giro 2017Giro d'Italiagiro d'italia 2017Pro Cycling

GIRO 2017: Landa Wins Stage 19

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Mikel Landa (Team Sky) finally got his stage win after several second and third positions, attacking the breakaway to solo up the final climb to take victory.

Tom Dumoulin lost his pink jersey and race lead to Nairo Quintana aftegr being distanced on the final climb, but the Dutchman holds second and has a 38″ deficit on Quintana.

An early break went on the slopes of the category 2 Passo di Monte Croce di Comelico which was right at the start of the race, but were unable to get more than 15″ and some of them dropped back. 

Pelle Bilbao (Astana), Maciej Paterski (CCC) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) were able to stay out front despite the slim gap though and Bilbao took the points at the top and continued to press their advantage on the descent, increasing the gap to 30″.

The descent was a good opportunity for more attacks though and soon the gap had swelled to 14 riders which included, along with Bilbao, Materski and Teklehaimanot, Clément Chevrier (AG2R), Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Tobias Ludvigsson (FDJ), Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), José Herrada (Movistar), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step), Jurgen Van den Boreck (LottoNL-Jumbo), Rui Costa (UAE) and Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier-Triestina).

In the valley between climbs the break was able to extend their lead to more than 4′ on the peloton as they approached the next test: the category 2 Sella Chianzutan.

Whilst the break continued to press their advantage there was trouble for Dumoulin who had been caught on the wrong side of a split on the descent and was over a 1′ behind Nibali, Quintana, Pinot and their teams who were all in the front group.

Dumoulin didn’t have to rely only on his Sunweb team though as Adam Yates and Steven Kruijswijk had also missed the split so put their Orica-Scott and LottoNL-Jumbo teams to work on the front of the chasing group to bring the Quintana group back.

The increase in pace had severely reduced the break’s advantage which, along with the steep gradient on the climb, saw the Quintana group catch them with 96km to go in the stage.

Mollema had also missed out on the split so dedicated some Trek-Segafredo riders to the cause but it wasn’t long before Dumoulin, Yates, Kruijswijk and Mollema had lost their teammates and were leading the chase themselves. Their efforts proved effective though and with 91km to go both GC groups were back together.

The early catch of the break saw another attempt go clear led by Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) which was marked by some of the original breakaway who had managed to hold on to the peloton as it passed. A new group of six riders including Sanchez, Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Sebastian Henao (Team Sky) and Rui Costa (UAE) went clear and quickly got a lead of 45″ as they pressed on over the summit and began their descent.

A chase group with included Mikel Landa (Team Sky) quickly formed to try and get up to them and after 30km of chasing down the descent and along the valley they made contact with the leaders. The chase group included Landa, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Clément Chevrier (AG2R), Nicola Boem, Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF), Rudy Molard (FDJ), José Herrada, José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Ruben Plaza (Orica-Scott), Eros Capecchi (Quick-Step), Matteo Busato and Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier-Southeast) creating a leading group of 18 riders on the road and with 50km left to go they had 7′ on the peloton behind.

With 30km remaining the break had gotten up to 11’45” ahead of the peloton which was riding along at a steady pace ahead of the final climb to the finish on the category 1 Piancavallo. With 25km to race they started to attack each other as Bahrain-Merida got organised on the front of the peloton to increase the pace.

With 21km to go Sanchez attacked the break with Molard going with him to no response from the break. As they approached the foot of the climb the pair had 30″ and Landa put Henao on the front to try and bring it back. As the due began to climb Sanchez dropped Molard almost immediately and continued alone and managed to get his advantage out to 45″ despite Henao’s effort.

The initial steep gradient of the climb along with Henao’s pace had shelled many riders from the break leaving just Henao, Landa, Rolland, Shaluvnov, Koshevoy and Costa.

Costa took his moment to attack and managed to get a gap with Henao and Landa following, with the acceleration enough to pull back Sanchez. With 10km to go Sanchez cracked and left Costa to bid for glory alonge as Henaeo and Landa continued to chase. 

In the peloton Tom Dumoulin was beginning to slip back through the bunch which prompted Movistar to put Anacona on the front to increase the pace and try and distance the race leader.

Dumoulin was holding on at the back of the bunch with two teammates as Landa attacked the break and joined Costa, going past the Portuguese rider who had no response and continuing up the climb.

With 7km remaining Landa had opened a gap of 1′ on Costa; whilst in the peloton Dumoulin was again distanced as Bahrain-Merida took over ther pacemaking on the front. There were no attacks from the GC riders but as they approached the steepest part of the climb – 14% – and with Dumoulin suffering an attack was imminent.

Dumoulin wasn’t alone and had teammate Geschke as the group was 20″ behind the Quintana group which also included Nibali, Mollema and Pinot.

With 5km to go Pinot attacked the Quintana group and no response allowed him to get a gap as Pelizotti was put back to work for Nibali to chase down the Frenchman. This acceleration put Dumoulin at 32″ back, making Quintana the virtual maglia rosa on the road.

With 3km to go and Landa almost certain for the stage at 1’30” ahead of the chasers, Pinot’s advantage had gone out to 45″ and Nibali’s podium place was in jeopardy and the Italian was forced to attack as the group was thinned out to include just Nibali, Quintana, Yates, Pozzovivo, Zakarin, Mollema and Hirt.

Despite the chase from Rolland and Costa, Landa was able to take the stage win but all eyes were turned to Dumoulin and his 30″ deficit to the Quintana group.

Attacks from Zakarin and Pozzovivo were allowed to go ahead of Quintana dn Nibali as the two GC riders marked each other. Nibali was the first to go and Quintana marked him but was happy to let Nibali do the work and drag him up the climb.

Dumoulin fought hard but by the time he crossed the line had had lost 1′ to Quintana, putting Quintana into the pink jersey and demoted Dumoulin to second.

Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 19: San Candido>Piancavallo (191km)

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Mikel Landa (Team Sky – Spa) 4:53:00″
2 Rui Costa (UAE – Por) +1’49”
3 Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) +1’54”
4 Pello Bilbao (Astana – Spa) +2’12”
5 Sebastian Henao (Team Sky – Col) +3’06”
6 Evgeniy Shalunov (Gazprom-Rusvelo – Rus) +3’51”
7 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana – Spa)
8 Matteo Busato (Wilier-Triestina – Ita) +5’05”
9 Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF – Ita)
10 Ilia Koshevoy (Wilier-Triestina – Blr) +6’44”

General Classification

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col) 85:02:40″
2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned) +38″
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita) +43″
4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra) +53″
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha – Alpecin – Rus) +1’21”
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita) +1’30”
7 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned) +2’48″”
8 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott – GBr) +6’35”
9 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux) +7’03”
10 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned) +7’37”


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