After 20 days and 3580km of some of the most thrilling Grand Tour racing of recent times, the winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia will be decided in tonight’s 29km individual Time Trial in Milan.
Frenchman Thibaut Pinot claimed victory of Stage 20 last night, out-sprinting the other 4 top General Classification riders in Asiago.
But their efforts werenot enough to put Tom Dumoulin out of contention for overall victory, the Dutchman just 53 seconds behind race leader Nairo Quintana.
Nairo Quintana, not noted for his time trailing ability, said he’d wanted to gain more time on Stage 20.
“The gap I’ve now got over Tom Dumoulin is not enough but it might be the right one as it’s important to keep strength and motivation,” he added.
“I’ve done some good time trials in the past and I hope tomorrow’s will be even better. It’s unusual to defend the Maglia Rosa on the last day but I’ll give my best.”
Quintana said he was not afraid of the closing 29km time trial.
“My head says I can win or lose so everything is possible,” he said. “I’m also not considering that I might not be on the final podium – my only intention is to win the Giro.”
Can Dumoulin Do It?
Proud of his Stage 20 efforts, Dumoulin managed to minimise time losses and remain within one minute of 5 of the world’s best climbers.
“I feel mentally and physically much better than I did yesterday,” he said. “I need a really good day tomorrow to get that gap, it’s not going to be differences like in the last time trial because I’m really tired after this week in the mountains. It’s going to be tight with five of us so close but I will just focus on my own ride and see what happens.”
Stage 20 Top 5
1 – Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) – 190km in 4h57’58”, average speed 38.259km/h
2 – Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) s.t.
3 – Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) s.t.
4 – Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
5 – Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) s.t.
Overall Top 5 Going Into Final Time Trial
1 – Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
2 – Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) at 39″
3 – Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) at 43″
4 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 53″
5 – Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha Alpecin) at 1’15”