May 25, 2017
Landa's tenacity pays off with solo stage win. Dumoulin tumbles out of the Pink as the top of the GC gang up on the Dutchman. Quintana takes over lead.
After disaster in Blockhaus after being decked by a police motorbike then two also-rans behind Nibali then Tejay Van Garderen over the last two days King of the Mountains leaderr Mikel Landa (Sky) finally landed the big one with a solo stage win into Piancavallo. The Spaniard left Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) trailling in at 1'49" with Pierre Rollnad (Cannondale-Drapac) at 1'54.
While the crowds absorbed the win attention turned to the titnaic battle taking place several kilometres back down the hill. Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) was fighting with every reserve of strength against the combined efforts of Vicenzo Nibali (Bharain-Merida) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to unseat him. A battle that he was losing metre by metre.
Dumoulin sees pink slipping away © Photo LaPresse - Fabio FerrariPhoto LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari
With the a few kilometres to go and Dumoulin trailing by over a minute another battle unfolded with Thibaut Pinot launched an attack wit the aim of unseating Nibali form the third spot.
While Dumoulon fought to the line at the stage's end it was Nairo Quintana who re-took the lead of the General Classification. To add to the tension the top four riders are now within one minute of each other going into the final two stages.
1 - Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky) - 191km in 4h53’00”, average speed 39.112km/h
2 - Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (UAE Team Emirates) at 1'49"
3 - Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) at 1'54"
1 - Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
2 - Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 38"
3 - Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain - Merida) at 43"
4 - Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) at 53"
5 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 1'21"
Today's stage winner Mikel Landa said: “Possibly this is my nicest win because it took a lot of effort to stay at the front knowing that the chasers were coming from behind. We lost a friend [Michele Scarponi] just before the Giro so I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to pay tribute to him when I crossed the finishing line. My overall standing in the General Classification doesn’t correspond to what I was hoping for at the Giro but after the crash [on stage 9], I stayed calm and I tried hard to win a stage. My last week of racing confirms that I can try to win a Grand Tour.”
The Maglia Rosa Nairo Quintana said: “The level is really high in this Giro – that’s why the gaps aren’t big – and the Stelvio stage was very demanding. Because of the tiredness I’ve chosen to mark the riders who were the closest to me on GC. I’ll have to defend the lead tomorrow and I expect [Vincenzo] Nibali to attack tomorrow and [Thibaut] Pinot is also dangerous; he’s got the strongest team here. I’m not surprised by how well [Tom] Dumoulin is going in the Giro – his performance has only confirmed the improvements he's made in his climbing. Against him, we did what we could to take a bit of time on him today but we need to take more tomorrow because he’s the strongest time trialist.”
Video Highlights (Italian Commentary)
Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel - Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo - Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum - Mikel Landa Meana (Team Sky)
Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin - Adam Yates (Orica - Scott)