Sprint finish in Switzerland for Giro d'Italia stage 17

Wed 27 May 2015

New Zealander Sam Bewley was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s top finisher as the Giro d’Italia visited Switzerland for a stage 17 finish in Lugano today.

Bewley finished in the first large group (41st) behind the sprint victory of Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) as a fast decent in the finale split the bunch behind.

After the effort that was yesterday’s queen stage, today’s stage was more textbook as a small three-man break was controlled and proceedings always looked like coming down to a sprint.

“We were prepared for the worst at the start because that has been the trend of this year’s Giro,” sport director Matt White said.

“But rather than the resistance we’ve seen, the first attack of the day was the breakaway. A couple of guys tried to join too late and gave up, and it was a pretty steady tempo chasing them all day.

“Once again they didn’t give the break much time and then it got nervous around the lake. The roads were narrow and there were very gusty wind conditions today, which made it even more nervous.

“We were going to try for Brett Lancaster but he wasn’t able to get up the final climb into the finale and the peloton didn’t allow the guys who were there to launch anything off the front.”

How it unfolded

After yesterday’s monster queen stage, today’s stage 17 was a lot simpler, both on paper and on the road.

There was no resistance when Giacomo Berlato (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Iljo Keisse (Etixx – Quick Step) and Marco Bandiera (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermac) rode away from the flag.

With just one categorised climb early in the 134km stage, it was an opportunity for the sprint teams to take over from the dominance of the general classifications.

They allowed the trio just a few minutes advantage ensuring they dangled in reach until closing the gap with 27km to ride.

An uncategorised hill in the final 25km formed the basis for a secondary attack, briefly as a trio and then a solo move by Adam Hansen (Lotto – Soudal).

Hansen’s drive was ended with ten kilometres to the finish and subsequent efforts to escape were also unsuccessful as the peloton descended into a sprint finish.