Giro d'Italia Stage 17: Keisse Tries his Chance, Uran Top Bunch Arrival Finisher
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Iljo Keisse entered a three-rider breakaway that gained a three minute advantage after 30km of a 134km Giro d'Italia Stage 17 on Wednesday. However, that breakaway, despite working well together, was given a short leash by the peloton. They were brought back with 27km to go in the stage from Tirano to Lugano.
Despite several more attacks, nothing was able to stick and with 1.1km to go it was clear the stage would end in a group arrival. Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran ensured a top 25 placing by keeping himself near the front.
Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) won the stage. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) was 2nd, and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin) was 3rd.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 170km Stage 18 on Thursday. The parcours only has one categrorized climb: Category 1 Monte Ologno. However, the summit is at kilometer 134.4, and there are still some up-and-down sections before a descent into the finish.
"Long day in the breakaway, even if it's a short stage," Keisse said. "Short stages are most of the time when I can do the best. My stage victory out of the breakaway at Tour of Turkey in 2012 was also short, at 135 kilometers. At Tour of Oman I also entered a breakaway in a short stage. A short stage, full gas, is when I have the best chance to make it. I was at the first line at the start today and Marco Bandiera said 'we go,' and I said 'yeah, we'll try.' So we went straight away. But we were really unlucky with the headwind, only three guys in the lead group, and also the bunch never gave us much time. So in the last 40 kilometers, when you only have a 1 minute and 10 second advantage, it's impossible to stay away. But OK, we tried. There's not many chances for me. I'm not a pure sprinter or a climber, so this seemed to be my best chance. But I have to say the important thing is I am feeling much better than the first few days of the Giro. Every day after that I felt a bit stronger. It's just unfortunate the chances to stage hunt are limited, and we've had some bad luck this year compared to the last two years. But I am satisfied with going for it today, as our strategy has changed since Sunday to take advantage of opportunities to enter the breakaway. Breakaways haven't much luck in this edition, but everyone wants to keep doing their very best for the team in the last few days. Whenever we have the chance, we'll go for it, and we'll make the best of the situation."