Pierre Rolland won Stage 17 with a perfectly timed attack from the large breakaway in the final 10km of the stage, taking advantage of the lack of organised chase to solo away to victory.
The break was part of a large group of riders which formed during the stage in a bid to chase the three leaders, which included Rolland, who had attacked from the start of the stage.
Rolland and his breakaway companions Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Matej Mohoric (UAE) soon built a gap of more than 4′ as they worked their way up the category 2 Aprica that started the stage.
As the trio reached the top their lead was reduced to 2’30” by Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team as several riders tried to attack the peloton and make it to the break, but everytime being brought back.
The trio and the peloton were the only two groups on the road down the descent until the start of the next climb immediately afterwards – the category 2 Passo del Tonale – when a large group of riders managed to go ahead in a flurry of attacking moves.
The 40 riders represented most teams so were allowed to get a substantial lead of 4′ on the peloton on the climb with the three leaders a further minute ahead of them. The 20 riders were Valerio Agnoli (Bahrain-Merida), Ben Gastauer and Quentin Jaurégui (Ag2r La Mondiale), Jesper Hansen (Astana), Enrico Barbin and Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF), Tejay Van Garderen, Manuel Senni, and Francisco Ventoso (BMC), Jan Barta and Jose Mendes (Bora-Hansgrohe), Felix Grosschartner, Lukasz Owsian, Branislau Samoilau and Michal Schelgel (CCC), Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Gorka Izagirre and Rory Sutherland (Movistar), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Orica-Scott), Laurens De Plus and Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step), Natnael Berhane, Omar Fraile, Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, Kristian Sbaragli, and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky), Simon Geschke (Team Sunweb), Peter Stetina and Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Rui Costa, Valerio Conti and Jan Polanc (UAE), Julen Amezqueta, Matteo Busato and Ilya Koshevoy (Wilier-Triestina), and Sergey Firsanov (Gazprom-Rusvelo).
The three leaders were able to extend their lead on the climb as the big chasing group struggled for cohesion, but the peloton weren’t worried and by the time they reached the summit they were 9′ in arrears of the three leaders as they began a 70km descent before the final category 3 climb of the Giovo.
On the descent the trio split up with Rolland sitting up to put himself in the larger group behind – a move which proved smart to save himself for a stage win – whilst Brutt and Mohoric pushed on and with 100km to go were able to increase the gap to the chasers to 5’23” with the peloton another 4′ behind.
The chase group had managed to get organised and had brought back the lead to 4’20” with 88km to go as the leaders hit the final climb. The two leaders made short work of the climb but Brutt soon cracked, leaving Mohoric to sumit the climb alone with the gap back to the peloton almost 13′.
The chase group was now attacking each other on the climb which was eating into Mohoric’s lead out front which now stood at 2′ as a second chase group was formed in pursuit. The leading group of chases on the road included De PLus, Devenyns, Busato, Sutherland, Van Garderen, Van Resnburg, Rui Costa, Conti and Rolland with a the chasing group behind them including many of the original breakaway.
As Mohoric’s lead fell to just 1′ Amezqueta, Roy and Barbin managed to bridge over to the leading chase group as the second chase group started to splinter. Despite this, UAE’S Jan Polanc was now the virtual maglia rosa as the peloton was more than 13’30” back down the road.
With 60km to go Mahoric was caught by the leading chase group as Quick-Step took up the chase in the peloton to bring the group back with Polanc now a threat to the GC as well as Jungels’ white jersey as leader of the young rider classification.
As the gap started to come down the second chase group made contact with the leading group to bring the large group of 25 riders together at the front of the race. The group – Rui Costa, Valerio Conti, Matej Mohoric, and Jan Polanc (UAE), Omar Fraile, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Gorka Izaguirre and Rory Sutherland (Movistar), Fran Ventoso and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), Jan Barta (Bora-Hansgrohe), Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Pierre Rolland and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac), Dries Devenyns and Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Julien Amezqueta and Matteo Busato (Wilier-Triestina), Felix Gorsschartner and Branislau Samoilau (CCC), and Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF) – still had 10’40” on the peloton with 40km to go as the UAE riders worked to pull the leading group along to move Polanc up the GC.
With 20km to go the gap had been brought down to 8’30” with the efforts of Quick-Step and LottNL-Jumbo working on the front of the peloton as the break began to show the first signs of discontent and attacks began, but no rider was initially able to break the group.
Attacks came from Fraile, Izagirre, Conti and Rolland frequently with riders constantly chasing them down and it was still all together in the front group with 10km to go as Quick-Step had brought the gap right down to 6’45”.
With 8km to go Rolland launched an attack and the hesitation in the break was all he needed to get a gap. The break looked at each other as no rider wanted to take responsibility for chasing the Frenchman which allowed him to get 17″ going into the final 5km.
There was still no response as Van Garderen and Costa took mini-turns on the front but refused to dedicate themselves to the chase, leaving Rolland to extend his lead further to 30″ with just 3km to go as he maintained his effort to the line to take the stage for Cannondale-Drapac.
The peloton came in at 2’15” after a massive effort from Quick-Step to protect the jersey of Jungels from Polanc, which they did effectively keeping their man in white; however Polanc still managed to displace Adam Yates from the 10th GC position and is now just 13″ behind Kruijswijk.
Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 17: Tirano>Canazei (219km)
|Position||Name (Team – Nationality)||Time|
|1||Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac – Fra)||70:14:48″|
|2||Rui Costa (UAE – Por)||+24″|
|3||Gorka Izagirre (Movistar – Spa)||–|
|4||Rory Sutherland (Movistar – Aus)||–|
|5||Matteo Busato (Wilier-Triestina – Ita)||–|
|6||Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step – Bel)||–|
|7||Felix Grosschartner (CCC – Aut)||–|
|8||Omar Fraile (Dimension Data – Spa)||–|
|9||Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac – Can)||–|
|10||Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo – Fra)||–
|Position||Name (Team – Nationality)||Time|
|1||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned)||76:05:38″|
|2||Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col)||+31″|
|3||Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita)||+1’12″”|
|4||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra)||+2’38”|
|5||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha – Alpecin – Rus)||+2’40”|
|6||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita)||+3’05”|
|7||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned)||+3’49”|
|8||Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux)||+4’35”|
|9||Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned)||+6’20”|
|10||Jan Polanc (UAE – Svk)||+6’33”