'll be sure to get one now.
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.
The original route was planned to head into France, but the mayor of Briançon's has said that he won't allow the race through due to COVID-19 restrictions, thus canning the original plans.
More to come...
Ben O'Connor celebrates his win on the podium.
🎙️ @ben_oconnor95 - @NTTProCycling "Yesterday it was so close and to pull of today in the mountains I dreamed of, it means a lot.""Ieri ci sono andato vicino e l'ho portata a casa oggi nelle montage che ho sempre sognato. Significa molto."Powered by @continentaltire #Giro pic.twitter.com/pbeUb2HAX9October 21, 2020
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.
New #Giro stage 20 takes on Sestriere from the east (as it did in 2015, 2011 after Finestre) and then twice from the harder side on the west (as originally planned) in place of Agnello, Izoard and Montgenèvre... pic.twitter.com/tZMxeP3zdOOctober 21, 2020
Portuguese rider carries 17-second lead into Giro d’Italia’s hardest stage
Watch Ben O'Connor win atop Madonna di Campiglio
'We are not done yet' says Dutchman
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