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GIRO 2017: Pinot Wins Stage 20

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Thibaut Pinot won FDJ’s first Giro d’Italia stage of 2017 when he sprinted to victory in Asiago on the final day in the mountains. 

The day was the last chance for the GC riders to duke it out on the climbs with Quintana looking to extend his lead ahead of the time trial on stage 21. Quintana managed to put 15″ into his rivals but with Tom Dumoulin the favourite for a stage win in Milan and only 53″ behind the Colombian at the end of the day, it doesn’t look like it will be enough.

A group of riders escaped early, with Dylan Teuns (BMC), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors), Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin) and Filippo Pozzato (Willier Triestina) able to get a gap and distance the peloton to more than 6′ as they went over the category 4 Poggio.

The break managed to keep their advantage with Movistar doing most of the work at the front of the peloton along with Dimension Data. As the race hit the foot of the category one Monte Grappa, Bahrain-Merida was massed at the front along with Katusha as they pushed on up the climb and the gap to the leaders began to fall along with the peloton beginning to thin out.

Movistar started to pay for their efforts earlier in the stage and as the summit approached Quintana was left with only two riders to assistance; Dumoulin, Nibali and Pinot were all close by watching for the Colombian’s move.

As the climb continued Katusha made their way to the front and once enough riders were present, Zakarin and Robert Kiserlovski attacked and got a small gap but the favourites were equal to the move.

The increase in pace meant that the peloton now consisted of a GC group of around 20 riders but the pace continued to shell contenders, with Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) unable to hold the wheels. This group was soon whittled down to just 8 riders as the climb continued on. 

The long climb had devsatated the breakaway and by the time it reached the summit there were only 2 riders left, Devenyns and Teuns, with Teuns fading at the top to let Devenyns take the KOM points.

BMC’s Cataldo was soon attacking off the front and the GC group let him go as Mollema, Jungels and Yates were able to form a chasing group on the Quintana group, which featured Nibali, PInot and Dumoulin.

The Quintana group crossed the summit 2’43” behind the leaders as they began the long descent before the final climb up the category one Foza.

The leaders were able to maintain their lead at around 2′ on the descent with Cataldo and other attackers being brought back by the Quintana group with had grown back to around 20 riders after the descent. 

As the Foza began Devenyns dropped off leaving Teuns to try and go it alone, but with the GC group beginning to increase the pace the chance of a breakaway win was unlikely.

Nibali was the first to test his rivals on the early slopes but was brought back by Quintana, dropping Dumoulin who kept riding his rythym and got back on moments later.

Zakarin and Pozzovivo (AG2R) attacked the GC group and were allowed to go as Nibali and Quintana focused on each other and after a few moments Quintana made his move with Nibali going with him. 

The pair worked together to distance themselves from the Dumoulin group which consisted of around 9 riders including Yates, Mollema and Pinot. Their gap was never too large though and Pinot was able to jump over to them as Dumoulin rallied the chase. Bob Jungels helped to bring Quintana and Nibali back but Pozzovivo and Zakarin were still forging ahead up the road.

Quintana and Pinot both attacked often which helped to increase the gap back to Dumoulin to 10″ as Jungels was the only rider willing to participate in the chase along with himself.

Pozzovivo and Zakarin went over the climb in the lead as Teuns faded back, with Quintana, Pinot and Nibali crossing 14″ behind and the Dumoulin group another 20″ behind as they began the slight downhill to the finish.

With 10km to go the Quintana group caught Pozzovivo and Zakarin and the group worked together to put more time into the Dumoulin group who were now almost 30″ behind. 

Quintana led the group under the 1km to go banner and his effort allowed him and Pinot a little gap off the front, but this was soon nulified with Pozzovivo’s acceleration which was marked by Pinot and Zakarin, with Pinot having the better sprint legs to take the stage.

Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 20: Pordenone>Asiago (190km)

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra) 4:57:58″
2 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Apecin – Rus)
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita)
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita)
5 Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col)
6 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux) +15″
7 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott – GBr)
8 Sebastian Reichenbach (FDJ – Sui)
9 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned)
10 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned)

General Classification

Position Name (Team – Nationality) Time
1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col) 90:00:38″
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita) +39″
3 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra) +43″
4 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned) +53″
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha – Alpecin – Rus) +1’15”
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita) +1’30”
7 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned) +3’03″”
8 Adam Yates (Orica-Scott – GBr) +6’50”
9 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux) +7’18”
10 Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac – Ita) +12’55”

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