Giro d'Italia Stage 14: GC Showdown on Oropa20. May 2017, Oropa (ITA) — Road Team
Stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia promised to be a showdown between the General Classification contenders and it didn't disappoint, with the summit finish of Oropa testing the legs on a fast and furious day.
It was a fight to make the breakaway on the 131km stage and the peloton refused to let any of the early breakaway compositions go clear.
Despite attempt after attempt, the bunch remained together for the first 30km before, finally, three riders were able to attack from the peloton and gain an advantage.
Knowing the real battle would come at the base of the 11km summit finish, the peloton kept the trio to within two minutes and waited until 20km to go before pulling them back.
Fireworks started as soon as the peloton reached the base of the climb and a flurry of attacks saw multiple riders drop from the back.
Multiple solo attacks played out but were inevitably brought back, before Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) launched an attack halfway up the climb.
Quintana distanced himself from the rest but behind, Maglia Rosa wearer Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) fought on to slowly crawl back to Quintana.
Behind, Ben Hermans did a solid job of climbing at his own tempo to limit his time loss when the attacks started.
In the final kilometer, it was Dumoulin, Quintana, Ilnur Zackarin (Team Katusha-Alpecin) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) who were left to battle for the win, but Dumoulin proved too strong and was able to take the stage win and consolidate his General Classification lead.
Hermans crossed the line in 24th place, 2:04 behind Dumoulin and now sits in 17th overall at 10:26.
The peloton head back to the hills on stage 15, the final stage before the last rest day.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“The first 20km were really fast. We covered 48km in the first hour I think, so it was not so easy in the beginning. But, then we did take it easy so everybody had fresh legs to start the climb. It was not so easy for positioning before the climb but the climb was long enough to have the legs to go to the front.”
“I was positioned well in the beginning of the climb but then there was a crash. I was with some teammates so Dylan Teuns and Joey Rosskopf helped me to get back into the front group. I just made it back in the front when the real climb kicked off. I tried to find my rhythm and I passed some guys and didn’t lose too much time.”
“Tomorrow is a chance for the breakaway but I think a lot of guys want to try and go in it. For sure, I can try but I will not spend too much energy to get in it.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“We knew today would be a fast start and with a lot of GC guys wanting to shake things up, it would be a really tough climb to the finish. We tried to get to the bottom of the climb with Tejay van Garderen and Ben Hermans well-positioned. Tejay was dropped with 4-5km to go and Ben did a good job to stay up there as long as possible to eventually finish around two minutes behind.”
“Tomorrow is definitely a day for the breakaway and the GC guys are probably going to look at each other on the final climb up to Bergamo. We’ll look to have someone in the move but I think it’s going to be a big fight to get in there, especially before the last rest day.”
Stage 14 Castellania > Oropa (131km)
Top 3: 1. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), 2. Ilnur Zackarin (Team Katusha-Alpecin), 3. Mikel Landa (Team Sky).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 24. Ben Hermans, 36. Dylan Teuns, 42. Manuel Senni
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.