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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 17

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 17 of the 2016 Giro d'Italia, a relatively flat 196km journey from Molveno to Cassano d'Adda.

 

Giro d'Italia race hub on Cyclingnews

Stage 16: Valverde wins intense stage to Andalo

Stage 16 highlights video

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Hello, good morning, and a warm welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia. It's stage 17 and we're heading away from the mountains (don't worry they'll be back) on the road from Molveno to Cassano d'Adda. 

The team buses have pulled up in Molveno and the riders are going through their pre-race routines, which will include a team meeting to discuss tactics for the day.

 

After signing on, they'll roll out at 12.30 local time and after a short neutral section, racing will begin. 

 

 

 

 

So, it's flat for almost the entirety of the second half of the parcours and thus has bunch sprint written all over it. However, with Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani and other sprinters already out of the race, the teams interested today will have a tough task controlling proceedings. 

 

Trek-Segafredo will surely be hungry today - this is probably Giacomo Nizzolo's best chance to finally win a Giro stage. Lampre-Merida and Sacha Modolo are also sure to be in the mix. 

 

And here is Modolo on the podium for sign-on with lovely conditions in Molveno. 

 

 

Yesterday was good, wasn't it?

 

The short mountain stage made for fast and furious racing, with too many attacks to keep track of. Valverde shone, Kruijswijk held firm, Chaves battled, Nibali flopped, and many other storylines. You can re-live it with our stage report, which includes a photo gallery, full results, and video highlights. 

 

Giro d'Italia: Valverde wins intense stage to Andalo

 

So, who's going to win today?

 

Let me know you thoughts and predictions via Twitter @paddyfletch

 

The maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk rides to the start line.

 

And they're off! The start has been given and the riders roll out for the neutral section. 

 

Perhaps the biggest story from yesterday - certainly in Italy - was Vincenzo Nibali being dropped by pretty much every other rider on the top 10. There is intense scrutiny on the ailing 2013 champion, with people like Roberto Bettini not holding back in his critical assessment of his performance. You can read more on this story here:

 

Giro d’Italia: Nibali’s collapse sparks a thousand questions

 

The flag drops and racing gets underway. It's no surprise to see some early attacks as Daniel Oss (BMC), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Southeast), and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) - all of whom tried to go clear at the start of yesterday's stage - try their luck.

 

Breakaway hopefuls have hard time of it so far in this Giro, but today it looks like this early move will stick. The trio have a minute and there's no panicked reaction in the peloton. 

 

@cyclingnewsfeed @paddyfletch No Kittel, Démare, Howard, Greipel, Ewan, Mezgec, Hofland, Viviani, Mareczko(enough?), Nizzolo will make it.

@reflector320 Wed, 25th May 2016 10:46:59

#Giro There's no doubt about it. @Daniel87Oss loves a breakaway! He's one of three riders who have a one minute lead

@BMCProTeam Wed, 25th May 2016 10:52:19

Well, that was easy. We have our break of the day it seems. The leading trio have over two minutes on the bunch now, and counting. They're in for the long haul.

 

Daniel Oss (BMC)

Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Southeast)

Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff)

 

Again, a beautiful start to today's stage.

 

Trek and Lampre, as expected, are the two teams at the head of the peloton. They'll be mightily relieved at hassle-free start to proceedings, and pretty content that only three riders are up the road, making things that bit more manageable. 

 

4 minutes 15 seconds is the latest time gap. 

A reminder how the GC looks after 16 stages, not that it will change much today. 

 


1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 63:40:10
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:00
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:43
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:50
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:05:34
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:57
8 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:08:53
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:05
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:11:03

 

Here's the first shot of our breakaway trio

 

 

And we should probably tell you a bit about those three riders. Let's start with Daniel Oss. The 29-year-old Italian rides for BMC and has been a key part of the American squad's team time trial success in recent years. They've won the last two world championships and also tasted victory last year at the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France. This term there aren't as many TTT's on the calendar, but they took the honours at Tirreno-Adriatico a couple of months ago. 

 

Oss is a strong rouleur with a big frame, and as such is an ideal breakaway companion. Indeed, we make this his third proper breakaway of this Giro. 

 

158km remaining from 196km

Coming up to 40km covered, and the gap currently stands at 5:30

 

“Why do you want to wound my pride even more? I’m already in pieces”

 

The burden of pressure on the shoulders of Vincenzo Nibali - principally from the Italian media - is suffocating. The Astana rider is at a loss to explain is current malaise but despite the "humiliation" - as he put it - he has vowed to keep plugging away all the way to Turin. Full story here:

 

Nibali vows to fight on in Giro d’Italia

 

It's a stable gap, a manageable breakaway, and the onus is on Trek and Lampre to pull the peloton, so this should be a fairly relaxed afternoon for race leader Steven Kruijswijk. 

 

 

The riders covered 44km in the first hour of racing.

 

@paddyfletch Haussler with some departing @IAM_Cycling motivation for the win?

@brentkattau Wed, 25th May 2016 11:51:55

About that tweet below, Heinrich Haussler is looking for a contract for 2017 after IAM Cycling announced they are to fold at the end of the season. Added motivation to make an impression, certainly. 

Trek and Lampre still working to keep the breakaway's advantage stable at around the 6-minute mark. 

 

On this day two years ago

 

Vincenzo Nibali wins the penultimate stage in the mountains to cap a dominant performance at the Giro. How times change...

 

 

On this day three years ago

 

Vincenzo Nibali wins the penultimate stage in the mountains to cap a dominant performance at the Giro. How times change...

 

 

126km remaining from 196km

The gap comes down ever so slightly to around 5:30 as the break pass the 70km mark. Soon there'll be a feed zone followed by a short, gentle fourth-category climb. Then comes a welcome bit of downhill and 60-odd flat kilometres to Cassano d'Adda.

Time to shine our spotlight on our next escapee. For Pavel Brutt, the breakaway is a way of life. The 34-year-old Russian has basically built his career on getting himself in these kind of moves. This is his 13th Grand Tour so lots of you will be familiar with his antics, not least as he spent most of the long stage 5 out front two weeks ago.

 

Occasionally, it pays off. Brutt has seven pro wins to his name and they’ve all come after he got himself into the break. The biggest by far came at the Giro back in 2008, when on stage 5 the five-man escape managed to hold off the chasing pack, and Brutt struck out for glory. You can read about that day, including a great bit of bluffing from the Russian, in our stage report (back when CN looked a little different).

 

Fun fact: Brutt likes reading Tolstoy.

 

The gap is falling out there at the moment. It's down below 4:30 as we speak.

 

Lampre-Merida are one of the teams pulling on the front of the peloton and we have an exclusive story on them this morning. 

 

Diego Ulissi, Rui Costa and many others are out of contract at the end of this year, and the team is looking to revamp its squad, starting with acquiring a GC rider - they're interested in Contador. Their activity in the transfer market, however, could be shaped by the possibility of joining forces with the upcoming Bahrain project. You can read the story at this link.

 

Another lovely shot from the race

 

 

As we approach the 100km to go mark, the pace is quite high in the bunch as it strings out into one line on the approach to the only climb of the day.

 

The bunch are climbing now and the gap stands at 3:45. 

 

It's all Trek and Lampre at the front of the bunch still, save for one representative from Dimension Data, whose candidate for the win today would be Kristian Sbaragli, who won a stage of the Vuelta last year. 

 

98km remaining from 196km

The group has just been through the feed zone so the gap will edge out a little bit as the riders take a look at what's in today's musette.

Songezo Jim leading the bunch up the climb for Dimension Data. Jim is riding only his second Grand Tour. The South African only learned to ride a bike when he was 14 years old. 

 

Huge crowds at the top of the climb but the break stays calm. Daniel Oss leads them over the top with no challenge. None of the riders are a threat for the mountains classification. 

 

Alexander Porsev pulls over to the side of the road to great some fans. The peloton isn't going too fast so he's got plenty of time to stop and regain contact with the group. 

 

Today the riders will pass through the town of Treviglio just 8km from the finish. Treviglio is an important town for the maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk as it is where the Bianchi factory is. Kruijswijk hasn't been riding the pink version but his bike got a bit of a make over earlier in the week

 

85km remaining from 196km

The three leaders have a 4:23 gap on the peloton as they pass through Nave. 

 

That is the only climb and descent dispatched for today and it will be a flat run to the line from here to the line. There are two intermediate sprints to come and we can expect some competition for the points back in the peloton. 

 

This is how it stands at the top of the points classification at the start of today. 

 

1 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 138 pts
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 130
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 86
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida 84
5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 83
6 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 83
7 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team 83
8 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 76
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 61
10 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 57

 

In the break, Daniel Oss is likely to be interested in the points at the intermediate sprint. He's not too far down that classification. 

 

Oss sprints for the line in the intermediate sprint and his break companions leave him to it. Zhupa crosses the line in second with Brutt in third. 

 

Lampre Merida and Trek-Segafredo form competing trains. Nizzolo takes the sprint from the bunch with Trentin in second and Ulissi third. That wasn't a full-on sprint though. There's still another intermediate sprint and then the finish to come. 

 

70km remaining from 196km

The gap has drifted back down to the 3:45 mark for the escapees. 

 

Lampre-Merida and Trek-Segafredo continue to manage things on the front of the peloton. All this work from them means that LottoNL-Jumbo are getting a bit of a rest. Nippo-Vini Fantini are also lending a hand for their sprinter Grosu. 

 

63km remaining from 196km

The pace is gradually increasing and the gap has fallen 3:13. 

 

60km remaining from 196km

The pace stays high in the bunch, which strings out into one long line as the riders negotiate some turns through Capriano del Colle. 2:35 is the gap now. 

Time to shine a light on the final of our breakaway members. Last but not least, it’s Eugert Zhupa. Like Oss and Brutt, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him in a break at this Giro.

 

The 26-year-old was born in Albania but his family moved to Italy when he was just five, laying the foundations for his career as a cyclist given there isn’t much cycling culture in Albania to speak of. Indeed, Zhupa is the national time trial champion, but that wasn’t enough to prevent him from finishing 193rd, 166th, and 129th in the three individual time trials at this Giro. Now in his second season as a pro with the Wilier Triestina-Southeast team, he aspires to be a strong spring Classics rider.

 

Fun fact: You remember Zhupa as being the rider on the receiving end of a mid-race punch from Dmitriy Gruzdev during last year’s Tour of Turkey – an indiscretion that saw the Astana man expelled from the race.

 

49km remaining from 196km

Under 50km to go now and the gap has just ducked under the 2-minute mark. 

 

Here's how the chase looks. That's Giacomo Nizzolo in his red jersey as leader of the points classification.

 

 

Wout Van Aert just beat Tony Martin in a time trial!

@irishpeloton Wed, 25th May 2016 14:04:24

That tweet is not deceiving your eyes. Wout van Aert, the world cyclo-cross champion, has just taken victory on the road on the opening day of the Baloise Belgium Tour. 

 

Baloise Belgium Tour: Van Aert wins prologue

 

We're not too far away from the second intermediate sprint of the day. It's in a place called 'Calcio', which means football...

 

Nippo Vini Fantini are making their presence felt at the head of the bunch, interrupting the Trek-Lampre duopoly.

36km remaining from 196km

Trivia: Bike manufacturer Bianchi has its headquarters in Trevoglio, around 10km from the finish. Also, Lampre-Merida's HQ are around 20km away. Added motivation for Sacha Modolo?

 

Here we go, the second intermediate sprint. Oss goes once again but this time he has company. Zhupa's interested and it's a close-run thing but the Italian just nicks it. Brutt again not bothered. 

 

Time for the peloton and the sprinters to go for points.

 

Matteo Trentin opens it up but goes too early. Ulissi comes up but Nizzolo is on his wheel and has no trouble whatsoever in coming past him to take it in casual fashion. 

 

The points classification is all well and good (Nizzolo won it last year), but you have to think he'd trade in each and every point for a stage win - a feat that has proved elusive for the Italian. 

 

We've had some attacks after that intermediate sprint. And despite the best efforts of the bunch, three men have skipped away in pursuit of the breakaway. 

 

The three chasers are: Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal), Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha).

 

They have a good 20 seconds on the bunch. 

 

The peloton won't be too worried but this makes it that bit more complicated and exerting to being things back together. 

 

The junction is made at the head of the race, so we now have a group of 6 out front. Their gap is all of 15 seconds. 

Lampre have backed off here. Trek are still riding, with Dimension Data showing a keen interest. With six men now up the road, the sprinters teams need to be well organised. 

 

36-year-old Lars Bak is the alpha male of this leading group. He gestures riders to keep coming through and round, barking instructions to make sure this train operates as smoothly as possible. Clearly some belief in there. 

And the belief is not misplaced. That team time trial is going very nicely and they're extending their lead - it's over half a minute now. 

 

IAM Cycling now getting involved - working for Heinrich Haussler. Vegard Stake Laengen comes to the front and ups the pace. 

 

The gap comes back down to 15 seconds as the peloton really keeps its collective foot on the gas. 

 

10km remaining from 196km

Just 10km to go!

The breakaway men are holding off for now. The gap is still 15 seconds as the GC men come to the fore. 

 

Lots of riders looking at each other on the front of the bunch. Who's going to commit? Because it's going to take some commitment with such strong rouleurs up the road. 

6km remaining from 196km

Giant move up now. They have Nikias Arndt for the sprint.

 

5km remaining from 196km

5km to go now and the leaders have just over 10 seconds as Lampre hit the front again. 

 

We're on a long straight road now and the peloton can see the break. They're just 8 seconds up the road. Most of the break working well together still but there are a lot of trains lining up behind now.

 

3km remaining from 196km

5 seconds the gap with 3km to go. Desperation now for the break.

 

2km remaining from 196km

Lars Bak puts in a big injection of pace in a bid to keep this alive. Still 7 seconds going into the last 2. 

 

Sonny Colbrelli has to avoid something on the road and has to unclip and stop. That's him out of the equation.

 

Bak goes again but it's all coming back together. Pippo Pozzato tries to chase him down. 

 

Pozzato is going solo into the last kilometre!

 

Who's going to respond? The bunch are looking at each other...

 

Stake Laengen chases but there's a gap behind

 

Laengen moves the the front, but the sprinters are starting to wind up

 

Correction: It's Roger Kluge for IAM and he takes the stage victory!

 

The German powers past Pozzato and has time to sit up and celebrate as the sprinters leave it too late, coming across the line just behind him. 

 

Nizzolo, suprise surprise, was second there. Followed by Arndt, Modolo, and Trentin. 

So close for Pozzato, but Kluge benefitted from his move and simply had the stronger legs. The sprint teams thought they had it and were caught well and truly off guard. What a finish to what we thought would be a predictable stage!

 

 

Nizzolo the fastest sprinter but he's also a specialist collector of second place finishes

@inrng Wed, 25th May 2016 15:09:57

I can't imagine the mood will be too cheery in the Trek-Segafredo camp this evening. That was Nizzolo's best chance to finally get a Giro stage win. Simply put, they should never have allowed that to happen. 

 

Top 10

 

1 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3 Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx-QuickStep
6 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
7 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
8 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannodale Pro Cycling
9 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Willier Trestina - Southeast
10 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF

 

Roger Kluge is the third German winner in this Giro after @marcelkittel and @AndreGreipel. #Giro

@giroditalia Wed, 25th May 2016 15:15:12

No change on GC, so here's how it stays:

 

1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:00
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:23
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:04:43
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:50
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:05:34
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:57
8 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:08:53
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:05
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:11:03

 

A shot of the sprint - too bad it was only for second place.

 

 

So, that's Kluge's first victory at WorldTour level, with the German also heavily involved on the track. After the recent announcement that IAM will fold at the end of the season, that's the perfect way to go about putting your name in the minds of potential future employers. 

Loved the way Kluge just sat up well ahead of the line, his nonchalance in stark contrast to the frantic panic of the sprinters behind. 

 

 

Loved the way Kluge just sat up well ahead of the line, his nonchalance in stark contrast to the frantic panic of the sprinters behind. 

 

 

Brief report and results for you. We'll have video highlights very shortly too. 

 

Giro d'Italia: Kluge wins stage 17 for IAM Cycling

 

@kluge_roger is my hero! Huge win for him and for @IAM_Cycling @giroditalia. Well deserved! Motivation is back. Giro is not over yet!

@WyssMarcel Wed, 25th May 2016 15:38:01

The style with which Kluge won today would suggest he'd be one of the best lead out riders in the world. Huge 'in the saddle' power. #Giro

@daniellloyd1 Wed, 25th May 2016 15:35:40

Steven Kruijswijk steps up onto the podium to crack open another bottle of champers. No worries for the GC men today. 

 

 

"I've been a pro for six years and this is the big victory I have been looking for. It's a dream," says Roger Kluge.

 

"It wasn't planned at all. I was working for Heinrich Haussler, closing the gap for him but I saw a possibility to get away. The finishing line was very near.

 

"It's a strange feeling. Yesterday we were very disappointed to hear that our team is going to stop at the end of the year but we decided to stick together and it's wonderful to come up with a victory to make it up for our disappointment".

 

So, on we go, and our attentions turn to tomorrow's stage 18. There's a horribly steep climb late on, followed by a fast run to the line in Pinerolo. The attack-minded will find the terrain amenable, and we're likely to see a bit of GC action, too. 

 

We, of course, will have live coverage of the whole thing, and we hope you'll join us again. 

 

 

Holy shit, just got home to the news @kluge_roger won the stage, what a legend!!!! Such a great way to turn things around yesterdays news.

@leighhoward1 Wed, 25th May 2016 16:17:03

Here's Kluge alongside Heinrich Haussler, who IAM had originally intended to tee up for stage victory. I don't think the Australian will mind one bit. 

 

Highlights

 

You can re-live Kluge's victory with our video highlights, which are now live: Giro d'Italia: Stage 17 highlights - Video

 

That's it from us for today. Make sure you keep your eyes on Cyclingnews for all the news and reaction from today's stage. As always, thanks for joining us - we'll back for more of the same tomorrow. See you then!

 

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