The 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia saw Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling) win after making an opportunists move with 500m to go. 2nd place went to Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo) and Nikias Ardnt (Giant-Alpecin) was 3rd. The pink leader’s jersey remained on the shoulders of Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo).
The 196km stage from Molveno to Cassano d’Adda looked on paper to be an opportunity for the sprinters, and after yesterday’s tough stage that’s pretty much how things would play out. 3 riders still tried their luck by jumping into the early breakaway. They were allowed no more than 4 minutes’ advantage by LottoNL-Jumbo, which was a gap small enough for the sprint teams to control later on.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and Trek Segafredo were the two teams that eventually took responsibility for the chase. As the race reached the final 20 kilometers 3 more riders tried their luck by riding across the now, 1-minute gap to the leaders. Johann van Zyl, Igor Anton, Jay Thomson and Jaco Venter had things under control though and the gap kept on coming down.
With 6km to go, Kristian Sbaragli was placed on the wheel of Nizzolo as the race finished with a tight technical run in, through numerous roundabouts. The 6 leaders made things quite difficult though for the peloton and only gave in with 1.5km to go. Fillipo Pozzato (Willier-Southeast) then attacked with 1km to go and got a small gap which Kluge bridged across to with 500m to go, and then countered straight away. The German pulled clear and there was not enough organisation from any one particular sprint train to stop the IAM cycling rider from taking the win. He sat up with 25m to go to enjoy his victory.
Sbaragli was looking for his way through in the final 500m but with no real gaps and not enough pace at the front. It was difficult to get through and when the sprint opened up for him, you could see the past week with bronchitis had taken its toll on our Italian fast man. He crossed the line in 12th position. Kanstantsin Siutsou, our GC contender finished in the peloton to keep 10th place overall.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
We tried to arrive for the sprint but the final was a bit chaotic. All I can I say as I don’t really have the condition after being a bit sick. I could not find my legs and wasn’t able to sprint today. Now it is just about making it to the end of the Giro.