GIRO’22 Stage 17: Brilliant Buitrago Bounds to Stage Win!

Carapaz still in pink

Giro Stage 17 Race Report: Another exciting day in Italy. Santiago Buitrago took the honours at the front as Richard Carapaz, Jai Hindley and Mikel Landa solidified the Giro podium. Carapaz holds pink, but the race is still open.

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Stage 17 final kilometre

A stunning win from the young Santiago Buitrago

Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) won the seventeenth stage of the Giro d’Italia from the early break. The Colombian defeated Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) in a mountain stage of 168 kilometres finishing in Lavarone. The decisive attack came from Buitrago just before the top of the final climb of Monterovere. Earlier in the stage it looked like Mathieu van der Poel was going to win, but his move collapsed on that last climb.

A cold and wet start to the day

The Route:
This mountain stage is divided into two parts. It starts uphill, heading towards Passo del Tonale, and then continues mostly downhill through the Val di Sole and the Val di Non, for over 70 kilometres. After crossing the Adige, the route ascends to Palù di Giovo, passing through the Valle dei Mocheni and reaching Pergine Valsugana, to tackle the two closing climbs. The Valico del Vetriolo is long but manageable (average 7% gradient), whilst the Menador ascent (Kaiserjägerstrasse) is narrow at points, with tunnels carved out in the rock and gradients constantly over 10%. Past Monterovere, the finish will only be a few undulating kilometres away.

Final kilometres
After the KOM and a short descent, the route goes up again, until the 4km marker. It then drops down once more on wide track. The final 700 metres run on a slight incline.

Changeable weather in the mountains

The start of the stage was extremely tough due to the pouring rain and the Passo del Tonale of almost 9 kilometres. A 25-strong leading group of the day was formed on the first climb in several moves. There were no mountain points on the Tonale, but that didn’t stop Koen Bouwman, Giulio Ciccone and Diego Rosa (the top-3 in the KOM) going with the escape.

Van der Poel wasn’t feeling the cold as much as the others in the break

Mathieu van der Poel, Thymen Arensman, Sam Oomen, Gijs Leemreize and Mauri Vansevenant were also present, as were climbers: Jan Hirt, Guillaume Martin, Felix Gall, Hugh Carthy, Santiago Buitrago and Attila Valter. They were allowed a gap by the peloton, where INEOS Grenadiers kept them at between 3 to 4 minutes on the descent and in the valley towards the third category Giovo climb.

Another tough stage, made worse by the conditions

On the Giovo, the lead of the break grew towards 5 minutes. At the top it was Bouwman who sprinted Ciccone off his wheel and took the maximum 9 KOM points. On the descent they pushed on and the lead group split in two. Van der Poel, Martin, Carthy, Bouwman, Oomen, Leemreize, Vansevenant, Ciccone, Lorenzo Fortunato, Alessandro Covi and Antonio Pedrero took a gap, but the chasing group with Arensman and Hirt managed to return.

The vins won’t go thirsty

The lead had grown to 7 minutes, putting Hirt (at 7:42 overall) close to leader Richard Carapaz. The co-operation at the front was not good enough and Van der Poel attacked. Gall, Martin and Covi reacted, and the four rode away from the others. This meant that Jumbo-Visma had to chase to keep Bouwman in the race for the mountain jersey.

Salvatore Puccio and Ben Swift working hard for Richard Carapaz

The four leaders started the final with a 1:20 lead, which started with the Passo del Vetriolo (12km at 7.6%). Carthy, Bouwman, Buitrago, Hirt and Vansevenant accelerated from behind, which was too fast for Ciccone. The Italian wanted to follow, but was dropped early on the climb. Leemreize managed to join that group, but the difference to the Van der Poel group remained at 30 seconds.

INEOS in control

Carthy, Hirt, Bouwman and Buitrago were clearly the better climbers. Two kilometres from the top they caught Martin, Gall and an impressive Van der Poel, who helped set the pace on this Alpine climb. Soon after, Leemreize also fought back. Bouwman was then given space by his fellow escapees to take the 40 KOM points and extend his lead in the mountains competition.

And the break split

In the peloton it was Bahrain Victorious who took the lead on behalf of Mikel Landa. The considerably thinned out favourites group crossed the Passo del Vetriolo 5 minutes after Bouwman. On the descent, Van der Poel and Leemreize managed to create a gap of 30 seconds on the others. They took a lot of risks and almost had to pay for it with a crash over the guard-rail, but both Dutchmen saved themselves in time.

The race was above the cloud on occasion

With a lead of 1:30, Van der Poel and Leemreize started the final climb to Monterovere (7.9km at 9.9%), a chase had not started. Van der Poel dropped his companion early, while Carthy, Hirt and Buitrago came closer with difficulty. Bouwman had done his KOM work and rode to the finish at his own pace.

Guillaume Martin was at the front of the race… but

Van der Poel tried to go solo

Van der Poel was on the road solo, although Leemreize kept close. Three kilometres from the summit, the young Jumbo-Visma climber pulled Van der Poel back and accelerated immediately. Van der Poel seemed broken and Leemreize immediately had a gap. Behind; Buitrago was chasing the Dutchman; he caught up with Van der Poel 2 kilometres from the top as Leemreize had a 40 second lead.

Gijs Leemreize caught and dropped Van der Poel

In the last kilometre of the climb, Leemreize had Buitrago on his back. The Colombian closed on him 500 metres before the top. Buitrago tried to get away, but Leemreize fought back, but the Dutchman had to let go after a second attack. Buitrago started the descent towards Lavarone with a slight lead, although there was also a short climb in the final stretch.

Bouwman had done his KOM work

The difference between Buitrago and Leemreize was about 12 seconds. The Jumbo-Visma rider didn’t give up, but was unable to keep up with the pace of the Colombian. Buitrago had 25 seconds on the difficult part towards Lavarone and had time to celebrate the stage win. Leemreize crossed the finish line 35 seconds later. Van der Poel was caught in the final by Hirt, Carthy and the GC riders to eventually take 12th place on the stage.

Of course the ‘Tifosi’ were out in force

In the favourites group, Almeida had a hard time on the Monterovere after an acceleration by Bahrain Victorious. Of all the classification riders, Carapaz, Landa and Hindley again proved to be the best. Richie Porte and Wout Poels were the only helpers they could follow. Landa’s double attack caused even more damage, although Carapaz and Hindley were able to follow.

Van der poel had given it everything he had

Just before the summit there seemed to be some cracks in Carapaz and Hindley, but they still came over the top on the wheel of Landa and Poels. The favourites for the final win gave each other no space. João Almeida, Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo had long since disappeared.

It looked like Leemreize might take the win

In the end, the top men crossed the finish line just under 3 minutes from Buitrago. Carapaz made a long sprint for 5th place, but Hindley was on the wheel of the pink jersey. Landa was unable to hold the sprint and lost about 5 seconds on the other two. Almeida lost almost 1:10 to Carapaz, Nibali conceded more than 2 minutes.

Buitrago attacked on the final climb for the stage win

Happy Colombians

Stage winner, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious): “To win a stage of the Giro is exceptional for me, especially after the big disappointment of my second place on Sunday. The key to win today was patience in the climb. I think I played it well. This win is for my family in Colombia and all the people who have supported me until now.”

An emotional stage winner

Maglia Rosa, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “The truth is it has been a very tough day. But in the end, that’s another good one for the overall standings. Tomorrow will be another important day. Until Verona I have to stay focused all the way.”

Carapaz just out-sprinted Hindley for 5th place

# Keep it PEZ for all the Giro news in EUROTRASH Thursday. #

Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious in 4:27:41
2. Gijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:35
3. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:28
4. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:53
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 2:57
8. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:59
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 73:19:40
2. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:05
4. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:54
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:48
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 6:19
7. Jan Hirt (CZ) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:12
8. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 7:13
9. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 12:27
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 12:30.

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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