Giro d’Italia Stage 17: Israel Start-Up Nation’s Dan Martin timed his finish of stage 16 perfectly for the win. But behind the Irishman there was a big change in the top ten and overall leader, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) cracked on the final climb. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) moved up the standing with a bold move in the finalé. Bernal still in pink, but…
Dan Martin – Giro stage win to add to his Tour and Vuelta wins
Dan Martin has added stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia to his palmarès. In Sega di Ala, the Israel Start-Up Nation Irishman finished solo after dropping the last riders of the break on the final climb. Martin is now a stage winner in the three grand tours.
Another day in pink for Egan Bernal
Giro stage 17 route: This is a high mountain stage running entirely downhill at first, and featuring a summit finish. The route travels the Val di Fassa, the Val di Fiemme and the Pinè plateau all the way to Trento, where it moves to the right bank of the Adige. The course passes through Mori, climbs up to Passo San Valentino (coming from Avio), descends into Chizzola, and moves to the left bank of the Adige in Ala. Past Sdruzzinà, the riders will negotiate the closing climb. The final climb is approx. 11 km long. The gradient hovers above 10% for the first 9.5 km, with lengthy peaks exceeding 15% (and topping out at 17-18%). After the last hairpins, leading into the Passo Fittanze plateau, the route continues with milder gradients all the way to the finish line, on tarmac road.
KOM Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) – More points to collect
The 151 remaining riders started in a sun-drenched Canazei. Victor Campenaerts, the winner of stage 15 suffered a knee injury and couldn’t start. From the start there were many riders trying to escape. Teams that were no longer in the battle for pink, such as AG2R Citroën, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, were very active.
Maglia Rosa – Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), Maglia Ciclamino – Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), Maglia Azzurra – Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Maglia Bianca – Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), worn by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech)
After 40 kilometres, a strong leading group formed: Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert had Jan Hirt, Quinten Hermans and Andrea Pasqualon, while Deceuninck – Quick-Step had Knox and Serry, Movistar with Jorgenson and Pedrero and UAE Team Emirates with Conti and Covi. There was also Gianni Moscon, KOM Geoffrey Bouchard, Dries De Bondt, Simone Ravanelli, Luis León Sánchez, Giovanni Carboni, Felix Großschartner, Matteo Badilatti, Dan Martin and Jacopo Mosca.
Dan Martin was the best on GC, in 12th place, but the Irishman posed no danger to Egan Bernal, as he was more than 15 minutes from the pink jersey. The 19 escapees started the climb to Sveseri, the first of the day after 55 kilometres, with a 50 second lead. De Bondt was first ahead of Bouchard. The Belgian champion strengthened his leading position in the battle for the Premio Combattività. After the climb, the leading group was given more time.
The end of the neutralised zone
The first intermediate sprint was in Trento after 91 kilometres. De Bondt wanted the points again, because the Belgian is also high in the intermediate sprints. On the line he was ahead of Andrea Pasqualon. The lead had increased to 5 minutes, while BikeExchange did the work in the peloton. Simon Yates seemed to have plans for the final. BikeExchange was one of the teams that did not have a rider in the leading group, as did Bahrain Victorious, Cofidis, EF Education-Nippo, eolo-Kometa, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal, DSM and Qhubeka Assos. De Bondt crossed the sprint line first.
Head for the hills
The leading group started the first tough climb with more than 3:30 and it did not take long before the first of the break were dropped. De Bondt, Pasqualon and Jorgenson soon chose their own pace. Großschartner, Hermans, Mosca and Covi also dropped out from the front and did Conti. Martin clearly had good legs and put the pressure on. He was accompanied by Moscon and Pedrero. Bouchard and Badilatti also tried to keep up with the Irishman’s pace. Bouchard was eager to take mountain points at the top.
It didn’t take long for the attacks to start
Bouchard managed to join the leading trio just before the top and take 40 mountain points. Mikel Nieve of BikeExchange led the peloton at a fast pace and his acceleration had reduced the gap with the four up front to 2:30. On the descent there was a crash of several riders in the peloton. Giulio Ciccone went down, as did Vincenzo Nibali, Nick Schultz and Remco Evenepoel were also involved in the crash. After a short delay, they were able to get back on their bikes. In the same descent, Ravanelli and Carboni were able to reconnect with the leaders Moscon, Bouchard, Martin and Pedrero. The six riders reached the valley with a lead of 2:30.
Bouchard on the hunt for more KOM points
Knox and Serry were in early break, but had returned to the peloton, where they rode for João Almeida, who wanted to ‘have a go’ on the final climb to Sega di Ala. Due to the hard work of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the difference to the leading group at the foot of the climb had decreased to 1:20. Astana-Premier Tech also came to the front.
The ‘Break of the Day’
In the first kilometres of the climb, Martin put in his attack to go solo, but the peloton was getting close. INEOS Grenadiers took control of the race, which caused problems for Aleksandr Vlasov, who needed the help of his teammate Vadim Pronskiy to keep with the other favourites. Ciccone, who fell in the descent of the Passo San Valentino, was also in trouble.
Dan Martin made it into the move of the day
Vlasov and Ciccone were distanced, and Hugh Carthy, third overall, and Romain Bardet, seventh, couldn’t keep with INEOS Grenadiers’ pace. With 4 kilometres to go, Almeida attacked. Then Yates shot towards the Portuguese rider together with Bernal and Daniel Felipe Martínez. On the steep parts of the climb, Bernal was suddenly having problems. The Colombian saw Almeida and Yates ride away, while his teammate Martínez was waiting for him. The dropped Caruso was even able to return to Bernal.
Under the last kilometre flag, Almeida pulled away from Yates and launched himself after Martin, although the Israel Start-Up Nation leader still had 30 seconds. That turned out to be enough for the stage victory. Martin had come to the Giro with GC ambitions, but lost minutes on the Strade Bianche stage to Montalcino. At 13 seconds, Almeida crossed the line in second place.
Dan Martin held them all off
Yates finished third at 30 seconds. The BikeExchange rider earned 4 bonus seconds. Then we waited for Bernal, who had a difficult day after two weeks in which he was by far the strongest. Ulissi finished fourth, Caruso fifth. Only after 1:23 Bernal crossed the line, behind his teammate Martínez in seventh. He lost, including the bonuses, 57 seconds on Yates.
Podium for Yates
Bernal remaines in the lead. Caruso is still second, at 2:21. Yates is now in third place, at 3:23. Vlasov and Carthy now complete the top-5.
Dan Martin took the stage win. but it was close
Stage winner, Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation): “I have no words to describe this success. I came to the Giro to do well in GC and try to win a stage. Today I wanted to go on the attack and enter in the breakaway, I didn’t think the peloton would let me go on the attack but my team did a great job to help me. I have to thank them. I needed a climb like this and the sun to do well!”
Egan Bernal still in pink
Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “Today was not my best day but I didn’t lose much time, just a few seconds from Caruso. In the end, it’s another day out, now let’s think about tomorrow. Yates went very fast, he rode an impressive climb. I tried to follow him and maybe I was wrong to follow him immediately. This Giro ends in Milan, every day you can lose or gain a lot of time, I have to stay focused.”
Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation in 4:54:38
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:13
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:30
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:20
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
6. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:23
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 1:38
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 1:43
10. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 2:21.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 71:32:05
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 2:21
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 3:23
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:03
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 6:09
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 6:31
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:17
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 8:45
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 9:18
10. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 11:06