Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) is the winner of the flat stage before the hellish mountain finish of the Giro d’Italia. In the sprint in the town of Caorle near Venice, he was a hair faster than Jonathan Milan and Michael Matthews. There is no change in the total.
At first, Matthews (Jayco AlUla) looked the best, but the experienced cyclist started the sprint too quickly, at the finish line both Italians overtook him. The 25-year-old Dainese won the duel of his compatriots by a millimeter and won for the fifth time in his professional career.
“I’ve been sick for the last five days, I’ve had stomach problems as well as breathing problems. Today was the first day I felt fine, about 80 percent, and to win after such problems is crazy. I’m very happy and I can’t thank the team enough for keeping me in the race and motivating me to do it. In the end I dug deep, I was completely at my limit. Milan was coming from behind, I didn’t know if I had really won. Luckily it stayed some more advantages,” Dainese said.
Four cyclists ran away for a long time
Shortly after the start of the completely flat 197 km long 17th stage in Pergine Valsugana, a group of four escapees formed (Senna Leysen, Thomas Champion, Diego Seville and Charlie Quarterman), after 20 kilometers she gained a lead of three minutes. Everything was calm in the main part, only for a moment the main favorites for the stage victory Matthews and Milan (Bahrain Victorious) stretched their legs, but nothing came of their attack.
The advantage of the four escapees then began to melt away quickly. Champion was the first to be caught 20 km before the finish line, followed by Quarterman and Sevilla a few kilometers later, while Leysen (Alpecin Deceuninck) himself continued in the front and gained about a minute lead over the main group. The Belgian was also caught five kilometers before the finish line.
Roglič: Everything is still possible until the end, many things will still happen
He retained the joint leadership Geraint Thomas, who is 18 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida and 29 seconds ahead of Primož Roglič. The man from Kisov gave way at the end of yesterday’s mountain stage, which was enough for his two biggest rivals to gain a 25-second advantage.
In the next two days, when there are still two very demanding stages on the schedule, Roglič will try to at least keep the gap, if not even eliminate it. On Saturday, there will be a mountain time trial on Svete Višare, and on Sunday the parade of champions in Rome.
“The team is ready, we are going to meet new challenges. We will see how it will be, I will give my maximum. After the fall last Wednesday, I did not think about resigning. We had to survive until now and as long as we are here, we must be optimistic. There is still everything until the end maybe. I thought the same way yesterday, it’s better to gain a few seconds in the last kilometer than to lose them. We will draw the line in Saturday’s time trial, there are still three stages until then, many things will still happen.” Roglič thought in an interview for Val 202.
Reef: Primož’s well-being is good
“The feelings are good, we are full of confidence. Today was a good day for everyone in the caravan to stretch their legs, drink enough fluids and recover from yesterday’s demanding stage. We had everything under control,” sports director Jumba Visma told STA Marc Reef.
He added about Roglič: “We have analyzed what happened yesterday. His current condition is good and he will be properly prepared for the next three stages.” He emphasized that he will also be Primož’s key assistant in the coming days Sepp Kusswhich helped him limit his losses on Tuesday.
The American was subsequently called up by the Dutch team for the Giro in April after Wilco Kelderman dropped out due to injury. “We are very satisfied with everyone here. Everyone is giving everything to achieve the goal we set for ourselves, which is to win the race with Primož,” Reef concluded.