It seems obvious that fast finishers will be in charge at the end of stage 17. The first 100 kilometres feature three ascents, all with average gradients of approximately 5%. So these are certainly not the hardest climbs in the world. Moreover, it pays to dig deep as the route is as good as flat after the last descent when it’s still 55 kilometres to the line. Which should be enough to reel in the breakaway.
Yet, we are in the last week of an energy sapping Giro d’Italia. So possibly it will be up to the attackers. The start with a 10 kilometres climb is perfect for a breakaway to open up a proper gap. Usual suspects for the break are Denz, LL Sánchez, Mohoric, Bouwman, De Marchi…
If it boils down to a bunch sprint Elia Viviani is the man to watch. He already won five stages ahead of the Giro only to continue his winning streak when the first opportunities arose in the Corsa Rosa. He outgunned all competition in the 2nd stage and the 3rd stage. The Italian’s flawless Giro-campaign was interrupted by Sam Bennett though, when the Irishman outgunned Viviani on stage 7 to claim his first ever Grand Tour victory. Yet, there was more to come. Bennett went on to win the 12th stage on Imola racing circuit with an impressive long-range sprint, while Viviani was nowhere to be seen as he was dropped earlier in the trying and rain-soaked finale.
Yet, the Italian bounced back in the 13th stage, winning the sprint a bike length ahead of Bennett and Van Poppel.
Favourites 17th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia
*** Elia Viviani, Matej Mohoric, Nico Denz, Luis Léon Sánchez
** Sacha Modolo, Danny van Poppel, Koen Bouwman, Diego Ulissi, Sam Bennett
* Jens Debusschere, Niccolo Bonifazio, Krists Neilands, Alessandro De Marchi
Read also: route 17th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia.
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 17: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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