Heading to Veneto, the peloton experienced a rather calm day on Wednesday on stage 17 of the Giro. The sprinters eventually had the last word, and Alberto Dainese took the day’s victory. Three very important stages for the general classification will now follow one another before the finale in Rome.
This Wednesday on the Giro d’Italia, the height difference was exceptionally negative. The first half of the stage was indeed covered on a slight descending road, and no climb featured in the route of this stage 17, which obviously suited the sprinters. Only Senne Leysen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Thomas Champion (Cofidis), Diego Pablo Sevilla (EOLO-Kometa) and Charlie Quarterman (Corratec-Selle Italia) established the day’s breakaway, which the peloton always made sure to maintain under three minutes, just in case. A long and calm day led the riders to Caorle, in Veneto, where the riders were expected after 197 kilometres of racing. “With the headwind, we knew it could be a more peaceful day,” confirmed Sébastien Joly. “So, we took advantage of it, especially our guys placed in GC”. The leading group broke up about twenty kilometres from the finish. The last man standing, Senne Leysen, was eventually caught with five kilometres to go by a bunch where Groupama-FDJ was trying to make a space for themselves.
“We obviously have ambitions and hopes”, Sébastien Joly
“We put Ignatas in support of Fabian and Jake so that he could share his experience with them,” said Sébastien. “He was able to bring them up until the last five kilometres. However, it is hard to be able to really compete against the lead-out trains, especially when you see the speed in the final”. In the last three kilometres, Jake Stewart tried to remain at the top of the bunch, but entering the final straight, the British rider was too far to hope for a good result. He then finished beyond the top-20. “Jake was obviously disappointed, and it’s good that he was,” said Sébastien. “If it wasn’t, that wouldn’t be good news. He’ll still have an opportunity in Rome, with a very rough course where we will adjust the strategy”. On Wednesday, Alberto Dainese took victory ahead of the cyclamen jersey Jonathan Milan, but the sprinters will now pass on to the climbers. Two road stages in the mountains and a “cronoscalata” are on the menu before reaching the Italian capital. “We obviously have ambitions and hopes, and we’ll see how we can realize them,” concluded Sébastien. “In any case, I think that today has done the group good. They could relax a bit, and that was important.”
After the seventeenth stage, Bruno Armirail and Thibaut Pinot remain in seventh and thirteenth position overall respectively.