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Giro d’Italia: Kluge Takes His First Giro Victory & Stage 18 Preview

Stage 17 Review

A relatively calm day in the peloton with 198km course stretched almost straight from Molveno to Cassano d’Adda. It was Roger Kluge from IAM Cycling who came out on top as the best man of the day.

The early break was made up of riders we continue to see being the most combatative of the entire race. Daniel Oss from BMC, Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) set off and sailed away to 6 minutes at the height of their lead. As the riders hit the only hill of the day their gap was downt to about 3 minutes. 

Within the final 30 kilometers when the breakaways lead was at under a minute Lars Bak (Lotto-Soudal), Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) made a counter attack from the bunch to the break to double the size of the leading group. However, their lead would ultimately be squashed with 2km to go. 

A slippery Pozzato, the one who nearly got away.Photo by Sirotti
A slippery Pozzato, the one who nearly got away. Photo by Sirotti

With the field back together for the finish, Giro veteran Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) wriggled free in a last ditch effort to beat the aggressive bunch sprint to the line, joined by Roger Kluge from IAM Cycling the two had only a 20 meter buffer until Kluge, a German track sprinter lifted again and soared past Pozzato to take the victory on Stage 17.

Kruijswijk remains untouchable at this point with a three minute lead over next best placed Chaves. 

Kluge takes a sneaky look back to make sure he has the win. Photo by Sirotti
Kluge takes a sneaky look back to make sure he has the win. Photo by Sirotti
Kruijswijk stays cool in the pink jersey for another day. Photo by Sirotti
Kruijswijk stays cool in the pink jersey for another day. Photo by Sirotti

Stage 17 Podium
1. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling 4:31:29
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre – Merida
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step

Sprint Classification after Stage 17
1. Daniel Oss (Ita) – BMC Racing Team – 63 pts
2. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) – Team LottoNl-Jumbo – 43 pts
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) – Etixx – Quick-Step – 39 pts

General Classification after Stage 17
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) – Team LottoNl-Jumbo – 68:11:39
2. Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) – Orica-GreenEdge – 0:03:00
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) – Movistar Team – 0:03:23
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) – Astana Pro Team – 0:04:43
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) – Team Katusha – 0:04:50
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) – Tinkoff Team – 0:05:34
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) – Etixx – Quick-Step – 0:07:57
8. Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) – Movistar Team – 0:08:53
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) – AG2R La Mondiale – 0:10:05
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) – Dimension Data – 0:11:03

Stage 18 – MUGGIÒ – PINEROLO, 240km 

The route

After running flat for 170km, this stage will have a more challenging finale. The route initially runs across the entire north-western Po Plain, from Milano to Torino, along mainly straight and wide roads. The stage course cuts across a few major cities, where the usual traffic-calming street furniture are to be found. After reaching Pinerolo (and clearing Colletta di Cumiana), the route takes a first pass over the finish line, climbs up the steep Via dei Principi d’Acaja stretch, tackles the Pramartino climb (4.6km with an average 10.4% gradient) and goes back to Pinerolo, to cover the last 3km, after a very technical descent.

Final kms

2,500m before the finish, the route turns left and climbs up Via Principi d’Acaja (450m with an average 14% gradient and peaks of 20%, on setts-paved and narrow road). Next is a steep and harsh descent leading into Pinerolo. The last 1,500m run on level roads, with just a few bends and a short stretch on stone-slab paving. The finish line is set at the end of an 8m wide, 350m long asphalt home straight.

Stage 18 Map
Stage 18 Map
Stage 18 Profile
Stage 18 Profile

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Chaves owning the finish on Stage 14 of the Giro. Photo by Sirotti

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