A day for champions
23 May 2012

Giro d'Italia (st. 17)

Movistar Team shines in the Dolomitic mountains, a superb global level strenghtening their leading position in the teams' overall in the tragic anniversary of the late Xavi Tondo

In the most special day for Movistar Team -the first anniversary of the death by the much-missed Xavi Tondo, paid a minute’s silence at the start- as the Blue roster gave another show of courage, collective effort and fighting spirit in the 2012 Giro d’Italia. The telephone squad shone in the first of three feared Dolomitic stages in the Corsa Rosa and keeps a much stronger lead in the teams’ overall classification -now with more than 12 minutes of advantage- after setting Intxausti, Pardilla and Bruseghin within the day’s top 15. The Spanish team made again the day’s breakaway -Belarusian Branislau Samoilau was the one within the five valiants- that could only hang on to the front unitl the second of three chained climbs in the second half of the route. There, the favourites’ group was made of only 30 riders, including six Movistar Team portacolori: Intxausti, Pardilla, Herrada, Amador, Bruseghin and Samoilau himself.

The Passo Giau, the hardest climb of the day, left a six-rider group on front with Rodríguez, Hesjedal, Basso, Scarponi, Urán and Pozzovivo, while Intxausti and Pardilla made a tremendous duo effort to keep themselves always within 3 minutes of the lead, getting the Basque climber one place higher on the GC (now in 6th) still led by Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT), also winner of the stage. Behind, Marzio Bruseghin –who had previously tried to join Samoilau’s move in the descent of the opening Passo Falzarego- came just half a minute after their two leaders and allowed his team getting even closer to the overall teams’ win. The last calm stage in the race will come on Thursday -149km from San Vito di Cadore to Vedelago- before the frightening mountain rides on Friday and Saturday and the 30k closing ITT in Milano on Sunday.

Picture (c): RCS Sport