Giro 2017: Van Garderen wins thriller in Dolomites, strong Dumoulin still in pink

The 18th stage of the Giro takes in intermediate climbs up Passo Pardoi, Passo Valparola, Passo Gardena and Passo di Pinei to travel to a summit finish in Ortisei. Van Garderen brings an early break home by besting Landa in a two-up sprint, while Tom Dumoulin is strong in pink and holds off attacks by his main rivals Quintana and Nibali. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 18th stage 2017 Giro d’Italia

1. Tejay van Garderen (usa)
2. Mikel Landa (spa) s.t.
3. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 0.08
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) s.t.
5. Jan Hirt (cze) + 0.11
6. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 0.24
7. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 0.34
8. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
9. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 1.06
10. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.

11. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
12. Adam Yates (gbr) s.t.
15. Davide Formolo (ita) + 1.48
19. Bob Jungels (lux) + 3.55
20. Andrey Amador (crc) s.t.

GC after 18th stage
1. Tom Dumoulin (nld)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.31
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 1.12
4. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 1.36
5. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 1.58
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 2.07
7. Bauke Mollema (nld) + 3.17
8. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 5.48
9. Adam Yates (gbr) + 7.06
10. Bob Jungels (lux) + 7.24

11. Davide Formolo (ita) + 7.59
12. Maxime Monfort (bel) + 11.16
13. Jan Polanc (slo) + 12.24
14. Dario Cataldo (ita) + 14.08
15. Andrey Amador (crc) + 14.18

Race report
Shortly after the start Manuele Boaro, Joey Rosskopf, Natnael Berhane en Diego Rosa jump clear. Boaro can’t follow the pace on the Pordoi, while Dombrowski, Hirt, Villela, Van Garderen, Anacona, Foliforov, Plaza, Siutsou and Deignan try to bridge across. A group with Rolland, Fraile, Amador and Landa is close behind. In the valley these groups blend together to form a front group of 19 riders.

Fraile is the first rider to crest Passo Valparola ahead of Landa. The main group is 2 minutes in arrears.

Dombrowski, Anacona and Berhane go on the attack on Passo Gardena. Landa, Rosa, Van Garderen, Villella and Hirt cross over. Movistar is setting the pace in the main group where Jungels is dropped. Anacona stops his efforts in the front group.

With 53 kms to go Quintana attacks and he hooks up with Amador and Anacona. Nibali goes after them to re-join and push on together. Is this the decisive move in the Giro? No. Dumoulin closes the gap with the other GC-riders on his wheel. Landa is the first to crest the Gardena, almost 1 minute ahead of Dumoulin et al.

When hitting the Passo di Pinei the leaders are half a minute ahead of the GC-contenders. Rosa, who has been dragging the front group for tens of kilometres, cracks on the steepest stretch and his team-mate Landa takes over. On the top the front group is reduced to five riders: Landa, Dombrowski, Hirt, Berhana and Van Garderen.

Landa and Van Garderen leave their fellow escapees behind in the descent and tackle the last climb with a 20 seconds lead, while the GC-contenders are 40 seconds in arrears.

With 7 kms to go Anacona leaves the group Dumoulin and Quintana jumps to his team-mate before he heads out on his own. Yet, he is brought back. A Nibali attack is neutralised by Dumoulin before the Dutchman jumps clear himself. But he is just playing – or so it seems.

Then Pinot and Pozzovivo head out together. Zakarin goes after them, just like Kruijswijk and Mollema. Dumoulin waits for Quintana or Nibali to react, but they don’t.

The race comes down to a two-up sprint on the cobbles in Ortisei with Van Garderen besting Landa. Pinot and Pozzovivo barely miss out on the chance to sprint with them, still they are the big winners of the day among the GC-contenders. Especially Pinot who takes a 4 seconds time bonus and claws back 1’02” on GC.

Maglia rosa Dumoulin arrives at the line on the same time as Quintana and Nibali.

Read also route of the 18th stage in the 2017 Giro d’Italia.

Giro 2017 stage 18: Route maps, height profiles, and more

Click on the images to zoom

Tejay van Garderen

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