Giro d'Italia (st. 17)
Basque attacks into final climb, gains 18″ against Nibali (TBM), Roglic (TJV) to now sit 47″ off GC’s third place. Richard Carapaz profits from situation to add another 7″ to his gap as Maglia Rosa, nearly two minutes before the final weekend (2 mountain days + TT showdown).
The Movistar Team’s two main GC hopes for the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Richard Carapaz and Mikel Landa, continued to show their strength on the climb to Anterselva (5.5km, 7.5% avg. gradient), end of stage 17, where the early break triumphed as Frenchman Nans Peters (ALM) took a solo victory.
The fight between the main contenders was spiced up into the last 4km of the climb, as AST, INS and TBM picked up the pace and created a very significant selection in the main field, only 12 riders including the two Blues. 3km before the top, Landa launched an attack and profited from the lack of intention inside a GC group where Nibali (TBM) and Roglic (TJV) didn’t either follow another move from Miguel Ángel López (AST).
It was the moment for Carapaz to leave them behind and add another 7″ to his gap at the finish -already 1’54” over Nibali’s second place-, which were 18″ in Landa’s case as the Basque approaches to 47″ behind third place for Roglic.
The 2019 Giro will tackle its final stage for the sprinters on Thursday: a very long route (222km) from Valdaora to Santa Maria di Sala, always on a slight descent before a completely flat last 60km.
REACTION / Richard Carapaz:
“It was a good day, both for Mikel and myself. Considering yesterday’s effort, the tough conditions and bad weather everybody endured, not only us – I think our bodies reacted well, and so we could take advantage and gain some more seconds on our rivals. After Mikel’s attack, I saw López also opening a small gap and tried to follow him, leave the others behind and get those seconds which could be really useful in the end. There’s still tough stages to cover, big mountains ahead on Friday and Saturday, so we must try and continue gaining time. Any celebrations for my birthday? Let’s not get too optimistic about that (laughs), we’ll see, we’ll see.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto