Where's that GPS?
Giro d'Italia 2017
Note: This thread may contain a spoiler. Do not read further until you have seen the stage for yourself or have no objection to a spoiler.
Stage 18 Recap
Well, well, well. If someone had told me that Tejay van Garderen (BMC) would knock off Mikel Landa (Sky) and take this stage I would have laughed in their face. A fantastic ride by van Garderen – perhaps a highlight of his career here. He had the legs and the mindset to exorcise some demons today. Well done!
This is also the day Tom Dumoulin won the 100th Giro d’Italia.
Quintana and Nibali made a huge mistake here – they marked Dumoulin and each other and may have secured their podium places, but failed to attempt to win this GT. Either Dumoulin is now a monster in the mountains and Quintana and Nibali were unable to unhinge him, or they mistakenly waited for Dumoulin to collapse on his own – and they waited too long. In either case, I expect this race is over. Neither Quintana nor Nibali seem to have the guns or the resolve to depose the Dutchman. Even if they find the will and the strength to attack him in the next two stages, it seems unlikely they would get enough time on him to avoid a Dumoulin TT rebound in Stage 21. Below, the Podium as it will be in Milano after the Time Trial – some of the numbers will be different but I suspect the top three slots are set.
General Classification after Stage 18 (Top Five):
1) Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) 80:00:48
2) Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 0:00:31
3) Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 0:01:12
4) Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 0:01:36
5) Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) 0:01:58
Stage 19: San Candido/Innichen – Piancavallo, 191km
Another high mountain stage in the Dolomites. This stage gets progressively tougher as it moves along.
Starting with the Cat 3 Kreuzbergpass, and a biggish speedbump at Sappada, the Corsa Rosa then climbs the Cat 2 Sella Chianzutan before leveling off somewhat until the vicious climb, at gradients of up to 14%, to Pancavallo and the finish.
My call: Dumoulin remains in the Maglia Rosa as Quintana and Nibali continue to mark him instead of attacking the Maglia Rosa mercilessly as they should. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) takes the stage and fourth place in the GC, Landa and Pinot follow him in.
Stage 19 Profile:
Stage 19 Map: