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Giro d'Italia 2017: Stage 16

Good morning, we are in Rovetta, ahead of stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia. Yesterday we had the third rest day but today it's back into the mountains for arguably the hardest stage of this year's race. Will Quintana attack? Can Dumoulin hang on? Who will conquer the Stevlio? Today we'll find out.

 

We're around 20 minutes from the roll out but the official start is about 40 minutes away. We've had the lion share of teams pass through the sign and there's definitely a nervous atmosphere around the team buses. Riders are already warming up too - a sure sign that teams will look to through men up the road and into breaks. 

Before we look ahead to the stage and the brutally tough race profile, here's how things stand on GC with Dumoulin holding a healthy lead over his main rivals. 

 

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 63:48:08
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:41
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:03:21
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:40
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:04:24
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:32
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:59
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:05:18
9 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:06:01
10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:07:03

 

Tom Dumoulin:

"We just have to see. I've had some tough stages in the past, so we'll see how it's going to be. My competitors will definitely attack me and it will definitely be a day of suffering."

 

Meanwhile, Quintana and Movistar have openly said that they'll look to put pressure on the maglia rosa today. To be frank they have little option but to try and crack him today. The climbs in the Giro have thus far suited Dumoulin and the notion is that the repetitive cols that we have on a stage like today will draw him out of his comfort zone. They're suited to Quintana, or so the notion goes. Only time will tell but the only certainly is that Dumoulin is climbing better than he's ever done before. 

 

As for the stage profile, the first hour and a bit of racing (around 60km) are relatively flat. That will suit a break trying to form, while Dumoulin and his Sunweb allies will need to quickly assess who goes clear before giving them the green light. What they can't do is chase every move down. This is such a long and demanding stage, so Dumoulin will need to save his team for later in the race. Riders like Bauhaus, Preidler and Stamsnijder are likely to patrol the early moves - while ten Dam and Geschke save their legs. 

 

After 60km we hit the easier Monno side of the Mortorolo. It's still holds stretches of 16 per cent gradient near the top and it could be the perfect point to launch an attack from a break, although it's perhaps too far out to see the GC men attack. Saying that, given that yesterday was a rest day we'll see some tired legs react badly. Someone from the top ten is going to crack on the first climb - that's almost a certainty. 

 

Over the top of the Mortirolo and we've a hugely technical descent into Grosio, before the first ascent of the Stevlio (Cima Coppi) leading to Prato allo Stevlio. The climb is 21km in length with an average gradient of 7.1 per cent but it's relentless and there's no let-up. 

 

We then take on the Umbrailpass (Giogo di Santa Maria). The climb totals 13.5km, at a steady 9 per cent gradient, with peaks topping out at 12 percent. Then it's just the small matter of the technical descent all the way to Bormio. It's going to be an epic stage, well worthy of the 100th Giro d'Italia.

 

Stephen Farrand:

The first 'passaggio' of the Stelvio is followed by the descent of the legendary Trafoi hairpins down to the intermediate sprint in Glorenza, back at an altitude of just 917m. The peloton will face 40 hairpins during the climb and then 48 more on the descent that cuts and curves into the side of the legendary mountain.The stage loops around into Switzerland for the 13.4km Umbrialpass that joins the Stelvio two kilometres below the summit. The Umbrialpass is 13.4km long and climbs at a steeper 8.4%. This is where the important attacks are expected.

 

For a full stage preview, check out Stephen Farrand's excellent article from late last night. He's been up these climbs more times than you've had hot dinners. His first Giro was back in 94, so he was there for this epic battle between Tonkov and Gotti on the Mortirolo back in 1997. That year Gotti won the race, his first, in his career. Tonkov, the defending champion was beaten into second place. 

 

#Giro100 Sign on and team presentation are done and it's time to roll out for stage 16. https://t.co/0lB1BJH6nr

@BMCProTeam Tue, 23rd May 2017 08:28:14

Trek took their rest-day seriously but like most teams they enjoyed a relatively easy day on the bike. Today, however, the pressure is back on and they'll be hoping to keep Mollema well protected until the final climb. The Dutchman has been consistent but has shown weakness on a couple of stages, including the stage to Oropa. It's a huge day for his podium hopes. 

 

And the flag has dropped. We are officially racing the Queen stage of the Giro d'Italia. Almost 6,000m of climbing ahead of the riders as we see a number of Team Sky riders near the front of the bunch. They are one of the strongest teams who have been reduced to stage hunting in this year's race. They certainly need a result. 

 

Movistar look twitchy. While they want to be in the break they also don't want to see a move go up ahead with someone like ten Dam in it. He's such an experienced climber but he's not able to go with the big attack. If he's allowed up the road then he can wait for Dumoulin to come across to him. Quintana's first goal will be to keep Sunweb in the bunch and the isolate the maglia rosa as quickly as possible. He has the team to do it, that's for sure. No break so far after 2km of racing.

 

The start this morning was close to former champion, Paolo Savoldelli's home. Here he is climbing the Mortirolo back in 1997 in one of the best cycling kits you'll ever see. Roslotto, what a team. Paolo's the rider on the left. Next to him his Finacto.

 

 

A steady but not spectacular pace so far to the stage with no real major attacks as the bunch continue to head to the first climb of the day. There were 174 starters on the line this morning.

We've not mentioned him yet but this is also a huge day for Nibali (far right). Here he is climbing the Mortirolo with Ivan Basso and the late Michele Scarponi. For a huge gallery looking back at the climb, please click here.

 

While we wait for the action to really kick off, why not download our latest edition of the Cyclingnews podcast. Packed with analysis, it looks back at the race from the third rest-day. It's just here.

#BAHRAINMERIDA Team Ambassador @PuritoRodriguez joins us for the Queen Stage! #Giro100 https://t.co/qNsUcNOAqE

@Bahrain_Merida Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:01:59

Different horses for different courses but back in 2012 De Gendt attacked on the Mortirolo and soloed away to take the win atop the Stelvio - although we only climbed it once that day. It just goes to show that a long distance move on a day like today could work in terms of winning the stage. A lot will depend on how Movistar and perhaps Bahrain Merida and FDJ tackle the first climb. 

 

20km remaining from 222km

The bunch are clipping along at a decent pace, and have already covered 20km of the stage, but still no break, or meaningful attack. All together. 

At the start this morning there was a minutes silence, led by the peloton, in memory of those effected by last night's Manchester bombing, Nicky Hayden and triathlete Julia Viellehner. 

 

 

Back to the stage and after almost 25km the pace has dropped off. All together as we move closer and closer to the first major climb of the day, the Mortirolo.

 

We attended Dumoulin's press conference yesterday. Here's what the race leader had to say. 
 

"If I have a bad day tomorrow, then all my competitors are dangerous. If I lose three minutes, then suddenly they're all quite dangerous for a podium spot or victory," Dumoulin said. "It's impossible to say now who is the most dangerous, but Quintana is closest on GC and in the last two weeks, he has shown himself to be the best climber here, so I think he is the main rival."



You can read the write up, here

 

Who are you tipping for today's stage? Let me know at www.twitter.com/dnlbenson

 

As Mihai Cazacu points out on Twitter, the Motirolo has been branded the Cipo Scarponi this year, in respect and honour to the Astana rider after he was killed earlier this year. Astana would love nothing more than to take the stage today and dedicate it to their former teammate.

 

And we have an attack and it looks like a break has begun to form. Just three riders, with Samoilau, Teklehaimanot and Foliforov going clear. They have 19 seconds on the bunch after around 27km of racing. 

 

Correction, 37km of racing. Will the bunch let this one go? There's certainly no threat on GC. 

 

Quintana's not happy and the Movistar leader ushers his team to the front of the bunch. It looks like, at the moment anyway, that the Spanish squad are going to shut this one down. 

 

If they go for guerilla warfare, Quintana needs a minute+ a day for 4 stages and Dumoulin has looked so solid on the climbs so far. 8/12

@EdwardPickering Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:29:56

@dnlbenson Put a bet on Giovanni Visconti before start. Need a break to win, but he won on Galibier i 2012, so everthing is possible. #giro

@KrStokdahl Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:23:54

@dnlbenson Think that everyone in Italy would love a Formolo victory today!! What are the chances @Vaughters ??

@TeamPureSavage Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:28:08

The original three in the break have been caught but we now have 10 riders dangling off the front of the peloton with 40km of the stage already covered. The Mortirolo is fast approaching...

The leading group swells to 15 riders as they start to pick up the pace. No confirmation on the names in the move but they're coming. 

 

The pace goes from full throttle to a more sedate state but right now it's full gas as the break of 15 try and establish a lead. It looks like the peloton have let this one go though. 

 

50km of racing covered in the first hour alone. Incredible and we've still three mammoth climbs to come. Meanwhile, the group out front has swelled to 25 riders, with five more riders chasing just in front of the peloton. We'll be climbing in the next ten-fifteen minutes.

 

In fact the road is already starting to gradually climb as we make our way to the lower slopes of the Mortirolo. It's on Movistar's shoulders to make this race and so far  - with the fast pace - the conditions have really suited them. Let's see who has made the first major break though before we decide if they have an advantage. 

 

The 25 leaders have now established a 45 second lead over the peloton. Unless there's an immediate reaction from the bunch on the approach to the first climb it looks like this move has all the breathing space it needs - for now.

 

#Giro100 The anticipation is high for this epic stage. 50.3km/h in the first hour and no break has gone clear yet.

@Ride_Argyle Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:48:52

Can Dumoulin survive on the queen stage of the Giro 100? #Giro100 | https://t.co/HjglqcK8jY https://t.co/1ZsodkTwkB

@Cyclingnewsfeed Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:49:01

Nairo Quintana:

"When the pace is regular on the climbs, he has defended himself very well. But we have to take into account that up to now, the mountain stages have only had one climb. In the stages to come, there's a much bigger total altitude gain and there are climbs over 2,000 metres."

 

Gilbert to return to racing at Belgium Tour https://t.co/0JqVBhxHwn https://t.co/EkmZYI8TEy

@Cyclingnewsfeed Tue, 23rd May 2017 09:53:23

Here are the names of the riders in the break - via Tuttobici  - Jauregui, Bilbao, Bizhigitov, Senni, Dombrowski, Villella, Grosscharnter, Samoilau, Ladagnaous, De Buyst, Anacona, Bennati, De Plus, Serry, Berhane, Belkov, Losada, Van den Broeck, Kiryienka, Bauhaus, Haga, Pedersen, Stuyven, Marcato and Mohoric.

 

So it's Bahrain Merida who have missed the move with Sunweb and Movistar both posting men in the move. Sky only have one representative, while Cannondale and Katusha have two. Mollema also has two men up the road. 

 

For what it's worth Bennati won the intermediate sprint ahead of Haga. The two riders have more important tasks ahead of them. They'll need to force Bahrain Merida to chase if they can before waiting for their team leaders in the valley after the Mortirolo. Movistar may well take up the pace though early in a bid to unsettle Dumoulin. 

 

60km remaining from 222km

60km covered and the break have 1'15 over the chasing peloton.

 

Riders from 16 teams are represented in the huge breakaway which took off after 50 kilometers. #Giro100

@quickstepteam Tue, 23rd May 2017 10:03:39

And it is Bahrain Merida who begin to set the pace for Nibali having missed out on the move.

 

1'30 now for the break as they continue to take time on the peloton, led by Nibali's teammates. 

 

Pinot: Movistar holds the key to beating Dumoulin #Giro100 https://t.co/SjdMsmxf1u https://t.co/dU7NeEr7Ln

@Cyclingnewsfeed Tue, 23rd May 2017 10:07:15

We're almost at the foot of the Mortirolo. Does anyone else feel like the Giro d'Italia is about to really come alive?

 

Bennati appears to have been dropped from the lead group and their advantage is down to 55 seconds as Bahrain Merida really push the pace at the front of the peloton. The opening phases of the stage have been relentless. 

We're climbing and just about on the lower slopes of the Mortirolo. The break will almost certainly start to splinter as the gradient continues to rise. Dumoulin is near the front, where he should be, but so too are all the GC riders. 

 

20 seconds. That's all the break have at the moment as Bahrain Merida turn the screw and continue to set the pace at the front of the peloton. Come on guys.. it took me almost ten minutes to pull all 27 riders into the situation bar on the right (below if you're on mobile). 

 

Oh my god. They pulled Kenny. 

 

Kenny Elissonde has pulled out of the race. He fell badly on stage 15 and hasn't been in the best of shape since. The Frenchman is in his first season with Team Sky - on a one-year deal - I think. So this is a blow for him. We wish him the best in his recovery. 

 

The bunch are about to catch the break but already we have riders attacking from both groups. This sort of racing is so, so hard to control so maybe Bahrain have the right approach in just setting a steady pace as they grind towards the summit. 

 

Ben Hermans has also pulled out of the race. That's another blow for BMC in this year's race. They have won a stage, of course, but apart from that it's not been a good Giro for the American outfit.

 

More attack rain down but the situation is so fluid out there that it's impossible to pinpoint a break before it's reeled back or enforced with more riders. 

 

140km remaining from 222km

140km to go. According to BMC's Twitter account, Hermans became ill on the rest day. With the pace this fast, this furious, there was little chance of him coming through a stage this brutal. 

 

Normality resumed as we have one rider off the front and Sunweb at the head of the peloton and setting the pace for Dumoulin. So far, so good for the race leader. 

 

The peloton, however, are down to around 50 or so riders and more and more riders are slipping off the back. 141km to go and the break have 1'03 with Luis Leon Sanchez is clear with a group of around 15 other men.

 

At least the sun is out, and the chances of rain and snow are very low. A few more riders are going across to the break and it looks like Movistar have three in the new main break. That's another real sign of intent as we see Sunweb put two men on the front with Orica just behind them. Pinot is moving up with his FDJ teammates. 

 

Acceleration from Dumoulin as he comes to the front and talks to Haga. They need to really measure their approach today and can't panic but with Amador in the break and Kruijswijk the pressure is well and truly on. The break now have 1'25 as we see Sanchez doing all of the pace-setting.The break take on the hairpins and each one sees another rider popping off the back. 

 

Nibali and Quintana ride side by side as they sit just in Dumoulin's shadow. This is a mental battle as much as anything as the former winners look to apply as much pressure as possible onto Dumoulin's shoulders. It's still Sanchez on the front. He deserves a stage win for effort alone in this years race. Herrada is also in the break but I can't quite pick out the third rider for Movistar in the break. Sunweb have one man, as we almost reach the top of the climb. 1km to go for the leaders.

 

It is somewhat surprising to see Kruijswijk in the break. He's been suffering with injury since the Tour of Yorkshire as we see Sanchez continue with the pace setting. He wants the Cipo Scarponi prize at the top of the climb. Fraile sits second wheel and Sanchez takes it. Nice bit of sportsmanship from the Dimension Data rider. 

 

136km remaining from 222km

Tough descent coming up as we see Dumoulin near the front with two men around him. The gap to the leaders is at 1'51. There was a nice touch at the top of the climb when Fraile put his arm around Sanchez. 

 

We still dont have the full run down of the riders in the break but Team Sky are well represented with Landa, Deignan, Henao and Kiryienka all in there. Two former stage winners in there, so their intent is pretty clear. Landa surely is their best card to play though for a stage like this.

 

The break and the bunch are lined out as they tackle this descent towards the Stelvio. The gap is holding at 1'45.

 

Movistar have some real firepower in the break with Izagirre, Herrada and Amador up there. Amador is in the top ten, and although Sunweb have ten Dam up there, they're on the back foot at the moment. 

 

It's all about containment for Sunweb at the moment as they tick through the kms and bring the leader down this long, technical descent. Dumoulin sits in third wheel with the gap to the brea at 1'43. With Amador and Kruijswijk up the road this will could actually help Dumoulin as the likes of Bahrain, FDJ and Trek look to protect their GC positions. That's certainly what we saw on Blockhaus.

 

Next climb: Passo dello Stelvio (Cima Coppi) #Giro100 https://t.co/mBfMZUPpds

@giroditalia Tue, 23rd May 2017 11:03:58

It's Chad Haga who leads the peloton on behalf of Dumoulin. Here's a full breakdown of the riders in the break:


Andrey Amador (Movistar), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar), Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), Mikel Landa (Team Sky), Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), Philip Deignan (Team Sky), Sebastian Henao (Team Sky)
, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Pello Bilbao (Astana), Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Igor Anton (Dimension Data), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac), Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Jose Mendes (Bora-Hansgrohe), Manuel Senni (BMC), Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Felix Grosschartner (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)

 

122km remaining from 222km

122km to go and the gap is down to 1'37. The Stelvio is fast approaching.

 

We're almost off the descent now as we reach a flatter section of road. Sunweb continue to set the pace for the main field as they line out. 20km roughly before we reach the next climb and Dumoulin only has two men with him at the moment. You have to ask, how much will they have in the tank once we hit the Stelvio. 

 

There are so many strong riders in the break as we see Deignan set the pace with Rui Costa just with him. A few riders from the break have dropped back for drinks before the climb stars. The maglia rosa group is already down to less than 50 riders. It looks like Quintana and Dumoulin have both stopped for a nature break. This slowing in pace allows for another Sunweb rider to rejoin the bunch and help with the pace setting.

 

117km remaining from 222km

Dumoulin and Quintana return to the peloton and the pace once again increases. That rest sees the gap to the break move out to 1'52 as we see Trek put a man on the front to help Sunweb. They're effectively helping Dumoulin as they look to protect Mollema - the beauties of race tactics. 

 

@PierroooRolland @rusty_woods #Giro100 And we've got @JoeDombro in there as well. Advantage to the pink jersey grou… https://t.co/6YVKfWqdDw

@Ride_Argyle Tue, 23rd May 2017 11:19:12

The break head through the feedzone and a number of riders pick up lunch for the day. Sanchez missed his but he tosses a few old bidons away as he sits at the back of the group. Around 15km to go until we hit the Stelvio climb. 

 

A few more riders have made it back to the peloton as well, after that long descent and chase. They'll be straight out the back door as soon as the next climb begins though as we see three riders attack and look to bridge up to the leaders. Sky, Dimension Data and Movistar are doing most of the work at the front of the break.

 

A reminder of the GC picture heading into today's stage:

 

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 63:48:08
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:41
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:03:21
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:40
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:04:24
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:04:32
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:59
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:05:18
9 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:06:01
10 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:07:03

 

With Amador up the road he's up to fifth on GC - in a virtual standing. Will we see Katusha start to lead the chase?

 

It's Vasil Kiryienka who sets the pace as the road starts to point upwards. Team Sky are going to use their domestiques wisely but it's helping Movistar too as it weakens Sunweb. Sky have three men on the front of the break with the gap at 1'54 with 112km to go. 

 

Trek continue to set the pace at the front of the bunch as they look to protect Mollema but on this flatter section it's advantage to Team Sky and the break with Kiryienka rolling out this steady pace. It's almost robotic. 

 

The riders can see the Stelvio in the distance as they take on this long, straight section in the valley. It's still Vasil Kiryienka who sets the pace for the break, as he does his job before the climb starts. Landa sits near the back as the rest of thee move save their legs before the climb. Back to the bunch and Sunweb and this rogue Trek rider help control the break. The gap is still at 1'59 with 106km to go.

 

2'16 for the break and that's all down to former world TT champion, Vasil Kiryienka. 

 

Another Trek rider joins the front and Sunweb urge him forward. Trek are the only team willing to help Dumoulin at present. 

 

Good to see Senni up the road today. He had a difficult start to the race but has found his legs. Remember had a really strong start to the season when he finished third in the Tour of Valencia. 

 

And we're about to hit the Stelvio for the first time today. The gap has gone all the way out to 2'48 as Kiryienka buries himself for the break, and primarily Landa. 

 

2'55 now as the peloton hit the approach to the climb. The road rises to 4 per cent to start with and then goes up to 7 per cent. Dumoulin has four men with him. Six if you want to count Mollema's Trek riders at the front.

 

Into Bormio as we start to climb with the large break. They've lost a few seconds already with 98km to go. 

 

All eyes on Quintana now as the bunch start the climb. He has three men in the break, four men around him and he's sitting just behind the maglia rosa. Pinot is also there, with Nibali a few metres back. 2'43 to the break.

 

Around 18km to go for the lead group a Bernard sets the pace for the maglia rosa group. So far so good for Dumoulin in terms of the overall picture for the stage, although Movistar's strength in the break should concern him.

 

The race leader has four teammates around him as the road continues to rise up towards the skies. Nibali looks a little isolated in comparison as Vasil Kiryienka is still grinding away at the front of the break. Amador is has moved up to third on GC as things stand. 

 

@dnlbenson Kiri riding a hard pace on the front? I don't think he knows anything else...

@marrakoosh Tue, 23rd May 2017 11:38:45

How much does Vasil Kiryienka have left in the tank? He's won mountain stages before and this steady pace suits him as the break hold at 2'38 lead over the bunch with 93km to go. It looks like Sunweb have lost one rider from the maglia rosa group, so Dumoulin is down to three as Trek end their alliance. 

 

Movistar and Quintana lie in wait as Dumoulin runs out of teammates. Montaguti is dropped from the main field, which is a bit of a surprise. Siutsou, a former top 15 rider in this race, has been dropped. That's a blow for Nibali, for sure as the maglia rosa group is whittled down to around 30 riders. 

 

92km remaining from 222km

92km to go as the maglia rosa group hurtle through another hairpin. Each corner sees another rider or two slip off the back and we're not even half-way up the climb.

 

Roughly 30 riders left in the maglia rosa group as they head through a tunnel. The temperature has started to drop and it's 5c at the peak of the climb. As for the break Vasil Kiryienka is still there and leading the action. Dumoulin has lost a teammate and Dumoulin himself has dropped back and started talking to riders from rivals teams. Is he expecting help in bringing back the break from FDJ and Bahrain?

 

Amador is on the radio now. He wants to know the gap and when he and his two Movistar teammates in the break should make a move. The gap is at 2'11 with 89km to go.

 

Well whatever Dumoulin said has worked as FDJ lift the pace. That's done for Visconti, who is also dropped. We have Bernard and then FDJ on the front as Dumoulin drops back a little and sits just off Quintana as  Kiryienka finally runs out of steam. 

 

Dumoulin has no teammates at the front as Trek and FDJ share the pace, around halfway up the climb. The maglia rosa wants to put the onus on others to chase and it's starting to work but he's losing all his teammates. 

 

87km remaining from 222km

Dumoulin's only teammate in contention right now is ten Dam and he's in the break. 87km to go and Dumoulin isolated as Senni and De Plus are dropped from the break with the gap at 1'57.

 

Jungels is near the front and it looks like Pinot has lost a chunk of his team as Stetina sets the pace for Trek.

 

Fraile has been dropped from the break, including Anacona, Rolland and Rui Costa and Deignan sets the pace for what's left of the break.

 

There are around ten riders left in the break and Movistar are turning the screw. Ten Dam has been dropped but that might be a tactical move from the Sunweb rider. NIbali has one man left in the maglia rosa group but a number of GC riders appear to be isolated. 

 

Deignan has Sanchez on his wheel with Landa there too. Anton is still there, just, and so too is Kruijswijk. 

 

From the archive - Gallery: The Giro d'Italia and the Passo del Mortirolo #Giro100 | https://t.co/SQhSvQtdgB

@Cyclingnewsfeed Tue, 23rd May 2017 12:30:26

Dumoulin is marking Quintana right now and Dumoulin swings out at a fan who has come to close to him. 

 

Mollema also tried to move the spectator out of the way - as he was pushing Quintana. 

 

Nibali follows Pinot with Quintana, Mollema and Dumoulin all bunched together near the front of the maglia rosa group. The break are down to eight riders with two from Sky and two from Movistar leading. We're still not close to the summit and so much still has to play out on this climb. 

 

It's Trek who lead the maglia rosa group as we see Zakarin and Yates are both down to one teammate each. 

 

Anacona is now alone and in a chasebehind the front eight. Pozzovivo has two men left as we see Stetina continue to set the pace. Cataldo is in the mix too as Mollema gets on the radio. Dumoulin is on his wheel. 

 

Deignan lifts the pace for Landa once more but we've still 82km to go as Fraile is caught by the maglia rosa group. 

 

Deignan is really on a good day as he lifts the pace once more with Sanchez on his wheel. Kruijswijk is well positioned and hasn't done a tap of work on the front. He's taken the stage perfectly so far. 

 

Van Garderen has attacked from the peloton, or what's let of it. He goes past Senni who cant' give him any help. The gap isn't huge but the American is pushing on. 

Anaconai's importance is growing and growing because ten Dam is looking to chase him down but we now have three Movistar men on the climb and ahead of the maglia rosa group. 3km to go until we hit the top of the climb.

 

Mollema is now second wheel with just one teammate left. The Dutchman is certainly riding an aggressive race as the snow begins to surround the riders as we close in on the peak of the Stelvio. Dumoulin is putting on jacket, and Zakarin gives him some help getting dressed. 

 

80km remaining from 222km

Anacona is 17 seconds off the leaders with the front group 2'12 ahead of the maglia rosa. 80km to go.

 

Anacona is closing on the leaders as the pace continues to be set by Trek Segafredo. Around 2km to go until we hit the summit of the Stelvio.

 

And Anacona makes contact with the leaders just 1km from the summit. 

 

That makes it three Movistar riders in the lead break with Team Sky with two cards to play. Sanchez is also in the mix as well. Anton too as the leaders start to wrap up before the descent.

 

Now de Plus leads the maglia rosa group for Junglels as Anton appears to complain about the pace from Team Sky. He then sets the pace as Landa follows him. Who will be first over for the Cimo Coppi? It's going to be Mikel Landa. 

 

The Team Sky rider has 150m to go as the crowds surround him on either side. He takes the prize for the highest point in the Giro before taking on some food and beginning the descent. He'll wait for the rest of the break, who have 2'11 on the maglia rosa group. 

 

76km remaining from 222km

Over the top for the maglia rosa group with the gap at 2'25. It's a long descent all the way back down before the riders begin the second and final ascent. 

 

At the top of the climb Anton was second with Sanchez in third. Further up the climb and Jungels is setting the pace for the for the maglia rosa group. Just one more climb to com over this and Movistar have to make their key move with Quintana.

 

Some water on the roads for some of these corners as the riders dramatically slow before accelerating. The final descent to the line could also be key for attacks but all eyes will soon turn to the final climb. So far it's been a tactical battle as Dumoulin has looked to defend and consolidate his lead but Quintana has positioned his men well before the final climb. Will he have the legs to finish it all off? He still needs to crack the race leader, otherwise this will have all been for nothing...

 

#Giro100 Landa crossed the Stelvio first. @PierroooRolland follows in a three-rider chase at 1'30". 75km to go.

@Ride_Argyle Tue, 23rd May 2017 13:00:10

69km remaining from 222km

And this is interesting... Amador has gone clear of the break. He has 2'10 on the peloton with Kruijswijk leading the chase from the rest of the break with Landa on his wheel. 69km to go.

 

Amador takes the corners beautifully before tucking his body into the bars in order to stay as aero as possible. Landa is a little more cautious but is still flying down the climb as we rattle through the kms. 

 

And Landa makes contact with Amador, just like that. These two will certainly work together once they link up. Landa wants the stage and Amador has his team orders. 

 

#Giro100 We're on the descent of the Stelvio now with 67km to go. Tejay van Garderen was brought back to the Maglia Rosa group 2'21" back.

@BMCProTeam Tue, 23rd May 2017 13:08:40

59km remaining from 222km

A number of riders are coming back to the maglia rosa group on the descent as the two leaders extend their advantage to 2'41 with 59km to go. 

 

Kruijswijk is leading the chase from the second group and the onus is now on him to do all the work. Meanwhile the pace is knocked off at the front of the maglia rosa group as a few riders take on fuel, while for Dumoulin the situation improves somewhat as ten Dam is caught. That's one vital teammate for the maglia rosa. 

 

Onto a slightly flatter section and Landa and Amador exchange words before settling into their duties. They have 30 seconds on the chase so it's all on Kruijswijk to do the work in the next group on the road.

 

53km remaining from 222km

53km to and as things stand Amador is almost up to third on GC for the second time in today's stage. It's Quickstep who set the pace in the maglia rosa group, which is at 2'44. 

 

There are around 30 riders in the Dumoulin group as there's a slight lull in the pace as Kruijswijk kicks again from the second group on the road. 

 

The Kruijswijk group are around 15 seconds off Landa and Amador as we reach the valley before the road points upwards for the final, critical time today. It's been action from the gun as we see Kruijswijk bring the group back together. We have seven riders up front with a 2'32 lead with 50km to go.

 

Quintana takes on fresh bottles and food, as Nibali does the same. Team Sky drive the pace in the front group with Deignan again called into action as we see Kruijswijk try and recover from that effort before the final climb. 

 

Orica have now put Plaza on the front to help QuickStep with the gap to the break out to 3'10. 47km to go as Kruijswijk and Landa exchange a few choice words. The LottoNL rider is not happy about something.

 

The maglia rosa group continues to swell and we've not got around 40 riders as Dumoulin drifts almost to the back of the group. He knows what's around the corner as he calls for his team car and takes on some advice from his DS.

 

42km remaining from 222km

Deignan sits up. He's done for the day after an epic ride but it's a long way to the finish for the Irishman has Plaza leads the maglia rosa group. The gap is at 2'41.

 

No need to panic but Dumoulin is right near the back of the group. He needs to be brought closer to the front by ten Dam. The same could be said of Quintana, who is also near the back of the pink jersey group.

 

We're not on the climb yet but the road has already started to rise as the break is brought back to 2'12 with Katusha and Orica leading the chase. 

 

So six leaders, Kruijswijk, Landa, Amador, Anacona, Anton and Hirt with a 2'16 lead. Now Cataldo and Plaza are having words and the Italian looks unhappy with the pace setting as Deignan is caught by the maglia rosa. 

 

Quitana, Nibali and Pinot hold court around the mid-way point in the chase group with 38km to go. One if not all of these riders will have hopes of attacking Dumoulin on the final climb but will they have the legs? The gradient suits Quintana and the length - 13km - leaves little place to hide if you're on a bad day. 

 

The co-operation isn't great in the lead group and it's Kruijswijk and Movistar who are the ones paying for this. The momentum has been back and forth all day but at the moment you have to say it's shifting back towards Dumoulin. If he has the legs...

 

Over the boarder for the race as we enter Switzerland for a few kilometres before the final climb. The climb proper is about to start. 

 

It's hard to see anyone from the break surviving at this point because the gap is now down to 1'47 with 35km to go.

 

Cataldo has been a presence near the front of the maglia rosa group for most of the last few hours. With Kangert out, attention falls on him for a GC ride and he sits in fourth wheel at the moment and Kruijswijk attacks.

 

33km remaining from 222km

Kruijswijk goes with 33km to go. That's a risky move but hats off to him. He could have sat in the wheels all day but he moved into the early break and now he's striking out with the gap at 1'42.

 

Landa is hunting down the LottoNL rider as the rest of the break begins to fall apart. Now what will you do, Movistar?

 

Anacona and Anton are together  as Plaza again raises the pace as Quintana moves up. 

 

Kruijswijk and Landa have linked up with 32km to go as the final climb begins. 13km of really tough climbing with the average at 9 per cent.

 

Dumoulin has stopped. We dont need to see this... it's a comfort break. 

 

Just before the final climb as well. That's not a good sign at all for the race leader. 

 

He's back on his bike and chasing but that's really not what the race leader would have wanted and Zakarin has attacked with the race leader off the back. 

 

Dumoulin is coming back through the cars as Zakarin is brought back. Movistar and Bahrain come to the front and slow the pace down somewhat. They're looking to wait for the race leader but he's losing a lot of group. He's around 40 seconds. Do they wait because I don't think he has the strength to come back at the moment? He has ten Dam with him now. 

 

Bahrain Merida take up the pace setting as Dumoulin's race hangs by a thread. They're not waiting, that's clear as Nibali moves his men to the front. It was badly timed nature break but if he had no choice...

 

He's almost a minute down on the Quintana group as he comes through the cars with ten Dam now dropped. This is going to be huge talking point. Will Quintana take advantage?

 

He's losing more and more time. If this continues then Dumoulin will be out of pink by the end of the stage and we still have 11km to go on this climb. 

 

The Nibali/Quintana group have put 1:20 into Dumoulin. To be fair to Quintana he's not put his men on the front but he's not asked Bahrain to wait either. 

 

Almost a minute and thirty for the Nibali/Pinot/Quitana group. It's hold at that point but they've not really gone full gas at this point. Dumoulin is coming through the dropped riders but he's not looking like he has the legs as we enter the final 30km.

 

The maglia rosa is holding the gap but we've still not seen any real intent from.. Movistar but now they push as Amador is caught and the pace increases. The race is well and truly on as up front Landa, Kruijswijk and Hirt share the pace. They have 1'30 on the Quintana group.

 

Dumoulin shakes his head but there's little he can do as a Movistar rider marks him. The gap is still holding at 90 seconds so the race leader is managing the situation quite well considering how things looked at the start of the climb. There's still a long, long way to go though.

 

And Anton is caught by the Nibali/Pinot/Quintana group as Dumoulin gets out of the saddle. Bahrain move back to the pace setting and he's starting to come back. Quintana can afford to wait but will he attack before the summit? Whatever he does it's going to cause a huge debate. 

 

Dumoulin has the gap at 1'12 as he picks up a few riders on the climb. Pellizotti has been on the front for much of the climb, with Nibali on his wheel. Then we have Quintana and the other GC riders. 27km to go, so about 8km of climbing as Amador takes other turn.

 

Dumoulin loses another ten seconds almost as soon as Amador takes over as the maglia rosa pushes out. This is where the lack of Kelderman is going to be really felt for Dumoulin. Quintana gets on the radio for a second time as Amador starts to really suffer. The gap is holding to Dumoulin at around 1'20.

 

Every time the break push on Dumoulin responds in kind and pulls the gap down. All the GC contenders, bar Dumoulin, are in the Quintana group but in terms of the stage it's looking better for Kruijswijk, Hirt and Landa. We've still not seen any moves from the real GC men, bar Zakarin.

 

And Landa has attacked. Kruijswijk can't follow with 25km to go but Hirt is chasing - the former winner of the Tour of Austria.

 

As we see Cataldo and Pellizotti both crack. That moves Amador to the front with Quintana on his wheel. and Nibali attacks.

 

Nibali goes and then Quintana counters. The GC group has split with Jungels the first out the back.

 

We have Nibali, Quintana, Pozzovivo, Formolo and Zakarin as Mollema leads the chase as Dumoulin closes to within a minute. 

 

24km remaining from 222km

But now there's another wave of attacks as Nibali, Quintana and Pozzovivo go clear. Zakarin is now along for the ride with 24km to go.

 

And Quintana takes up the pace at the front with Nibali coming through to take another turn. They need to work together rather than atttack. Pinot, Formolo and Jungels all dropped. 

 

The four leaders seem to cooperating well enough as Landa pushes on for the stage win. These four though, Nibali, Quintana, Zakarin and Pozzovivo share the work. They have around 5km to go until they hit the top. 

 

Dumoulin is 1'15 off Quintana at the moment as he catches Pellizotti. He doesnt' even look at the Italian as he goes around him. 

 

Zakarin takes another turn and they have 20 seconds on the Mollema/Pinot group with Jungels there too. Along with Yates and Formolo.

 

Dumoulin has taken the climb so well considering how things started for him. The four leaders on GC are working together but they're really not make a huge difference on Dumoulin at the moment. 

 

22km remaining from 222km

Landa is out of the saddle on a really tough section of the climb but he's holding the gap on Hirt, and then Quintana and the rest of the peloton.

 

Quintana again sets the pace as he looks to gain as much time as possible. Dumoulin is losing a few more seconds and his shoulders are dropping slightly. Is the climb finally catching up with the maglia rosa. Quintana then flicks his elbow and calls Nibali through. The Italian can only take a short turn as Pozzovivo takes over. With 21km to go the Quintana group catch Kruijswijk. This will still be a good day for him if he hang on.

 

The LottoNL rider moves into the back of the group. It's hard to see him being able to respond to accelerations and Nibali presses on in a bid to drop him. Job done and Kruijswijk is distanced almost immediately. 

 

In the virtual GC Dumoulin is only one minute ahead of Quintana. The maglia rosa is slipping as Landa has just 2km of climbing to go until he reaches the top of the climb. 

 

Still no decisive attack from Quintana. There have been a few digs but he's not been able to deliver a knockout blow but tactically - aside from whether or not he should have waited for Dumoulin - he's raced well. He's using Zakarin, and co to put more time into his rivals. 

 

20km remaining from 222km

Dumoulin is cracking. It's been a slow affair but he's not almost two minutes down on Quintana. What cruel way to lose pink  - if that turns out to be the case. 

 

The Quintana group catch Hirt so we just have Landa up the road. He has 45 seconds with around 1km of climbing to go. If he looks down to the right he can see Quintana group closing. As we see Kruijswijk caught by the Jungels group. Fair play to Kruijswijk he gave it everything today. 

 

And Nibali has attacked with 20km to go.

 

Only Quintana can respond to start with but Zakarin hasn't given up yet. 

 

Dumoulin is almost two minutes down but he's still holding the race lead as Nibali pushes on and Quintana is forced to just sit and follow. This could be the end for the race leader and his pink jersey. Landa has just 32 seconds with 500m to go until he hits the summit. 

 

Dumoulin is really struggling now as he fights the gradient. Up the road Nibali is showing no signs of slowing as he takes Quintana with him. The defending champion hasn't shown this form all race. 

 

19km remaining from 222km

At the top of the climb Landa has 14 seconds on Quintana and Nibali. The stage, the pink jersey, and the podium are all on the line today. 

 

On the descent and Zakarin and Pozzovivo catch Quintana and Nibali. Landa is just eight seconds clear. 

 

Dumoulin is still in the maglia rosa but it's close a Nibali drives down the descent at the front of the chase group. Dumoulin is about to reach the summit. 

 

Landa has seven seconds on the chase with 16km to go. 

 

Landa is holding his own but Nibali has him in his sights as he leads the chase with 14km to go.

 

Dumoulin is now at 2'10 behind Quintana. As things stand he should hold the jersey. This has been a bad day, no doubt, but it's not been a disaster. When we started the final climb it looked as though the pink jersey would lose a huge chunk of time. At the moment it's a manageable loss.

 

13km remaining from 222km

Nibali is starting to drop Quintana and Landa is at just four seconds. 12.9km to go.

 

And Dumoulin is gaining time on the descent. He's pegged back 10 seconds as Nibali rounds another corner as he hunts Landa. 

 

And the catch is made. Will the Italian kick on right away? He moves to the front and now it's up to Landa to follow with 11km to go.

 

Mollema, Pinot, Jungels are at 1'20. Dumoulin is at 2'14. 

 

Quitana isn't waiting around but he's on his own as he descends. Dumoulin is going well but Nibali is giving everyone a masterclass in descending. Landa is still able to follow, however. 

 

Nibali is taking risks, there's no doubt but he's cutting each corner dramatically. Pozzovivo and Zakarin are chasing Quintana although it looks like the Russian has lost ground. He's fifth on the road at the moment.

 

7km remaining from 222km

Quitana sprints out of each corner but isn't as fluid as Nibali, who still has Landa for company. 7km to go.

 

Dumoulin isn't losing any ground on the descent as the Mollema group starts to see a few gaps created within it. Landa is now working with Nibali. Makes sense, as he'll only have to out-sprint one rider, rather than two.

 

Now the gaps are opening a bit more and Niibali is putting more time into Dumoulin. The maglia rosa is hanging by a thread and don't forget the time bonuses on offer a the line.

 

4km remaining from 222km

Dumounlin can't afford to lose any ground. Any more time and the race lead will move to Quintana. 4km to go.

 

Dumoulin is cramping up it seems as he rub his legs on the descent. Up ahead and Landa has a small gap but Nibali closes it down as quickly as he can.

 

1km remaining from 222km

1km to go!

 

Landa leads under the banner. Nibali will not want to come through.

 

Landa takes the lead through another corner with 400m to go.

 

Landa will lead out

 

Into the final 200m

 

Landa sprints for the line.

 

And Nibali comes around the left. Nibali is going to take it.

 

Nibali takes the stage win and Quintana takes third. Pozzovivo is fourth, and Zakarin fifth. 

 

That's the first win of the Giro for Italy and it's fallen to the best GC hope in Nibali. Here comes Formolo with a really strong ride. 

 

Mollema leads the rest home at 1'30.

 

Here comes Dumoulin. It's going to be close but he should do it.

 

Dumoulin comes over the line at 2'17. He will keep the maglia rosa after a really heroic defence. 

 

Landa banged the bars in frustration as he crossed the line but Nibali simply had the fresher legs and in the context of the actual race, deserved the win. He made that crucial attack near the top of the final climb and then dropped Quintana on the descent. In GC Dumoulin has 31 seconds on Nibali and over a minute on Nibali.

 

 

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 6:24:22
2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:12
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:32
6 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:01:26
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:35
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
10 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ

 

General classification after stage 16

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 70:14:48
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:31
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:12
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:02:38
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:40
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:05
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:49
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:04:35
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:06:20
10 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:00

The biggest changes for GC are that Quintana is now just 31 seconds off pink as Dumoulin warms down after an incredible and dramatic stage. Nibali's race is also back in business as he moves into third and also closes on Dumoulin. 

 

Nibali just had the better line through that last corner, his experience paying off to help him take his seventh Giro d'Italia stage win of his career. It really kickstarts his Giro bid after a difficult second week.

 

Vincenzo Nibali:

“It was a spectacular stage. There was climbing, descending, and then sprinting at the end there against Mikel Landa.

 

Mikel Landa:

“Sadly I lose the stage in the last meters, but that’s cycling. You can lose and learn something. I was feeling good, more or less from the beginning of the race. It’s been a very fast stage. There was a breakaaway in the first climb. I’ve been fighting and finally they catch me in the last climb. My goal was the GC, the mountains classification was not, but we’ll see. We’ll take it day by day."

 

Tom Dumoulin:

I just had problems, I needed to take a dump - I couldn’t hold it anymore. It was after the Stelvio I began to feel it in the downhill. I had to stop, it was not possible to continue anymore.

 

Nairo Quintana:

"A very positive day, with really good teamwork. We knew we could pull back time on the leader today one way or another.

 

 

Dumoulin is waiting to come onto the podium. We've already had Nibali. The Sunweb rider really rescued his Giro on the final climb because at one point it looked as though his hopes of winning were well and truly over. He's kept pink, by 31 seconds, but his rivals are closing.

 

A penny or Dumoulin's thoughts right now. He waited for Quintana after the Colombian crashed a few stages ago. When he looked for a favour today - while wearing the maglia rosa - no one waited. 

 

Right here you can find our finish line quotes story from today's dramatic stage 

A reminder of where things now stand on GC:

 

1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 70:14:48
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:31
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:12
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:02:38
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:40
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:05
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:49
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:04:35
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:06:20
10 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:07:00

 

You can also find our complete race report, images from today's stage and video highlights (they're coming) just here.

More results are trickling in. Here's GC from 11-20:

 

11 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:07:17
12 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:11:29
13 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:12:13
14 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:13:26
15 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:14:46
16 Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:19:02
17 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:25:20
18 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:26:50
19 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:28:27
20 Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:29:07

 

And it's all change in the KOM competition:

 

1 Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky 124 pts
2 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 108
3 Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data 85
4 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 62
5 Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data 56
6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 51
7 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 46
8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 46
9 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 35
10 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data 34

 

You can watch full stage video highlights, right here.

 

That's about it from our live race coverage from today. The full report, results, photos, video highlights and reactions are all here. We will of course be back tomorrow with full coverage from stage 17 of the Giro. Thanks for joining us.

 

 

 

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