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Movistar’s Nairo Quintana took his first stage win of the 2017 Giro d’Italia on Sunday, winning the mountain stage up Blockhaus and grabbing the lead in the general classification in the process. His win was overshadowed by a controversial crash involving a police motorbike, however.
The Colombian left all of his rivals to take a solo win, with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) completing the podium.
A crash just before the final climb took out most of Team Sky and had a major impact on the stage results, with the likes of Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa losing minutes.
Here’s a look at the stage results, via the Inner Ring:
The current Giro standings:
Sunday’s stage was the first to finish on a serious incline, with the peloton facing the dreaded Blockhaus. Daniel Lloyd of Global Cycling Network weighed in on the climb:
Daniel Lloyd @daniellloyd1
Apparently I climbed Blockhaus in the 2009 Giro. I have zero recollection of the climb or the stage. Must be a pain defence mechanism.
5/14/2017, 7:12:15 AM
A group of 10 riders formed an early break, but the stage played out in nervous manner, and the break collapsed before the final climb even started. Paced by Movistar, the peloton raced toward Blockhaus at a fierce tempo, with riders falling out the back.
As the GC contenders moved to the front, a massive crash occurred due to the bad placement of a police moto. Among the victims were Thomas, Landa and Orica-Scott’s Adam Yates.
Cycling writer Mihai Cazacu felt bad for Sky, as he predicted their chances of winning the pink jersey were gone:
Mihai Cazacu @faustocoppi60
Giro d’Italia is really mean to Team Sky. Such a shame. Both Landa and Thomas are out from GC. #Giro100
5/14/2017, 2:14:35 PM
Eurosport’s Laura Meseguer shared footage of the crash and the resultant carnage:
With effectively Team Sky sitting this stage out―Thomas and Landa were eventually able to continue―Movistar set the pace at the front. Quintana attacked after most of the pack had been dropped, the Colombian upping the pace with plenty of miles still to race.
Pinot and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) followed, and the two were able to counter several attacks from Quintana. The Colombian eventually created a gap, and Pinot also left Nibali, who cracked.
Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) passed the Italian and closed the gap to Pinot, to the delight of Cazacu:
There was no stopping Quintana, however, as the favourite cruised to the finish line. Pinot and Molema were able to limit the damage, while Nibali lost a lot of ground.
The peloton will enjoy a rest day on Monday, before Tuesday’s individual time trial. Dumoulin will be the favourite in that stage, as he attempts to create a lead over Quintana ahead of the stages in the Alps.