Giro d’Italia Stage 17: Live updates, blog
Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia gets underway tonight, as the Grand Tour continues through Italy’s mountains. Join us from 7.55pm AEST as we live blog this mountainous stage that may se yet another change on GC.
From the relative flats of stage 16, the riders plunge back into the mountains.
Stage 17 has four categorised climbs, two category 2 climbs and two category 1 climbs. However, this is not a mountaintop finish. After ascending the last climb of the day- a category 1 climb to Passo Giau – the riders will plunge down for 18km toward the finish.
The course runs 186 kilometers from Falzes to Cortnia d’Ampezzo. From the early kilometers, the riders will find themselves going up and that will remain the theme for the day. The first climb is a category 2 and goes to almost 2200 meters in about 33-35km. However, the actual official climb is only around 14km, averaging 5.5 percent.
This might be the climb where the peloton will keep a steady pace and the break may get some breathing room. They will need it.
Once the peloton is done snacking on the first three climbs, it will be time for the main course, and it’s going to be a good one. The last category 1 climb is 10km long averaging over 9 percent, with maximum grades hitting 14 percent. Fireworks will surely be unleashed and I would expect a massive shake-up on GC.
Getting up the final climb ahead of the rest is only part one of the job, however, as the descent is long and technical. The weather at the Giro has been less than ideal this week, and if stage 17 ends up being a wet one, I’m sure some riders will be taking risks looking to move up on GC or hold their positions.
I don’t think any of the favourites will attack until the last climb. They need to save legs for stages 19 and 20, not to mention the final TT on the last day. Scarponi and Rodriguez are my picks to attack and Hesjedal and Basso will likely mark wheels and try to follow.
However, I would not put it past Basso to attack near the KOM to gain some advantage on the descent to the finish. He can definitely make up some time that way if he can break away. Hesjadal just needs to keep the leader within a minute, a time gap the Canadian will likely gain back during the final TT.
If I had to pick (I guess you’re kind of expect it of me), Scarponi is my choice for Stage 17. However, I would not rule out Tiralongo or Pozzavivo, who may be looking to attack late and steal the glory.
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