Giro Stage 17 Preview

A flat day promised to the sprinters only there are now so few left in the race that their teams could struggle to contain the breakaways that exploit the hilly first half of the stage.

The Route: the race slip out of the mountains with a few hills along the way. The first bump along the way to Bondo at 35km is uphill but on the main valley road and a 5% drag. Later on the Passo Sant’Eusebio is a steady road, 5km at 4% and then a longer, gentler descent to the intermediate sprint in Brescia where the race picks up the plains of Lombardia and it’s flat all the way to the finish.

The Finish: flat. The race crosses the Adda river to arrive in town and there’s a right hand bend through a roundabout with 600m to go and then a straight flat route to the finish line.

The Contenders: who is left? Many sprinters have gone but before the race started today looked like a day for Giacomo Nizzolo has he is one of the locals, hailing just to the north of the finish. He’s wearing the red jersey and has been sprinting among the best although as ever a win is elusive, he’s one of those regular riders with an odd distribution of finishing places, so many placings yet almost no wins.

If someone can put Nizzolo into second place late in the race then it’s Sacha Modolo who did just that a year ago. He is again the big rival for Nizzolo, the Lampre-Merida rider seems a touch slower than last year but has featured in the sprints so far. He’s not a local but his team are, Lampre’s team headquarters are only 20km away which is an added motivation for management to insist the whole team is deployed today.

Among the others is a long tail but nobody seems as convincing. But that’s partly because they’ve been distanced by the powerful sprint trains and without the big name sprinters we could have a more hectic sprint. Katusha’s Alexander Porsev has finished no lower than seventh in the sprints so far so he’s the next pick. Dimension Data’s Kristian Sbaragli took a Vuelta stage last year, Heinrich Haussler is making job applications. Manuel Belletti is Wilier’s sprinter but needed medical treatment at the finish yesterday, hopefully a temporary trouble but it doesn’t help his chances today. Finally if André Greipel’s gone home his train remains and they could ferry Jurgen Roelandts or Pim Ligthart, the latter has won bunch sprints before too.

What chance a breakaway? On paper the stage looks perfect for the sprinters but because there are so few of them left in the race it means fewer teams are going to work all day. Etixx-Quickstep and Lotto-Soudal won’t work and unlike the early stages of the race the maglia rosa‘s team won’t be too worried about trying to contain anyone either. So all the non-climbers left in the race know they’ve got a shot at a stage win today and if enough try they can disrupt Trek-Segafredo and Lampre-Merida’s plans.

Giacomo Nizzolo
Sacha Modolo
Porsev, Sbaragli, Haussler, Ligthart

Weather: sunny, 24°C and a light 25km/h headwind.

TV: the finish is forecast for 5.15pm Euro time.

Eurosport is covering the race across most of Europe. beIN SPORT has the rights in the US and France while Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with experienced commentators as well as roving reporters on motorbikes to add extra coverage. As ever, cyclinghub and are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds.

33 thoughts on “Giro Stage 17 Preview”

  1. Will Lampre work? Yes, Module’s a prime pick for a win from a sprint, but the equation’s complicated for them by the fact that they have Ulissi chasing the red jersey, who’s unlikely to be very impressed by it all being brought back together only to hand Nizzolo a stack of points. Plus they already have stage wombs on the bank. They might feel it’s better to hedge bets, sit on their hands, and if Trek can bring it back, be stronger for Modolo in the finale.

    • I’d say it’s likely Trek will have to chase as Ulissi will likely be up the road sweeping up the intermediate sprints and Lampre won’t chase their own man. Do Trek have it in them to chase though, I know they’ve lost at least Ryder and Cancellara

  2. I think Trek should get some help from BMC today. They’ve had a quiet Giro – can only think of Kung and Atapuma coming anywhere close, and De Marchi has been really low profile. Surely they will want to give Rick Zabel a chance.

  3. Heinrich Haussler is definitely in the job market (just listened to The Cycling Podcast), and if his team mates share his recruitment strategy IAM riders will be active today, be that breakaway or sprint.

    Was interesting to hear his take on the closure of IAM – bad that it’s folding, but appreciative that news was given in May so riders have time to put in performances to get another job.

  4. I realise this is easy to ask from a cafe but can anyone explain Zakarin doing all that work yesterday only to sit up and soft pedal to the line once he was dropped in the last 300 meters? I would have thought he’d have kept pedalling to the line. Must have lost 5+ secs minimum. This is true of Chaves to a certain extent too. Genuinely confused. Every second counts!

    • yeah, it was strange that he seemed to lead Valverde & Cruiseship out for most of the last 2km, and then sat up and gifted them the 10 and 6 second bonis….

      • I understand him being dropped and making the calculation that riding hard gains more time overall than the bonification but to then just stop as soon as he was dropped seemed odd. Surely he knew he’d be dropped after doing so much work and was just trying to get as much time as possible.

        (I didn’t mean to drop the Kellyisms into the reply but there seemed no other way to make my point)

      • I think he just cracked and when it came to standing on the pedals he didn’t have much left. He reminds me of a foal, those long legs and the way he gallops around the field with boundless energy at times. Valverde by contrast is an old fox who exploited Zakarin’s energy to win the stage and take more time.

  5. He looked like he’d given all he could and then swung off like a domestique.

    He and Valverde had a bit of a chat not long before he went on the front and pulled all the way to within sight of the final corner…

    *sits back and lets the conspiracy nuts go to work*

  6. inrng was right with IAM job applications. But it was the gold old workhorse Roger who did it. Classy and well deserved first GT stage win for the man who missed the rainbow jersey in March.
    I’m sure he will find a job in the peloton.

  7. Had a few quid riding on Laengen at 66/1 so was super happy as Rob Hatch announced it was he bursting clear in the last 200m… *sobs*

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