By Le Figaro with AFP
Already winner of a stage on the Giro last year, the Italian was a gut ahead of his compatriot Jonathan Milan and the Australian Michael Matthews, this Wednesday. Status quo in the general clification.
The Tour of Italy was granted a brief moment of respite on Wednesday with the sprint victory in Caorle of the Italian Alberto Dainese after a peaceful 17th stage before three days in the mountains which promise to be terrible. A breakaway held on a leash by a lazy peloton before setting off and catching up with the fugitives, a mive sprint without falling and warm favorites in the wheel of their teammates: the 17th stage, arrival at the seaside, at a few kilometers north of Venice, filled the peloton, delighted to finally experience a quiet day in this grueling Giro.
In pleasant weather, the peloton let the small group of four riders get by, who opened the road about two minutes early, without ever being able to harbor any hope other than that of showing their jerseys on television.
I really gave everything, in the end I was at the limit.
Alberto Dainese (DSM)
At the finish, it was Alberto Dainese (DSM) who swept the day, maintaining a gut lead over his compatriot Jonathan Milan and the Australian Michael Matthews, in this stage almost totally on a downhill false flat, without the slightest bump in the program. “That’s crazy. Until then the Giro had not gone as I had hoped. Last week I was very ill. I had gastric problems and difficulty in breathing. Today was the first day where I had good feelings and I won. I’m so happy“, reacted the 25-year-old Italian who had already won a stage last year on the Tour of Italy.
“I really gave it my all, in the end I was at the limit“, added Dainese who resisted the furious finish of Milan, which came back like a bullet. The rider from Bahrain, winner of the 2nd stage, consolidates his cyclamen jersey as best sprinter with this fourth second place in this Giro.
In the general clification, the Briton Geraint Thomas (Ineos) still wears the leader’s pink jersey with respectively 18 and 29 seconds ahead of the Portuguese Joao Almeida (UAE) and the Slovenian Primoz Roglic. “The day had nothing to do with what we had known until then. It was nice and warm at the end, it feels good. It was perfect to keep strength before the three days ahead of us“, underlined Geraint Thomas who will celebrate his 37th birthday in pink on Thursday.
The respite will be short-lived because the slope will rise again on Thursday for a short but steep stage (161 km, 3,700 m of elevation gain) in the Dolomites with, on the program, two first category pes, the highest existing in the Giro d’Italia, and two in the second category. The next day, it will be even worse with a daunting journey to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the roof of this 106th edition from the top of its 2,304 m. Before the individual time trial on Saturday, the ultimate justice of the peace, on the maddening slopes (7.3 km at 12.1%) of Monte Lussari, on the eve of the arrival in Rome.