Tejay Van Garderen victorious in Giro, Tom Dumoulin keeps Pink
May 25 2017 11:03 pm CET

Tejay Van Garderen victorious in Giro, Tom Dumoulin keeps Pink

Tejay Van Garderen of BMC Racing Team has won the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia by beating Mikel Landa of Sky in the sprint. Tom Dumoulin successfully defended his Pink Jersey.

At only 137 kilometers, the stage promised to be explosive with no less than five categorized climbs offering a chance for general classification contenders to make a difference.

The day began with a 1st category climb, followed by two of the second, one of the third and finishing with an uphill finish at the end of a 1st category ascent.

The first attacks were launched right at the beginning. Manuele Boaro (Bahrain-Merida), Joey Rosskopf (BMC), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data) and Diego Rosa (Sky) created a modest advantage. Boaro was later reeled in but the remaining three were joined by a larger chasing group.

The new front group included Movistar's Andrey Amador and Winner Anacona as well as Jasper Stuyven, Omar Fraile, Pierre Rolland, Mikel Landa and Tejay Van Garderen.

In the main group, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida continued to surround their respective leaders Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali. Race leader Tom Dumoulin was left without teammates on the third climb of the day as Laurens ten Dam could no longer hold on.

The high pace on the third climb proved to be too much for more riders including White Jersey holder Bob Jungels. The QuickStep rider failed to hold on to the group of favorites and set himself up for a long and lonely afternoon in the mountains.

Quintana launched the first major attack of the day shortly after and soon found teammate Amador, who had dropped back from the lead group. Moments later, Nibali attacked as well in an attempt to bridge the gap.

Although the attack looked powerful, Dumoulin repeated what he had already done earlier in the Giro by steadily increasing his own pace and finding his way back to the newly formed Quintana-Nibali group, just as they reached the summit of the climb.

The battle continued on the following descent as Quintana gained a bit of terrain on Dumoulin and Nibali by choosing the wheel of Orica-Scott's Ruben Plaza and Adam Yates, but the group got back together on time for the next climb.

The fourth climb of the day, a 3rd category ascent, saw Landa set a high pace in the front group and dropped several of his companions in the process. The Spaniard took the KOM points at the top in order to defend his Blue Jersey.

The group broke on the last descent of the day as Landa and Van Garderen rode away from the others in an attempt to stay ahead of the group of favorites on the final climb.

Quintana attacked again with over six kilometers to go until the finish, using his teammate Anacona for support as he slowly rode away from his rivals. The moment Anacona was spent, Quintana launched one final attack but failed to gain enough terrain. The Colombian was reeled back in with five kilometers left.

Nibali tried his luck shortly after but he was quickly caught by Dumoulin, who then went on to attack himself. Quintana followed the Dutchman but the rest replied appropriately to neutralize the effort.

Meanwhile, Landa and Van Garderen stayed ahead of their chasers and battled for the stage victory together. Similar to the sprint against Nibali days earlier, Landa entered the finale in the lead. Once again, the Sky rider was caught out as Van Garderen surpassed him to take a very valuable win.

Ilnur Zakarin, Steven Kruijswijk and Bauke Mollema gained some time on their direct rivals for the general classification, and Dumoulin finished together with Quintana and Nibali to confirm their failed attempts to turn things around with just three more days to go.



Photo of Tejay van Garderen (cropped) by BMC Racing Team





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