Giro d’Italia #17: Gibbons takes 11th in chaotic bunch sprint

Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) took his race tally to four by winning a trying sprint in Franciacorta. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) secured second place, followed by Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) in third.

Stage 17, while ending in a bunch sprint, was a day full of attacks and fast racing. The stage, running 155km from Riva del Garda to Iseo, was a lumpy stage with a number of other uncategorized undulations throughout the stage. Before the start of the stage Louis Meintjes (Team Dimension Data) withdrew from the Giro d’Italia, due to illness.

There was lots of movement in the first half of racing, with many attacks going off the front before being reeled in by the peloton. A few groups made it away, but never managed to build up more than a two minute lead over the chasing peloton. Everyone was back together for the final 10km of racing.

The lead in to the sprint was technical and very fast, and the wet roads and headwind also added to the action. For Team Dimension Data, Ryan Gibbons was well positioned leading into the final 1.5kms and but after a sporting tussle for Viviani’s wheel, our South African secured 11th for Team Dimension Data in trying conditions. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) won his fourth stage of this years Giro d’Italia, ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) with Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida).

Ben O’Connor finished with the bunch, and remains 12th in the GC. Simon Yates retains the Maglia Rosa.

Ryan Gibbons- Rider
It was a tough stage today, starting with a gradual 10km climb. There were numerous attacks in the beginning, and these big groups kept going clear and coming back. Only after being on the pedals fully for the first 100km, did the break go. From there we were always relatively well placed as Bora and LottoNL controlled the bunch. The final circuit was quite technical, but when it came down to the sprint I was fighting with Van Poppel for the wheel of Viviani. As we banged handlebars in the final kilometer, my electrical cable came out of the gearing’s junction box, resulting in my chain dropping to the small ring. At the time I wasn’t aware this was the problem, I could just feel something wasn’t right and an overwhelming frustration. It is disappointing for sure, I hope everything can come together in Rome as I can feel my legs are still as fast as the guys who are winning.