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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 17

Welcome to live coverage of the Giro d'Italia stage 17 from Tirano  to Lugano.

We hope that you've recovered from yesterday's epic stage to Aprica. Today should be a much easier and simpler day for the riders, but we all know that's unlikely to happen.

The sun is glistening off the Giro trophy this morning as the riders sign on.

Alberto Contador posing with a few fans before he steps up onto the sign-on stage. Contador's heart must have been in his mouth when he was dropped yesterday but he fought back and eventually extended his overall lead. "It was a complicated day," he said after the stage. Read his full reaction here.

Mikel Landa has also signed on and is making his way to the start line. Landa became the first rider to win two stages at this year's Giro and moved ahead of his team leader Fabio Aru in the overall classification, and there are rumours now that Team Sky are interested in him. Read what the Spaniard had to say here.

There were a lot of changes in the general classification after yesterday's stage. Here is how the top 10 look at the moment.

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 65:04:59
2 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:04:02
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:52
4 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:05:48
5 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:08:27
6 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:09:21
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:09:52
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:11:40
9 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:12:48
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:12:49

Less than 10 minutes to the neutral start in Tirano. It's a short day at just 134km and there's only got one third category climb for the riders. Here is today's profile.

 

.@albertocontador and @s_kruijswijk #giro http://t.co/LQG2jMJJt0

@giroditalia Wed, 27th May 2015 12:43:42

Of course, we'd love to hear your thoughts on yesterday's stage and your predictions for today. Tweet us at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS and we'll past your tweets here.

The last of the riders are maxing their way to the start line and they're underway.

On paper, today should be an opportunity for the sprinters but with so many sprinters heading home late last week there may not be enough manpower to bring back an escape. So we can expect an active start today.

As we wait for the official start to be given, why not remind yourself of all the action from yesterday's stage with our highlights video.

Ready? Go! Pronti? Via! #giro http://t.co/KyNGnBhRaD

@giroditalia Wed, 27th May 2015 12:59:01

132km remaining from 134km

After two kilometres we've already had attacks from Marco Bandiera, Iljo Keisse and Giacomo Berlato. They have 30 seconds on the bunch.

Fabio Felline got to be favourite today. Guess the start will be too fast and hard for Nizzolo and the other sprinters. @Cyclingnewsfeed

@KrStokdahl Wed, 27th May 2015 12:53:33

This year's Giro d'italia has seen a lot of crashes involving some of the main contenders. Earlier this week BMC manager Jim Ochowicz said that scrutinizing the quality of the team's invited to WorldTour races (ie the Pro Continental teams) would be needed to reduce the number of crashes.

 

Androni Giocattoli boss Gianni Savio was emphatic in his put down of Ochowicz's idea, saying "He's wasted an opportunity to shut his mouth." Read what Savio and Colombia manager Claudio Corti thought of the idea.

The riders are currently on a small descent, but they will be climbing soon enough. The first climb of the Teglio comes after 8 kilometres.

The riders are climbing the one and only ascent of the day. The three leaders now have 2:10 on the peloton with Luca Chirico of Bardiani CSF trying to bridge across at 1:20 back.

There will be plenty of riders happy that there is so little climbing today after yesterday's brutal stage. Some 16 riders were given penalties for holding onto cars yesterday, including Sky's Leopold Konig and Jurgen Van Den Broeck.

Bandiera, Berlato, Keisse in the breakaway. #giro http://t.co/0DGvzPhtIO

@giroditalia Wed, 27th May 2015 13:20:08

Maciej Paterski is now trying to bridge the gap to the leaders with Davide Villella.

The three leaders currently have 2:03 on the peloton and 1:50 on the chasers as they ride down the descent of the Teglio.

One man that will be happy for today's easier stage is Astana's Fabio Aru. The Italian slipped down to third yesterday after he cracked on the Mortirolo. He was understandably disappointed but says it could have been a whole lot worse.

Luka Mezgec, who won last year's final stage, is one of the few sprinters still at the Giro. Speaking to Spanish television before the stage, he denied that today would be a chance for the fast men.

 

"We'll see, today is also a good day for the break, let's see if teams control it. Milan next sprint"

Contador went deep yesterday. I wonder if we'll look back and say that it was the day he won the Giro and lost the Tour?

@mrendell Wed, 27th May 2015 13:43:03

104km remaining from 134km

After 30 kilometres of racing, the leaders have three minutes on the peloton. What do you think? Will they make it? Let us know your predictions on twitter and we'll post them here. Tweet us at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS

Alberto Contador signing on this morning. I bed he was relieved to still have hold of that pink jersey after getting dropped midway through yesterday's stage.

 

94km remaining from 134km

Beautiful riding conditions for the riders today with it expected to be 23 degrees at the finish in Lugano. Giant-Alpecin currently lead the peloton with the gap hovering around 2:50 for now.

@SadhbhOS Il-j-o! Hes got the strength to do this today. Your hat says he will. #bigmouthcrappundit

@CefnforBrighidK Wed, 27th May 2015 13:53:11

It was a commanding performance from Contador yesterday after suffering a puncture. Take a closer look at the bike he did it on, in this exclusive video.

89km remaining from 134km

The peloton are keeping this break fairly close for now and the gap holds at 2:30.

@cyclingnewsfeed Doesn't look a sprint stage to me (they're too tired surely?). Might be one for Chavenel but more likely Gilbert.

@PedalPlodder Wed, 27th May 2015 13:58:23

80km remaining from 134km

Lampre-Merida doing the work on the front at the moment. They've had a great Giro d'Italia with three stages wins. Can Sacha Modolo give them a fourth today?

None of the team's in the break today have taken a stage win at this year's Giro d'Italia. Nippo Vini Fantini and Androni Giocattoli have been very active throughout the Giro but it is yet to come off for the Italian teams.

 

Etixx-QuickStep came into the Giro with overall ambitions with Rigoberto Urán but the Colombian has lost a lot of time in the first two weeks and this is the second time this week we've seen the Belgian outfit in the break. David de la Cruz was in yesterday's escape group.

None of the teams in the break today have taken a stage win at this year's Giro d'Italia. Nippo Vini Fantini and Androni Giocattoli have been very active throughout the Giro but it is yet to come off for the Italian teams.

 

Etixx-QuickStep came into the Giro with overall ambitions with Rigoberto Urán but the Colombian has lost a lot of time in the first two weeks and this is the second time this week we've seen the Belgian outfit in the break. David de la Cruz was in yesterday's escape group.

The peloton is strung out in one long line as they bring the gap to the escapees down a little bit further. With 74km to go the gap is at 2:16 as we close in on the first intermediate sprint.

The riders have gone through the intermediate sprint. There is no contest for the points and Keisse leads the group over the line. It will be very different when the peloton goes over in a couple of minute's time.

Bernard Eisel leads out Elia Viviani at the intermediate sprint. The red jersey wearer beats Giacomo Nizzolo through to extend his lead in that classification. Nizzolo was one of the riders docked points yesterday for hanging onto cars.

@SadhbhOS I think that 3 in breakaway have no chance. But I'm not sure we will see winning a sprinter... #Giro2015

@PierluigiVito Wed, 27th May 2015 14:17:05

64km remaining from 134km

The gap continues to tick down slowly, it has now dipped down to 1:43 and it looks like we're going to get a sprint finish today but there's still plenty of stage to go and this Giro has proved that anything can happen.

Much has been said about Richie Porte's abandon from the Giro d'Italia earlier this week. This morning his team boss Dave Brailford defended Porte, saying that it's unfair to write him off just yet. Read what Brailford had to say about Porte, Oleg Tinkov and Mikel Landa.

Don't forget that you can follow us at all of the Grand Tours this year with the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker. The Tracker gives you live updates, GPS tracking and full results and standings. You can download the Cyclingnews Tour Tracker in the iTunes App store and Google Play.

Away from the Giro d'Italia briefly, as the riders approach the final 50km, and the Belgium Tour. Matthias Brandle has won the opening prologue ahead of Rohan Dennis.

Giant-Alpecin have amassed on the front of the peloton with Tinkoff-Saxo right behind them. There are some signs of echlelons forming but nothing too major for now.

The peloton are currently riding alongside the Fiume Adda and they've brought the gap down to just over a minute with 47km to go. At about 8km to go the riders will pass into Switzerland. We hope they've brought their passports.

42km remaining from 134km

Some discussions going on at the front between Cheng and Grmay. The Giant-Alpecin rider looks like he's telling Grmay to slow things down a bit as the gap comes down falls below a minute.

. @IljoKeisse having a chat with the team car in the #Giro break! http://t.co/QFUfn3GuPx

@Etixx_QuickStep Wed, 27th May 2015 15:06:53

39km remaining from 134km

That little slow down from Cheng seems to have worked and the gap has gone back out to 1:16. Trek have now put a rider on the front.

Luke Durbridge spkoe to Cyclingnews ahead of today's stage and he had his eyes on it as perhaps the last chance for him to take a stage win. He didn't make the break but will we see him do something in the closing kilometres? Read what he had to say here.

33km remaining from 134km

The riders are coming up to the second intermediate sprint of the day, which arrives at 25km to go. It's followed immediately by a small climb, perhaps a chance for someone to take a flyer off the front.

#giro http://t.co/oNrIAvoKs5

@giroditalia Wed, 27th May 2015 15:22:22

Alberto Contador obviously feeling the heat, he's got his jersey unzipped about halfway down. Contador has a flat near the finish as does Fabio Aru, will he be spending the evening at home?

27km remaining from 134km

As Berlato leads the breakaway through the intermediate sprint the peloton is just 26 seconds behind. Nizzolo wins the sprint from the bunch, making up the points he lost in the previous intermediate sprint.

Eisel leads the peloton onto this short climb and he nearly comes to grief with a moto that is ironically warning about the sharp turn.

The breakaway riders shake hands, they know that there day is done. Not long before their back into the peloton.

26km remaining from 134km

BMC on the front of the group now as they bring back the escapees. Gruppo compatto with 26km to go

The peloton is once again strung out under the efforts of BMC as Patrick Gretsch goes off the front with Adam Hansen.

25km remaining from 134km

Hansen hand Gretsch are working together and they're bilding a small gap. There is a BMC rider trying to get over to the two.

The BMC rider is Darwin Atapuma and he's bridged the gap.

This is an interesting collection of riders and Hensen has decided to try and go it alone.

Behind Hansen, Gretsch looks unhappy with Atapuma and wants him to do more work on the front.

Incidentally, Gretsch was one of 16 riders to get a fine for holding onto cars in the climbs yesterday.

19km remaining from 134km

Hansen now has 18 seconds on the chasers as Gretsch dropped Atapuma on the descent.

This is Hansen's 11th consecutive Grand Tour as he targets the triple for the fourth year.

18km remaining from 134km

Gretsch and Atapuma have been caught by the Giant-Alpecin led peloton.

16km remaining from 134km

Hansen is still holding a small gap on the bunch but it's going to be tough for him to take this all the way to the finish.

The riders head into a tunnel and then they come out the other side they'll be at the Swiss boarder. Hansen has 17 seconds as they go into the tunnel.

14km remaining from 134km

And Hansen has pulled out time on the peloton he's now got 20 seconds with Giant doing the chasing still.

12km remaining from 134km

After peaking at 20 seconds, the gap is falling very quickly. the Lotto-Soudal rider has just 9 seconds on the bunch.

11km remaining from 134km

The roads have got pretty narrow for the peloton as it twists and turns but they're still pulling back Hansen. He's going just 5 seconds.

Tinkoff-Saxo take to the front of the peloton as we head into Switzerland.

Hansen is back with the group. Will we see someone else trying to make a move with 9km to go?

7km remaining from 134km

Paulinho drops off the back of the peloton. He's done his work for the day.

5km remaining from 134km

Tom Jelte Slagter attacks on this last little climb

Slagter is followed by Gilbert but they don't have a big gap and are caught by the peloton.

2km remaining from 134km

Paolini is the rider that brings them back and he immediately attacks. They are descending right now.

Five riders are trying to chase down Paolini including Gilbert

1km remaining from 134km

The peloton are still chasing hard and Paolini is caught

Lampre lead the bunch into the final kilometre

Haussler and Viviani are on the back of the Lampre train.

Sacha Modolo wins

That's Lampre's fourth victory of this Giro and Modolo's second.

Looks like it was Mezgec took second with Nizzolo third.

Contafirmation that Nizzolo pipped Mezgec on the line and took third. That will be good for him in the points competition with Viviani missing out on the top 10.

Thankfully all of the GC guys made it home safely and we won't see any changes in the top 10.

The winner! @SachaModolo! Il vincitore! @SachaModolo! #giro http://t.co/cLYssv8DiT

@giroditalia Wed, 27th May 2015 16:10:03

Confirmation of the day's top 10 with Sacha Modolo winning

 

1 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 3:07:51
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
3 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin
4 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
5 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6 Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
9 Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
10 Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo

And this is the unchanged general classification.

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 68:12:50
2 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:04:02
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:52
4 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:05:48
5 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:08:27
6 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:09:31
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:09:52
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:11:40
9 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:12:48
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:12:49

We're already building a comprehensive gallery from today's stage, click here for photos, results and a full report from stage 17 of the Giro.

After that sprint finish, Nizzolo has moved into the red points jersey. He leads Modolo by 17 points while Viviani has dropped down to third 25 points behind.

–@albertocontador getting ready for La Maglia Rosa #Pink #Giro #TinkoffSaxo http://t.co/JMESxEMULn

@tinkoff_saxo Wed, 27th May 2015 16:22:50

Tomorrow's stage will see the riders go back into the mountains and up the first category Monte Ologno. With a big descent towards the finish, it's a prime opportunity for an escapee to take the victory.  Read up on tomorrow's stage here.

That is it for today, remember to head to our report for a re-cap of today's stage plus photos and results and tune in tomorrow for live coverage of stage 18.

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