The stage features an intermediate level of difficulty. The course starts off with the Aprica ascent and the Passo del Tonale. After a long descent in Val di Sole and Val di Non the route climbs up in Val di Cembra and then in Val di Fiemme and Fassa. The final 70km run mildly uphill leading into the finish possibly with a few riders sprint.
Stage 17: Rolland gives breakaway the slip
Two years after his Cannondale-Drapac team’s last grand tour stage win, Pierre Rolland soloed to victory Wednesday in stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia. The Frenchman infiltrated a massive all-day breakaway on a 219km transition stage to Canazei. After the attacks flew in the final 15 kilometers, Rolland timed his escape perfectly, riding alone to the win. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) was second, and Rory Sutherland (Movistar) sprinted to third.
“It’s just so happy. I waited for this moment so long time,” said Rolland. “In 2015, I finished second in the Tour de France stage, and last year is just one complicated year for me. I crashed two times in the Tour de France. It’s a long wait.”
The overall standings remained unchanged. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) remains in the pink jersey with a narrow lead, 31 seconds to Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Top 10, stage 17
- 1. Pierre ROLLAND, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, in 5:42:56
- 2. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :24
- 3. Gorka IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :24
- 4. Rory SUTHERLAND, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :24
- 5. Matteo BUSATO, WILIER TRIESTINA, at :24
- 6. Dries DEVENYNS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :24
- 7. Felix GROSSSCHARTNER, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, at :24
- 8. Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :24
- 9. Michael WOODS, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :24
- 10. Julien BERARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :24
- 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 76:05:38
- 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :31
- 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:12
- 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 2:38
- 5. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 2:40
- 6. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:05
- 7. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:49
- 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 4:35
- 9. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 6:20
- 10. Jan POLANC, UAE ABU DHABI, at 6:33
Three categorized climbs punctuated the first half of the stage. Rolland made the early move and was first to the top of the Aprica and Passo del Tonale climbs.
After the stage’s first two challenges, Rolland decided to drop back to a chase group of about 40 riders, which included his teammate, Mike Woods. Eventually, the chase caught the two leaders, Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) and Pavel Brutt (Rusvelo).
“The big group is never easy to manage it’s like a lottery. At the end everyone is dead,” said Rolland.
With a lead of about nine minutes on the peloton, 25 kilometers from the finish, the breakaway riders knew they’d stay away. So, the attacks began. Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) had a promising solo escape, but he was caught.
Rolland made the winning attack with about 7.5km remaining. Woods played a key role in marking the chase group. “One moment I go and my teammate Michael Woods is there. If the group comes back he is there for the sprint,” said Rolland.
The Giro will serve up another decisive mountain stage on Wednesday. Stage 18 will feature five categorized climbs and an uphill finish in Ortisei.
“It will be full gas from the start. A really hard day,” Dumoulin said about the Thursday stage. “But we have to stay calm and see what happens. They will attack me. I expect Vincenzo [Nibali] and Nairo [Quintana] to make it very hard for me tomorrow.”
Nibali, looking to win the race for the third time on its 100th edition, said, “We have to try, because if you don’t you end up left with regrets.”