Stage 17, Wednesday, May 25, 2011, FELTRE-TIRANO, 230 km. The Giro's guest of honour: the English designer Paul Smith, a great cycling fan, fulfils today the desire to live a Giro stage among the riders. At the passage of the athletes from Trento, Sir Smith will “enter the race" in the car of the Giro d’Italia Director Angelo Zomegnan.
At 11.20 am, 164 riders (non starting: Masciarelli) roll out. Average speed after one hour: 47.900 kph.
At km 52, 15 riders clear out: Taborre, Gastauer, Frank, Sivstov, Vorganov, Losada, Ulissi, Lastras, Bakelandts, Kiserlovski, Giordani, Engels, Hernandez and Le Mevel.
At km 60, the 15 riders are chased by Dupont 55” behind and the bunch 3’ behind - Dupont catches the break 10 km later. 16 riders on the front.
In Trento, km 80, the breakaway has a 4’30” lead. In Lavis: 4’30”. Average speed after 2 hours: 46.200 kph.
In Cles – km 120 – the field is 6’50” behind. With 100 km to go the breakaway has a 7’35” lead over the bunch. Average speed after three hours: 43.200 kph.
At the beginning of the climb to the Passo del Tonale the bunch, paced by the Liquigas – Cannondale riders, reduces the gap: 5’45”.
Km 152, -6’20” for the bunch. Average after four hours: 40.400 kph
King of the Mountain, 2nd category: Passo del Tonale (BS) [m 1.883]: Gastauer is first over the climb ahead of Dupont, Bakelandts and the rest of the breakaway but Giordani and Engels lost contact: a 14-man break. The field is 6’10” back.
Intermediate Sprint: Edolo (BS): Bakelandts gets the IS ahead of Sivstov, Lastras and the other leaders. The gap is going down and the bunch, paced by the Geox – Tmc riders, crosses it 3’55” behind.
On the uphill to the Aprica, with 25 km to go, the field chase the breakaway 3’42” behind. Attempted and failed accelerations on the front. Le Mevel is suffering.
King of the Mountain – 3rd category, Aprica (SO) [m 1.173]: Lastras first followed by Visconti, Siutsu, the rest strung out. The bunch, paced again by the Liquigas – Cannondale riders, has a 3’40” delay on the top of the mountain. On the downhill Lastras is leading. Nibali on the front of the chasers. 10 km to go, the breakaway keep a 3’10” lead.
3 km to go, Lastras, Ulissi, Bakelandts and Visconti.
Last km: the 4 riders fight for the win. Ulissi accelerates, Visconti comes from the right to pass Ulissi along the left close to the barriers; Lastras on the other side of the road. Visconti shoves Ulissi out of his line twice.
Giovanni Visconti takes the win at the foto finish ahead of Giovanni Ulissi and Pablo Lastras. The Panel of Commissaires, after watching the film of the race, relagate Giovanni Visconti from the first to the third place. Therefore, 22 year old Ulissi ((Lampre - ISD) wins the stage ahead of Lastras. The Italian Champion in third.
Time of the winner: 5h 31’ 51”, at an average speed of 41.585 kph.
Ulissi: "I'm so happy, I can't believe I won a stage in Giro d'Italia. I knew that the stage was suitable for the breakaways, so I paid attention in the first part of the race. I joined in a good action, then I managed my energies. In the sprint, I think that I did no harm and that I deserve the victory".
Top 10 GC:
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 68:18:27
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:04:58
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:05:45
4 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:07:35
5 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad 0:09:12
6 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:09:18
7 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:09:22
8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:09:38
9 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:09:47
10 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:10:25
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosa Estathé, 4’58” ahead of Michele Scarponi (Lampre – ISD).
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosso Passione Gruppo Saint-Gobain.
Roman Kreuziger (Pro Team Astana) is the Maglia Bianca Adecco.
Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) is the Maglia Verde Banca Mediolanum.
Stage 18, Morbegno-San Pellegrino Terme, 151 km is rated "Pianeggiante".
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