Bittersweet day for Mikel Landa in his attempt to get fully into the fight for the Giro d'Italia. Great stage for the brave Spaniard, who attacked Richard Carapaz in the middle of the mountains but was overtaken by the leader of the general classification in the last meters of the route. The Spaniard, however, overtakes the Portuguese Almeida, lost in the endless transalpine slopes, and is placed third. Buitrago, after a fantastic workout, took the stage when the Dutch riders punctured on the climb.
The Passo del Vetriolo, heart of the Italian Alps, gave nothing to the peloton. The mountain was rough and wet, untamed, in the 17th stage of the Giro, where Richard Carapaz is still in charge and where Mikel Landa hopes to execute a championship approach.
The fog hid the cyclists from the cameras, spirits of the forest, and only Van der Poel shook the scene with an imposing exercise. Accustomed to looking flat, the Dutchman grabbed his backpack and proudly faced the slope, drenched, as the rain appeared intermittently in the first hours of the day.
The giant from the Netherlands graced the course but punctured when it got steeper and narrowed the mountain. His compatriot Gijs Leemreize hunted him down 11 kilometers from the finish line while Colombian Santiago Buitrago, despite being far from the lead, began to pedal with anger and bad intentions, in search of an epic victory. No one skimped, the effort was non-negotiable, and the stage acquired a devilish pace in which Landa also dove in without thinking twice, well supported by the Bahrain team.
The Basque sought to move up in the general classification with an attack but Carapaz was not daunted, shoulder to shoulder with two of the favorites while the Portuguese Almeida staggered. Buitrago, who was about to finish the sorpasso to Leemreize and only the South American arrived at Lavarone, his victory in northern Italy was great. Carapaz, finally, came out as a champion and squeezed Landa at the finish, an attack in which the Spaniard stayed more than a minute behind the leader in the general classification.