Giro d'Italia: Chris Froome conquers Monte Zoncolan

Chris Froome (Team Sky) took victory on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia, crossing the line alone atop the fearsome Monte Zoncolan, after an attack 4.3km from the finish. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished second, six seconds back, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) rounded out the top three, finishing 23 seconds down.

After an incredible effort from Team Sky - notably Wout Poels - on the lower half of the day’s final climb, it was Froome who struck first from the GC group. He went with 4.3km remaining, and there was simply no response.

The four-time Tour de France champion hung around a dozen seconds off the front until Yates responded a kilometre later. What followed was a slow-motion time trial as Yates attempted to chip away at the slim lead. Further down the mountain, defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) sought to limit his losses, riding steadily with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) stuck to his wheel.

Ultimately, Yates couldn’t quite make it across to his countryman, but after two stage wins already in this Giro he will be happy to take yet more time from Dumoulin.

“It’s a really, really special feeling winning up on top of the climb today,” said Froome after the finish. “It’s such a good feeling, especially after a really hard start to this race. The team has supported me so well in this last two weeks, so to get the victory today really means a lot.”

“I felt like [4km to go] was the moment that the race was really on the limit, and I felt that was the moment for me to go,” he added. “Wout [Poels] had done a big effort and made it really hard up to that point. Right to the line Simon was just behind me - it was such a relief to get to that last 100 metres and hear that I was going to win the stage.”

With Dumoulin finishing 37 seconds behind Froome, and taking into account Yates’ time bonus, the Dutchman’s GC deficit is now 1:24. Pozzovivo lies third, 1:37 down, while Froome’s victory vaults him to fifth overall, 3:10 behind Yates.

How it happened

Stage 14 saw a return to the mountains - proper this time, as the race headed to the Carnic Alps and the infamous Monte Zoncolan. Despite its reputation, it’s only the sixth time the Giro d’Italia has used the mountain, with the first coming in 2003.

Four classified climbs lay before the big finale. First up at 43.3km, the category three Monte di Ragogna (2.8km at 10.3%), then another category three climb at Avaglio (4.5km at 7%), 105.5km in. The second category Passo Duron (4.4km at 9.6%) came 142.1km into the stage - 39km from the finish, before the penultimate test of Sella Valcalda (7.6km at 5.6%) coming 20km before the line. Two intermediate sprints were sandwiched in at 57.8km and 138.1km.

Of course, the Zoncolan - maybe the toughest climb in world cycling - was the day’s main attraction. A banner bearing the words ‘La porta dell’inferno’ [the door to hell] greeted the riders as they left Ovaro, before climbing 10.1km at an average of 11.9 per cent. An inhuman 5km at 15.3 per cent marked the hardest stretch of the climb, with gradients hitting 22 per cent in places.

Before all that though, there was the matter of the breakaway to sort out. The day’s first climb of Monte di Ragogna saw Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) go on the attack, quickly gaining time as a small chase group formed.

Within 10km, Francesco Gavazzi (Androni-Sidermec), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Laurent Didier (Trek-Segafredo) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier-Selle Italia) made it across. The break’s advantage maxed out at six minutes, but with Mitchelton-Scott massed on the front of the peloton it wouldn’t be a day for the escapees as it was during the last two visits.

The tricky Passo Duron saw the break fracture as Sunweb and Astana took to the head of the peloton, cutting the gap to four minutes. Up front, Conti took maximum points over Ragogna and Sella Valcalda, with the Italian only having compatriot Barbin for company as they began the descent into Ovaro a minute ahead of the peloton.

The first action of Zoncolan saw 2011 winner Igor Anton (Dimension Data) launch a sentimental attack 9km from the summit. Conti was caught a few kilometres later as the gradient bit as Wout Poels (Team Sky) pulled at the front of the peloton, catching a Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) attack.

With Poels pulling off at 4.3km to go, it was up to teammate Froome to launch.

The embattled Brit, who lay 3:20 down on Yates at the start of day, got away on his own while a chase group of Pozzovivo, Yates and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) formed a handful of seconds behind. Dumoulin looked steady but was losing time to his rivals - around 20 seconds - as Yates headed off in pursuit at the 3km banner.

Heading into the famous tunnels in the final kilometre, Yates had Froome in his sights, and Dumoulin some 30 seconds behind him, but fell just short of closing the gap. The Sky leader took the stage, and with it went some way to salvaging his Giro d’Italia.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky5:25:31
2Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:06
3Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:23
4Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:00:25
5Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:37
6Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:00:42
7Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:01:07
8Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:01:19
9Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:01:35
10Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:43
11Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:48
12George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:55
13Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:02:00
14Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team0:02:10
15Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:02:17
16Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 15 - Cell 2
17Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:02:23
18Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:02:35
20Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:44
21Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:57
22Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:03:44
23Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:04:06
24Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJ0:04:16
25Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:43
26Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors0:05:00
27Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:05:03
28David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:05:21
29Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:05:27
30Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:36
31Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 30 - Cell 2
32Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 32 - Cell 2
34Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data0:05:54
35François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:06
36Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:06:18
37Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:06:21
38Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data0:06:28
39Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team0:06:33
40Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:07:15
41Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
42Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:07:18
43Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:07:21
44Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo0:08:13
45Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 44 - Cell 2
46Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:09:12
47Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Fix All0:09:37
48Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:10:11
49Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:11:37
50Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-ScottRow 51 - Cell 2
53Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 52 - Cell 2
54Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-JumboRow 53 - Cell 2
55Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:11:44
56Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:11:47
57Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 56 - Cell 2
58Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:12:32
59Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:13:19
60Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:13:38
62Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:13:40
63Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team Sunweb0:14:46
64Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:16:13
65Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott0:16:29
67Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin0:16:38
68Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:16:49
69Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:17:05
70Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 69 - Cell 2
71Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:17:16
72Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:17:26
73Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:17:37
74Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Fix All0:17:40
75Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data0:17:46
76Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo0:18:05
77Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team0:19:04
78Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:19:08
79Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates0:19:45
80Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:20:01
81Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Fix All0:20:37
82Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott0:21:18
83Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:21:33
84Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:21:47
85Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 84 - Cell 2
86Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin0:22:04
88Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 87 - Cell 2
89Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 88 - Cell 2
90Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:22:16
91Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:22:23
92Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:22:27
93Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors0:22:35
94Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:22:39
95Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:22:45
96Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:22:46
97Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:23:14
98Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 97 - Cell 2
99Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:23:34
100Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:23:42
101Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:24:02
102Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:24:04
103Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 102 - Cell 2
104Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy0:24:09
105Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb0:24:47
106Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:24:49
107Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:24:57
108Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 107 - Cell 2
109Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb0:25:22
110Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:25:44
111Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott0:26:10
112Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Fix All0:26:13
113Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Fix AllRow 112 - Cell 2
114Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 113 - Cell 2
115Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 114 - Cell 2
116Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 115 - Cell 2
117Marco Coledan (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 117 - Cell 2
119Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-AlpecinRow 118 - Cell 2
120Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 119 - Cell 2
121Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 120 - Cell 2
122Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:26:52
123Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team0:26:58
124Jérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:27:00
125Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:27:03
126Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:27:06
127Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:27:14
128Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy0:27:20
129William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:27:38
130Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 130 - Cell 2
132Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 131 - Cell 2
133Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 132 - Cell 2
134Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:27:43
135Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:27:47
136Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:27:52
137Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 136 - Cell 2
138Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 137 - Cell 2
139Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 138 - Cell 2
140Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:28:12
141Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:28:27
142Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:28:31
143Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-SegafredoRow 142 - Cell 2
144Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy0:28:37
145Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:28:46
146Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team0:28:49
147Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 146 - Cell 2
148Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 147 - Cell 2
149Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 148 - Cell 2
150Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:29:01
151Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:29:08
152Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 151 - Cell 2
153Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:29:17
154Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-ScottRow 153 - Cell 2
155Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:29:31
156Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:29:48
157Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:29:55
158Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:30:15
159Svein Tuft (Can) Mitchelton-Scott0:30:56
160Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia0:31:06
161Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 160 - Cell 2
162Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia0:31:10
163Giuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia0:31:13
164Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:32:11
165Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 164 - Cell 2
166Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe0:33:49
DNSTim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 166 - Cell 2
DNSTom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 167 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky15pts
2Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia12Row 2 - Cell 3
4Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida9Row 3 - Cell 3
5Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec8Row 4 - Cell 3
6Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team7Row 5 - Cell 3
7Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb6Row 6 - Cell 3
8Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ5Row 7 - Cell 3
9Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky4Row 8 - Cell 3
10Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo4Row 9 - Cell 3
11Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ3Row 10 - Cell 3
12Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team2Row 11 - Cell 3
13Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale1Row 12 - Cell 3
14Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates1Row 13 - Cell 3
15Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 3) - Monte di Ragogna, km. 43
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates7pts
2Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 3) - Avaglio, km. 106
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale7pts
2Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 2) - Passo Duron, km. 142
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates15pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4 (Cat. 3) - Sella Valcalda -Ravascletto, km. 165
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates7pts
2Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 5 (Cat. 1) - Monte Zoncolan, km. 186
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky35pts
2Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott18Row 1 - Cell 3
3Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida12Row 2 - Cell 3
4Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team9Row 3 - Cell 3
5Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ4Row 5 - Cell 3
7Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky2Row 6 - Cell 3
8Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ1Row 7 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Forgaria Nel Friuli, km. 57
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec10pts
2Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale1Row 4 - Cell 3
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