photo credits @ RCS
Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) claimed stage 17 in the Giro d’Italia today, after winning a bunch sprint ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) in Franciacorta.
Slick roads during the final kilometer didn’t prevent Quick-Step Floors from moving their lead sprinter into position to seize a wet and chaotic sprint finale, earning Viviani his fourth stage victory in this year’s Italian Grand Tour.
Meanwhile, race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished safely in the peloton to maintain his grip on the pink jersey.
It took 80 kilometers of racing before the day’s first breakaway group containing riders such as Wout Poels (Sky), Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) to finally escape.
However, with just a little than 20 kilometers to go, Poels and Hermans were dropped while Di Marchi and Sanchez continued to forge ahead before getting reeled in themselves with 11 kilometers remaining.
From there, LottoNL-Jumbo took over the pace setting duties ahead of the final sprint.
At 8 kilometers to go, Gianluca Bambrilla (Trek-Segafredo) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) attempted an attack, which was quickly followed by Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors), Sergio Henao (Sky) and Cesare Benedetti (Bora-hansgrohe).
However, despite their valiant attempt, the group was neutralized by the peloton just 2 kilometers later.
The next rider to try his luck was Maurits Lammertink (Katusha-Alpecin), but his move was shut down during the final three kilometers as well.
The race began shaping up for an inevitable sprint showdown from there, with Viviani emerging victorious.
Yates continues to hold a 56-second lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) with three key summit finishes in the Alps still ahead.
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