Van Garderen and Ventoso on the Attack on Giro d’Italia Stage 1724. May 2017, Canazei (ITA) — Road Team
Tejay van Garderen and Francisco Ventoso spent stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia on the attack with the duo present in the day’s multiple breakaways and van Garderen eventually crossing the line in the chase group behind solo winner Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team).
With the peloton expecting it to be a fight to make the breakaway, on the stage well-suited for a small group to make it to the line, it was a surprise to see just three riders, including Rolland, go clear immediately after the flag dropped.
The trio quickly gained four minutes and looked set to forge on ahead, before van Garderen launched the first of many attacks on the Aprica climb which caused a major reshuffling of the race.
A 40-rider chase group formed behind the trio and BMC Racing Team was well-represented with van Garderen, Ventoso and Manuel Senni.
The Maglia Rosa group didn’t see an immediate threat from the large group and allowed the race situation to stabilize with the then leading duo sitting five minutes ahead of the chase group and almost 12 minutes ahead of the bunch inside the final 100km.
The next 50km of racing saw the chase group chip away at the duo’s advantage and eventually, the catch was made and new attacks started.
Van Garderen and Ventoso formed part of the new group of 13 riders which was still well-clear of the peloton inside the final 20km.
Attacks from the breakaway started with Rolland going solo with 7km to go. Van Garderen took control of the chase and along with a handful of other riders, the group worked hard to bring Rolland back.
Rolland held on to take the stage win and van Garderen crossed the line in 13th place in the group behind, with Ventoso a couple of minutes back in 22nd place.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Tejay van Garderen:
“I wouldn’t say I necessarily had this stage in my mind. Any day is an opportunity so you just have to try. For a second it looked like they were happy to let the first attack roll off. I think it was Bahrain-Merida who started pulling it back and that just opened up the race. Then I started following moves when I could. The move that ended up getting established was a big one. Usually when it is that big it doesn’t really work well together so there had to be a bit of reshuffling in the middle.”
“I was feeling good, I was following moves. It was a bit confusing because Max Sciandri on the radio said to try and have it as a sprint for Fran Ventoso and I should follow moves. So, I was trying to follow but obviously you can’t follow everything. Then I heard that Fran was dropped but I was a little tired from trying to cover a bunch of moves. In the end we came up a little short but it was good to be up there. A couple of guys were trying to pull [Rolland back], a UAE Team Emirates guy and a Quickstep Floors guy who had some faster guys in the group. I was trying to attack to see if I could get one or two strong guys to go clear and we could catch Rolland back and work together. But there wasn’t a whole lot of cooperation going on.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“We tried to have full motivation this morning. The guys were prepared at the start on the rollers. We had a good debrief and I tried to give them the most motivation possible. Then the three guys went and they got three minutes and we had no one in there. I was trying to be as annoyed as I could be in a diplomatic way, but then the race opened up and we started getting in the moves. Tejay van Garderen was one of the first guys trying on the Aprica when it opened up. Then when we came down the big group of 39 guys formed and we had Tejay, Francisco Ventoso and Manuel Senni. Then the race evolves, there is strategy at the beginning and then a bit of luck, and then it goes through a bit of legs. In Fran we had a good card to play in case it came to a 10-15 guy sprint, but we still had to get there and he said he came a bit short. Tejay was good. I think he showed the condition is there and it was a good day out for him.”
Stage 17 Tirano > Canazei (219km)
Top 3: 1. Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), 2. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), 3. Gorka Izagirre (Movistar Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 13. Tejay van Garderen, 22. Francisco Ventoso, 91. Joey Rosskopf.
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See photos from the race.