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Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 17

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 17 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, the so-called 'wine stage', featuring 155km through Franciacorta territory. 

 

 

For the latest race updates, please refresh this page

 

 

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Giro d'Italia 2018: Start list

Stage 16: Dennis wins time trial as Yates keeps pink

Analysis: Giro d'Italia time trial reshuffles the top 10 overall

 

Hello everyone, and welcome along for more live action from the Giro d'Italia. We're in the final week, and it's all about that time trial and the three consecutive mountain stages, right? Well, not quite. In between we have this, a 155km stage from Lake Garda to Iseo. It probably goes down as an 'intermediate' stage - it could well end in a sprint, though equally a breakaway could have some fun. It's not an obvious GC day like the TT and the mountains, but just look at those first 10 kilometres...

Today's stage is starting on the shores of Lake Garda. Could be worse. 

 

 

As well as the views out across the water, the other striking sight this morning is that of turbo trainers. Those 10 opening uphill kilometres have not gone unnoticed, and riders are making sure they don't get caught flat footed. 

 

 

The Mitchelton-Scott team are on the turbos but, interestingly, Yates isn't. Cast your mind back just over a week to stage 11, where Esteban Chaves came unstuck on the early climb and free-fell down the general classification. This could be a dangerous day. 

 

The final riders are signing on and the roll-out will come at 13.20 local time, so in around 10 minutes. The race proper will be waved underway five minutes after that. 

 

News just in that Louis Meintjes will not start today. The South African has had a miserable Giro, and a miserable season really. He was 46th overall, more than an hour down, and has pulled out due to a respiratory problem. More on that for you soon. 

 

Maybe this is the reason Yates wasn't warming up... His three stage wins and remarkable displays in the maglia rosa have clearly made him popular with the tifosi

A reminder of how things stand overall after yesterday's all-important time trial.

 

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 66:39:14
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:56
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:11
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:50
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:19
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:04
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:37
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:06:02
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:06:07
10 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:07:01

 

And for an dissection of how the TT has left the GC complexion, I recommend this from my colleagues Barry Ryan and Stephen Farrand. 

 

Giro d'Italia time trial reshuffles the top 10 overall

 

No prizes for picking out Chris Froome, but who is the owner of the back of that head? Well, a pat on the back if you're saying David Lappartient, because it is indeed the UCI President, who has just got this stage underway. We spoke to Lappartient this morning - Froome's salbutamol case was one of the topics of discussion - and will have a story on the way soon. 

 

 

So, the riders are moving and they're making their way through the neutralised section. 

 

Sam Bennett is up there near the car. Could he and his Bora team try something here? Their big rival, Elia Viviani, was of course dropped on that early stage 11 climb and the German team might look to inflict some damage again today to take him out of the equation. 

 

At the start of Stage 17 @DLappartient, @diroccorenato, @MauroVegni with The Maglia Rosa @SimonYatess

@giroditalia Wed, 23rd May 2018 11:26:26

 

A slight delay to the start of the race here, as the officials get everyone organised behind the car. 

 

The race is still not underway, and this is obviously taking some of the early kilometres of that opening climb out of the equation. 

They're off!

 

Finally, the car pulls away and the race is waved underway. Not entirely sure why they had to neutralise it for so long. The start has been given after 5km, so this opening climb will only be half as long. 

 

Immediately the attacks come. Israel Cycling Academy's Krists Neilands is once again on the move.

 

Neilands is tracked by an Androni representative but there's no gap. The bunch is simply strung out behind them. 

 

A few riders starting to get into trouble at the back of the bunch. No danger for Viviani or any of the GC contenders. 

 

Androni's Matteo Cattaneo springs clear now, and Neilands finds himself in a group of 10 several metres behind. Behind them, the peloton starts to bunch up.

 

Those who've missed out suddenly spring into panicked action, and the calm in the peloton disappears. Riders ping off the front and it strings out once more. 

 

That group of 10 link up with Cattaneo. Astana have two in there with Luis Leon Sanchez and Davide Villella. Blue jersey Giulio Ciccone is there, along with Sky's Salvatore Puccio, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), another from Androni, one from Movistar, and a struggling Hugh Carthy (EF-Drapac) hanging on on the back. 

 

 

Sanchez has just turned round and given the middle finger to the rest of the group. That actually just happened. 

 

There'll no doubt be a gif of that Sanchez finger making its way onto the internet soon enough. 

 

More riders head out from the break as the road dips downhill now. A few groups on the road here. 

 

Carthy is caught, along with a group of seven or so, who had tried to break free of the maglia rosa group.  

 

UAE lead the peloton now behind the breakaway, who have 27 seconds. We'll have the full composition on the way shortly. 

 

14 riders in the break

 

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

Davide Villella (Astana)

David de la Cruz (Team Sky)

Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky)

Matteo Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli)

Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli)

Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida)

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC)

Sebastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ)

Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale)

Ruben Fernandez (Movistar)

Nathan Brown (EF-Drapac)

Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy)

Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF)

 

138km remaining from 155km

The peloton haven't let them go. Bora hit the front and keep the foot on the gas. The gap is 40 seconds. 

 

Are Bora doing this because Viviani has been dropped? No confirmation as yet on where the maglia ciclamino is.

 

Bora have put no fewer than five riders on the front here.

 

131km remaining from 155km

The gap is staying pretty stable at the moment at 45 seconds. 

 

Viviani is indeed in the peloton. Right up towards the front, actually. 

 

Fabio Aru hits the front now for UAE.

 

The breakaway riders are onto the descent proper and they're collaboration doesn't look ideal. 40 seconds the gap.

 

There's a group of around 20 that's chasing several seconds behind the peloton. 

 

It's lined out at speed down this twisting descent. The gap is down to 25 seconds. 

 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on this final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now.

 

Bora and UAE are causing splits in the bunch, such is their commitment to pushing the pace here. 

 

The breakaway riders are all looking over their shoulders. I think they know what's coming...

 

I mentioned splits... there's a huge split in the peloton here. 

 

Chris Froome and Miguel Angel Lopez have been caught out in this split. They're in the second peloton, of around 75 riders, chasing behind the front peloton of around 40, where Simon Yates and Elia Viviani are sitting safely. 

De la Cruz and Visconti are caught now as Bora charge on. Another gesture from an unhappy Sanchez as he himself is swallowed up. 

15 seconds separate the 'two pelotons'

 

Yates, Dumoulin, Pozzovivo, Pinot are all safely in the front peloton. It appears Rohan Dennis is another GC riders back behind the split. 

Neilands, Cattaneo, and Jauregui are the only three left out front now. 

 

More attacks come as the pink jersey group catches most of the breakaway remnants. It's chaos out there, but we have three in the lead. 

The two main pelotons come back together now. It's relentless attacking off the front, though. 

 

There's a group of around 25 riders chasing behind the reformed peloton. It doesn't seem like there are any big names back there. 

 

Valerio Conti (UAE) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) are riding hard on the front of a large counter attack behind the three leaders. 

 

So, four groups on the road as it stands. 

 

Three leaders (Neilands, Cattaneo, Jauregui)

Large chase group of breakaway hopefuls

Peloton, with all main contenders for stage and GC

Dropped group of 25

 

Make that three groups - the large chase group have linked up with the leading trio to give us a very large breakaway that could well go all the way. 

 

Just working on the full list of riders in this break, and it's a long one. Darwin Atapuma (UAE) and Marco Frapporti (Androni) have just attacked off the front of it. 

 

We make it 22 out front, and here's who we make it. 

 

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

Darwin Atapuma (UAE Team Emirates)

Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates)

Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)

Matteo Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli)

Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli)

Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

Davide Villella (Astana)

Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale)

Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale)

Zdenek Sybar (Quick-Step Floors)

Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida)

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC)

Nathan Brown (EF-Drapac)

Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky)

Dayer Quintana (Movistar)

Mathie Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ)

Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy)

Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF)

 

I spent all that time setting out ALL the riders in the break, and then they go and get caught by the peloton. Typical...

 

100km remaining from 155km

100km to go and it's been breathless so far, with no sign of it relenting any time soon. 

 

Atapuma and Frapporti are still out in front, with the reformed peloton now 25 seconds behind. 

 

More attacks come now, predictably. Wilier have missed everything so far and launch a rider off in pursuit. He's marked by an representative from Androni, who've hardly missed a beat all Giro. 

 

Intermediate sprint coming up. Viviani looks alive up towards the front of the peloton but the attacks mean he won't be picking up any points.

 

Frapporti takes the sprint points but will he and Atapuma push on? The pace is really high in the peloton, and they're only 15 seconds behind. 

 

Frapporti and Atapuma are caught. All together again.

 

But not for long... the attacks start all over again. It's relentless.

 

Adam Hansen (Lotto Fix All) is one of the riders on the move now, and he's joined by Wilier's Giuseppe Fonzi. 

 

No one wants to miss out here, so the counter attackers ping off the front of the peloton.

 

Apologies, it's Lars Bak for Lotto, and he and Fonzi now have company from Francois Bidard (AG2R), Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Katusha), and Mattia Cattaneo (Androni).

 

These five riders aren't getting anywhere. A couple of small groups make their way across but it's just lining out the peloton as a whole and dragging it across.

 

This is no easy day for Yates and the rest of the GC contenders. As well as the pace being so high, they have to be so alert and have teammates with them at all times. Switching off for a moment could potentially be costly. 

 

Ben Hermans is alone at the head of the race, but only by a few metres. Behind him yet another big group is brought to heel. 

 

We're onto the only categorised climb of the day now, to Lodrino, and this could sort things out. 

 

 

Middle finger Sanchez is on the move yet again. He has a Sky rider on the wheel as he catches Hermans. 

 

The peloton is splitting on the climb once again now.

 

Mitchelton-Scott are on the front of the bunch but good luck keeping a lid on this. More riders breeze past them in search of the front of the race. The Sky rider is Elissonde, and he's pushing on with Sanchez now. 

 

Hermans is chasing not far behind. Behind him are riders from Bahrain and Quick-Step, BMC, and Androni. 

 

Mitchelton-Scott have taken command now as Mikel Nieve leads the peloton at a high pace. There is a small split here, with Fabio Aru one of the riders behind it. 

 

Elissonde and Sanchez have been joined by those chasers. Poels is also there for Sky

 

Here are the eight leaders

 

Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky)

Wout Poels (Team Sky)

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)

Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida)

Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy)

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC)

Alexandre Geniez (AG2R)

Max Schachmann (Quick-Step)

 

Geniez is 15th overall, and Poels 17th. 

 

Geniez takes the KOM points at the top of the Lodrino climb ahead of Poels and Elissonde. 

 

This lead group crests the climb with a lead of just 20 seconds over the Mitchelton-Scott-led peloton. 

 

Yates' team don't want this group with a couple of danger men to get too far up up the road and give them a headache later. Bora come to the front of the bunch now to lend a hand. 

 

It's another sinuous descent, which will lead into another short climb, though this one uncategorised. 

 

Ben Hermans attacks the break and goes it alone

Hermans is brought back. 25 seconds the gap. 

 

The rain is coming down now, and that's perhaps an understatement. It's belting down. 

 

There are still some splits in the peloton, but not big-name casualties. 

 

Here's our full story on Meintjes' exit

 

Meintjes abandons Giro d'Italia due to illness

 

Mitchelton-Scott continue to drive the peloton on, and the gap to leaders is down to just 10 seconds. It's going to come back together and start all over again. 

 

66km remaining from 155km

Poels tries to drag this on for as long as possible. His presence is possibly forcing Mitchelton-Scott into riding hard to close this down. 

 

Sanchez goes now, and the accelerations mean they hang on for a little longer. 

Bora take over once again and finish the job. 

 

It's all back together again. 

 

So, who goes now?

 

Hermans goes again with Sanchez and De Marchi. 

 

And Poels, who was also in that break, jumps out of the peloton once again. And he's over to the trio in no time. 

 

Sanchez, with yet another hand gesture, expresses his displeasure with Poels coming across. The Dutchman's presence reduces the chance of any break sticking.

 

No red jersey in this break? Gianno Savio loads up the Androni cannon...

It's Rodolfo Torres this time for the Italian Pro Conti team, and he's on his way across.

 

Torres makes the junction as Bora lead the peloton 20 seconds behind. 

 

Towards the top of this uncategorised climb and Torres is distanced in the break. He can't afford to lose the wheel here.

 

It's Formolo on the front of the peloton for Bora. The Italian is 16th overall put the German team want a bunch sprint for Bennett and are putting all their resources behind the cause. 

 

60km remaining from 155km

The road heads downhill now towards the feed zone. Will that bring about some order?

 

I mentioned we spoke to UCI President David Lappartient this morning. Well, here's the story. Froome's salbutamol case could drag on past the Tour de France after all. 

 

Lappartient unsure if Chris Froome case will be resolved before Tour de France

 

 

53km remaining from 155km

Torres's stint in the break proved to be very short-lived indeed. But the same might ultimately be the case for Poels, De Marchi, Hermans, and Sanchez. They have just 24 seconds. 

 

Sunweb come up towards the front as Bora pull over. Are they backing out? Mitchelton-Scott have to come back to the front, with two riders in front of Yates. 

 

That Bora-caused lull in pace has seen the four leaders extend their advantage to 40 seconds.

 

Discussions between Mikel Nieve and Christian Knees at the front of the peloton. 'Why are you so determined to shut this down' Knees seems to be asking, in the interests, of course, of his teammate Poels up the road. Well, Poels is 17th on GC, Nieve seems to be saying. 

 

Poels is more than 10 minutes down on Yates, and while it may seem overly cautious, Mitchelton-Scott are in control mode and don't want any unscripted events changing things, however slightly. 

 

Mechanical for Viviani!

 

Viviani shouldn't have too much of an issue getting back in here. They're in the feed zone and a lot of riders are digging into their musettes. Plus he has a couple of teammates who've dropped back. 

The pace has eased in the peloton now, and the gap to the leaders goes up to 1:20.

 

Tom Dumoulin is also in the cars, presumably himself suffering a mechanical. Several kilometres ago that might have been a problem but the pace is more sedate here and there are no worries for the 2017 champion.

 

45km remaining from 155km

Maybe Knees' words had some impact... Mitchelton-Scott have completely disappeared from the front of the bunch. As have Bora for that matter.

 

Step forward LottoNL and Bahrain-Merida...

 

Moto problems at the front of the race as De Marchi and co round a bend, and it looks like a media bike is too close for comfort, possibly offering assistance. But in fact it's slowed to such an extent that the group have to brake. De Marchi is understandably unimpressed.

 

40km remaining from 155km

Meanwhile we have a Bardaini counter attack. Simone Andreetta and Enrico Barbin are on the move together, chasing down the four leaders.

 

LottoNL-Jumbo are committing to the chase here. 

 

They have Danny Van Poppel as a potential candidate for a sprint finish. They could also be protecting George Bennett's 10th place overall, which is under threat from Poels, who started the day three minutes down on the Kiwi.

 

More splits in the peloton!

 

This is a bonkers stage. 

 

Aru and Patrick Konrad caught out by the split, but the groups are starting to come back together. 

 

Van Poppel was also caught behind the split there. Still his teammates pile on the pace up front. 

 

Poels, De Marchi, Sanchez, and Hermans continue to work together. They're lead has been reduced to 1:10.

 

Into the second intermediate sprint, and it's Poels who leads them across, though it's uncontested. That's three bonus seconds for the Dutchman. But will he be climbing the GC by the end of the day? The way it's going now it's highly unlikely.

 

A reminder of today's profile. We pass the finish line for the first time with just under 30km to go, before setting out on the finishing circuit that features some undulations. 

 

 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on this final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now.

 

Barbin and Andreetta are still stuck in no-man's land. They're just 15 seconds ahead of the peloton. 

 

26km remaining from 155km

LottoNL are back on the front of the peloton. Bora just behind. The gap comes down to 48 seconds. 

 

24km remaining from 155km

Poels, De Marchi, Sanchez, and Hermans lead the race into Iseo and across the finish line for the first time. 

 

They do the full final kilometre, giving Bennett, Viviani et al a chance to study the theatre for the sprint finish later on.

23km remaining from 155km

And I say sprint finish with some degree of certainty now, because the peloton cross the line just 25 seconds later.

 

Andreetta and Barbin have been caught.

 

 

With the peloton closing in, De Marchi springs an attack. Sanchez and Hermans follow, Poels looks like he's done for the day. 

20km remaining from 155km

These three could have done with Poels calling it a day rather earlier. As it is, with just 20km to go and the gap so small, the sprint teams aren't going to let this get away from them now. 

 

Hermans dropped now after another De Marchi acceleration.

 

18km remaining from 155km

Bora take it up once again now, and it's the familiar face of Cesare Benedetti. 25 seconds the gap as Hermans is caught.

 

Predictions please

 

Viviani? Bennett? A.N Other? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @cyclingnewsfeed

 

LottoNL and Bora are controlling this quite well. They're keeping De Marchi and Sanchez within touching distance but just resisting the temptation to make the catch for now, because a regrouping could well spark counter attacks and fresh late breakaway attempts. 

 

It's raining again.

 

14km remaining from 155km

The roads are glistening and treacherously slippy. This is going to be a nervous run-in. 

 

De Marchi takes a huge turn and then has to fight to get on Sanchez's wheel as the Spaniard comes through. There's no option but to go all in, but the peloton are just 10 seconds behind. 

 

Jens Debuscherre has been caught out as the peloton lines out in the rain. He's out of the back and surely won't be able to contest the sprint now.

 

11km remaining from 155km

De Marchi and Sanchez look at each other and know the game's up. They sportingly call it a day and slip back through the bunch. 

 

All together!

 

@Cyclingnewsfeed Forza @Sammmy_Be @BORAhansgrohe #Giro101

@ConorTMcGrane Wed, 23rd May 2018 14:41:47

@cyclingnewsfeed Stage prediction Wout Pouls intentionally doomed the break so that Froome could get bonus seconds in the sprint finish. Froome's sprint fouls up the Bora and Quick Step trains, and Modolo comes around for the victory.

@WooldridgeChuck Wed, 23rd May 2018 14:44:18

 

One out of left-field...

 

LonnoNL continue to dominate the run-in as the rain comes down at the finish. 

 

Attack from Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo)

 

LottoNL's Robert Gesink goes with him, plus a rider from Bora now.

Interesting developments here. This will surely force Quick-Step onto the front

 

7km remaining from 155km

Quick-Step are alive to it and Stybar sets off now to mark it, joined by Sergion Henao.

 

Stybar and Henao make it up to Gesink and Brambilla. It's Benedetti there for Bora. The gap is small, though.

 

This is a five-man group but it might as well be a solo, with Brambilla essentially joined by four markers, who won't be doing any work. 

 

Mitchelton-Scott drag the peloton back, and Stybar launches an attack now!

 

It's belting down at the line now.

 

5km remaining from 155km

Stybar's move comes to naught and it's back together

 

Another attack. This time it's Maurits Lammertink (Katusha)

 

Lammertink drives out of the saddle as Mitchelton-Scott lead the bunch. Somehow it's dry where they are but they'll soon be in the rain. 

 

4km remaining from 155km

Seven seconds for Lammertink

 

Mitchelton-Scott will work to keep Yates out of trouble until the safety net of the 3km-to-go banner, and possibly beyond. 

 

Headwind for Lammertink and he's fading now. 

 

Viviani has already taken the wheel of Sam Bennett.

 

3km remaining from 155km

3km to go and Lammertink is caught. 

 

Mitchelton-Scott still on the front for now. Sky in behind.

 

The sprint teams are leaving it late.

 

The pace drains from the peloton now as the GC teams simply look to keep their riders safe. 

 

1km remaining from 155km

Viviani has plenty of teammates there as LottoNL come back through to the front.

 

And now they're into the driving rain.

 

Israel take it up as EF-Drapac look to move Modolo up

 

Quick-Step take command now. Stybar on the front, then Sabatini, then Viviani.

 

Big left-hander.

 

Here we go

 

Traditional lead-out for Quick-Step then

 

Van Poppel goes early!

 

But here comes Viviani....

 

And takes it!

 

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) wins stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia

 

Bennett second, Bonifazio third.

 

Yates finishes safely to keep the maglia rosa for another day. No change on GC, despite the four hours of chaos we've just enjoyed. 

 

Top 10

 

 

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 3:19:57
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
9 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin

 

 

General classification after stage 17


1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 69:59:11
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:56
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:03:11
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:50
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:19
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:04
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:37
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:06:02
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:06:07
10 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:07:01

 

That's stage win number 4 for Viviani at this Giro d'Italia. And that's the maglia ciclamino pretty much sewn up, provided he makes it through the mountains to Rome, of course.

 

Elia Viviani is the first Italian in the last 13 years to win four stages at a single Giro d'Italia edition.

@CafeRoubaix Wed, 23rd May 2018 15:03:15

"Siri, what's Italian for speed?"

@quickstepteam Wed, 23rd May 2018 15:08:24

 

Let's hear from Zdenek Stybar, who was in one of those many early breaks and then played a key role for Viviani in the finale. 

 

"All the stage was really hard, because we had an uphill start, and the break didn't really go. For once I was in a nice group of 20 but it never really worked out. Ther were stilla  few guys jumping. It was just a really fast day, very hard. After the last climb we said 'everything for Elia'. We had the jersey in mind, and now we finished it off, so it's really nice. 

 

"On the first climb we said 'ok, we stay most of us with Elia, and if he can't follow the pace then we bring him back to the front', but he had a good day and his shape is great, even in the third week. He finished it off - his fourth stage - so it's amazing."

 

Stybar was speaking to Eurosport there, answering at length in the pouring rain. Mr nice guy. 

Sam Bennet is completely devastated. 

 

"I had a few slips, and I just lost the nerve. I just couldn't get out. I had the legs again and I just couldn't get out," he says to Eurosport, and he can barely address the next question without breaking down. 

 

"It's just timing... I was coming from behind and just ran out of road. It's just... I put a lot into it."

A first shot of the finish

 

 

And now we can hear from Viviani in his stage winner's flash interview

 

"We knew for sure it could be a really hard stage, because after the time trial and rest day, people will have recovered a bit of energy. The breakaway didn’t arrive, and everyone wanted to take the breakaway to the finish line. It was a really strong breakaway, but it was just four guys and Bora controlled all the day really well with Lotto-Jumbo. We played a little bit today, but I think we played right. The second to last [sprint] stage before Rome and we thought it was perfect for Bennett. If he gained points on us, he would come closer [to the points jersey]. We didn’t want to take responsibility, so our next goal would be to win in Rome. For sure if we are having a bunch sprint, I said to my guys, organize a really good lead-out. We did perfect - it was amazing today."

Here we can see Viviani celebrating. One finger for each stage win. 

 

 

More from Viviani

 

"If you see, I left a gap to Saba [lead-out man Fabio Sabatini], because I knew it was a headwind and Saba started with 400m to go. Normally that is perfect, but with a total headwind I knew it was a little early. I tried to give a few metres to Saba until I saw 200m to go. Van Poppel saw me, and he just tried to anticipate me. But when he went, I thought ’perfect - move, and I can keep his wheel and then go'. Then I gained 50 more metres. That is an important 50 metres when it’s a headwind."

 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on this final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now.

 

The maglia ciclamino looks pretty secure on the shoulders of Viviani. Here are the new standings, with just one sprint stage to come on the final day. There are 50 points on offer there for the winner so while mathematically Bennett could still do it with the help of the intermediate sprints, realistically his only hope is Viviani abandoning the race. 

 

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 290 pts
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 232
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 113
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac 110
5 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 109

 

Full results, report, and plenty of photos can be found in our report page. 

 

Giro d'Italia: Viviani wins number four in Iseo

 

No word yet from Yates, but Eurosport grabbed a word with his teammate Chris Juul-Jensen

 

"It was yet another mouthful. I think all riders, including myself, felt the fatigue of the Giro but luckily and eventually only three guys chipped off the front, and the sprinters' teams were able to control the race and we took care of Yates near the front. I think there are no days where it's lived up to what people have expected, its always been the unexpected here at the Giro and especially today. It was hard, but we still have the pink jersey, and morale is high in this team so we can't really complain."

For all the snap post-stage reaction in one place, here's the link you need. We'll have full stories on all the main protagonists and talking points coming in from Iseo shortly. 

 

Giro d'Italia: Stage 17 finish line quotes

 

A nice shot of the finish where you can see Viviani's lead-out man Sabatini celebrating. 

 

 

Tomorrow we go into the mountains

 

 

That's it for our live coverage today. Thanks for your company. We trust you'll join us again tomorrow as the GC battle re-ignites up Prato Nevoso. In the meantime, keep your eyes on Cyclingnews for all the big stories from the Giro, as well as video highlights of today's stage. Ciao!

 

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