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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, May 25, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Giro d'Italia stage seventeen reports

We posted the report from stage winner Alberto Dainese's Team DSM with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Michael Matthews' Team Jayco-AlUla:

Stage three winner Michael Matthews went agonizingly close to his second victory of the 2023 Giro d’Italia with a long range and powerful sprint to third place on stage 17.

Michael Matthews (center) was close...Sirotti photo

The day presented a rare opportunity for the fast finishers and the sprint teams made sure the stage came down to bunch sprint in Caorle. Austrian Lukas Pöstlberger made an early attempt to get into the breakaway, but in the end just four riders were allowed clear as the bunch rolled out of Sabbio Chiese.

The escapees were never given much leeway and the last man from the break was eventually swept up inside the final five kilometres as Team Jayco AlUla made their way to the front with Matthews in tow.

The experienced Michael Hepburn expertly guided his teammate through the technical final and into the finishing straight before swinging off as Matthews launched his kick for the line. The early jump looked to have caught the pure sprinters by surprise, but in the end the stage proved to be five metres too long, as a charging Alberto Dainese and Jonathan Milan ‘just’ edged past the Australian on the bike throw.

With just four stages remaining, the team’s general classification leader Eddie Dunbar made it safely through the stage to finish on the same time as his GC rivals, and heads into stage 18 in fifth place overall.

Michael Matthews:
“It was exciting! I do like a bit of a technical final like this, that lines out the peloton and there’s a little bit less fighting for position. I’m definitely happy with the way the team rode today, Eddie Dunbar stayed safe, and we got a podium finish with myself.

"I was just happy to get out in some open wind in the final and be able to do my sprint, but when you are there versus guys that are pure sprinters, it’s always going to be difficult for me, but we put ourselves in the best position and we gave it a shot.

"I don’t think [my legs] were too amazing, but I just think the team did an amazing job to position me in the perfect place and then it was up to me to do my thing and it just wasn’t quite enough.”

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Here's the Giro report from GC leader Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Geraint Thomas retained his 18-second overall lead at the Giro d'Italia following stage 17.

The Welshman was well-supported by his team-mates across the flat, sprinter-focused stage, with the day ending in the predicted bunch sprint.

With sprinter teams happy to set the tempo, it allowed the Grenadiers to conserve energy as much as possible ahead of three consecutive climbing tests.

Geraint Thomas will be defending his pink jersey in the mountains in stage 18. Sirotti photo

Salvatore Puccio and Ben Swift arrived at the front late on to drive the maglia rosa into the final kilometres and safety. The GC battle is set to resume on Thursday with a significant mountain test to Val di Zoldo.

Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) edged out a thrilling sprint in Caorle, winning the three-way photo finish.

Geraint Thomas:
"It was alright - we had a little bit of rain but nothing compared to what we've had so far. Nice and warm conditions at the end and a bit of a crazy bunch finish but happy to get that done.

"We knew the sprinter teams would ride. It was a decent pace. We were sat nicely and just tried to save as much as possible for the next few days."

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Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma posted this:

The seventeenth stage of the Giro d'Italia went off without a hitch for Team Jumbo-Visma. The stage ended with a mass sprint in Caorle. The riders of the Dutch team finished safely in the belly of the peloton.

Primoz Roglic at the start of the stage. Sirotti photo

After the traditional breakaway of the day was caught, the sprinters' teams brought the fast men to the front. Italian Alberto proved to be the fastest.

Rohan Dennis was already looking ahead to the following stages after the relatively quiet stage. "I hope I can be important for the team again in the coming days”, he said. “Primoz Roglic still has a chance to win this race. Hopefully, he will have good legs in the coming stages. The competition is intense. Maybe we can play it smart and beat them that way”, the Australian said.

"Finally, a quiet day for the riders”, sports director Marc Reef said. "That's not an unnecessary luxury on a grand tour. We got through the stage well. We protected Primoz and kept him out of the wind. That was the main goal. Yesterday's stage got to the whole peloton. We are looking forward to the challenging days ahead. We are one of the few teams that are still complete. That will be to our advantage. Ineos needs to control the race. They are down to five riders. Maybe we can take advantage of that on a stage like tomorrow.”

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And here's the Giro report from Nico Denz's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Before heading back into the mountains tomorrow, today's 197km stage offered a breather for the GC riders and a penultimate chance for the sprinters to take a win on the slightly downhill course. After the start in Pergine Valsugana, a four-man escape group formed and led the race with a small advantage until 5km before the finish.

As expected, the favourites for the overall victory held back and so it came to a mass sprint on the 700 m long finish straight in Caorle among the fast men who were still left at the race. The day's victory went to Alberto Dainese, while Lennard Kämna crossed the finish line in 16th place in the group of GC favourites, thereby maintaining his 6th place in the general classification. The best-placed BORA-hansgrohe rider today was Nico Denz, who finished 14th.

Stage 17 had an unchallenging profile.

From the Finish Line:
"I was expecting a bit of a bigger fight for the lead group, but the sprinters' teams were right up at the front and showed that they were keen to keep the control. Some teams that I would have expected to try to make the jump across, like Trek-Segafredo or Israel Premier Tech, didn't move at all. So I just stayed put, because in the end it was a hopeless endeavour. Then we all surrounded Lenni and then brought him safely through that tricky final to the finish." - Nico Denz

"That was another day for catching one's breath today. I think the stricken riders and also the classification riders were happy to have a day like this because we all know what we have to face over the next three days. So it was relatively relaxed today, except for the final. We were prepared to send someone into the break because we are competing here without sprinters. We got through the day well without any problems. The guys are all on a good path to getting better again after all the ups and downs of this race. On the next few days, we are completely focused on Lenni to support him in the best possible way." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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