2022 Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Preview

Ponte di Legno > Lavarone 167.8km

After today’s fun, the third week rolls on with another demanding mountain stage. Will we eventually start to see a gap between Carapaz and Hindley?

Weather

Another cloudy day with a risk of rain. The bunch dodged it today, can they get lucky again?

Key Points

This climb awaits the peloton from the gun, not great news for the sprinters. It might be unclassified but it’s certainly not easy, but is it long enough for a strong break to form?

Passo del Vetriolo is a tough climb, 11.9km at 7.5%. Don’t expect to see much action, but I hope I’m wrong. Near the top we will see some riders rush to the front, they know what’s coming next.

Feast your eyes on this descent. Given how close it is to the final climb, attacking here makes a lot of sense.

The final climb of the day is Monterovere, 8.2km at 9.2%, it’s another tough climb. The second half of it is brutal. From the crest, there is just 8km to go, with the final 650m averaging 5.3%.

Tactics

If you are a GC team and want a stage win, this is the easiest day to control. Yes, the opening climb is good news for the climbers wanting to get in the early move, but the next 110km is easy to control. It doesn’t matter that we don’t have a mountaintop finish, this is the day for the likes of Bora, Astana and Bahrain should try and set up a big finish. 

Hoping this doesn’t happen are the usual band of breakaway riders. The climb at the start is good for them, but it is only 10km long, that makes it hard to build a good gap over the bunch. Once off the descent, the peloton is likely to be back to close to its full size, meaning lots of riders to chase on the front. Of course, it depends on who wants to chase, but this looks like a stage where the breakaway will be controlled.

The other option is a risky one, it takes a special rider to pull this off. You wait in the peloton until the final two climbs, and then try an attack. To hold off the GC group will be very hard, but if you believe the break has no chance, this is an option. 

When the GC group hit the final two climbs, it should be very entertaining for us fans. We’ve seen that there really isn’t much between the best in this race, the GC is finely poised. Landa needs time on Almeida to move into the top 3, so Bahrain will want the climbs to be hard. The top two are evenly matched, but at some point, one of them will start to suffer, will that happen in this stage? Hindley is the one who needs the time, he’ll lose some in the TT to Carapaz. 

Contenders

Jai Hindley – he sits just three seconds behind Carapaz on GC, if there are bonus seconds up for grabs at the end of this stage, he stands a great chance of moving into pink. That would be gratefully received, but Hindley will want another stage win. He’s looked incredibly impressive in the mountain stages; this is another big chance for him. Will Bora ditch going in the breaks and ride for the stage win? I’d be amazed if they didn’t. 

Richard Carapaz – was very close to beating Hindley in today’s sprint, and the uphill grind to the line in this stage is more to his liking. He’s been beaten by Hindley in every sprint that’s meant something, but he’ll still believe that he can take the stage win. Ineos were impressive today, I expect something similar in this stage. They don’t need to chase the break, but they’ll do their usual of pegging it at 5 minutes and seeing if anyone else wants to step it. 

Mikel Landa – was great today, but the finish isn’t ideal for him.

Simon Yates – breakaway hopeful number 1. The fact he’s still in the race tells me he wants another stage win.

Giulio Ciccone – breakaway hopeful number 2. Missed out today, he’ll be back tomorrow.

Hugh Carthy – breakaway hopeful number 3. He’s improving.

Bauke Mollema – breakaway hopeful number 4. Saved some energy today.

Prediction Time

A GC day, and a win for Jai Hindley.

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