Giro 19: Cima Coppi

Gruppo compatto: all together toward Colle dell'Agnello, Cima Coppi of this year Giro.
Piasco: Carlos Verona wins the first intermediate sprint.
San Peyre: Diego Ulissi wins the 2nd intermediate sprint.
A 28 riders break goes including Hubert Dupont, Matteo Montaguti, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, Michele Scarponi, Stefano Pirazzi, André Cardoso, Moreno Moser, Johann Van Zyl, Carlos Verona, Stefan Denifl, Marcel Wyss, Diego Ulissi, Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort, José Herrada, José Joaquin Rojas, Rory Sutherland, Damiano Cunego, Ruben Plaza, Georg Preidler Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, Egor Silin, Ian Boswell, David Lopez Garcia, Mikel Nieve, Nicolas Roche, Jesus Hernandez and Evgeny Petrov. Gap is 1'45''.
70 km to go the race started climbing. The gap is 4'16". Several riders already lost contact from the break-away, Cunego included. Instead Denifl is ther so the Blue Jersey could change.
64 km to go Ulissi and Silin attacked the break and got a gap. Scarponi joins and goes solo, Ulissi is the first chaser.
In the peloton Chaves attacks with two mates, the group explodes and Kruijswijk is immediately solo.
The front group is down to four riders: Chaves, Nibali, Valverde and Kruijswijk. Nibali is quickly dropped. The Maglia Rosa looks at ease.
Majka and Zakarin join Nibali and together they come back to Valverde, Chaves and Kruijswijk.
Snow  beside the road and a thick mist. Atapuma attacks but Jungels closes the gap. The group splits again.
57 km again Chaves attacks again but Kruijswijk is on his wheel. Nibali, Zakarin and Uran are there. Valverde is slightly dropped as well as Majka. Zakarin and Uran loses contact while Majka is back. 
Valverde is with Uran, Atapuma, Zakarin. Majka is dropped again.
In front Scarponi conquered the Cima Coppi, Nieve is 2nd.
Meanwhile Nibali found a team mate who was in the break-away. He gives the last pull then gets dropped. Vincenzo Nibali attacks, Kruijswijk follows, Cheves is slightly dropped.
Amador and Jungels are with Valverde, 1' behind Nibali. 
Descent. BOOM! Kruijswijk crashes straight into the snow wall. the bike is broken and the team car isn't there. He's back rding but lost a lot.
Nibali gets a gap. Valverde is close to Kruijswijk who's furiously chasing. Chaves joins Nibali. They have 42'' on Kruijswijk.
BOOM! Zakarin crashed off the road! 
He's still laying on the ground, far from his bike. The race doctor is there. He's conscious, his left collarbone is broken but that's all. 
In front Monfort joined Scarponi who doesn't collaborate because he's waiting for Nibali and Chaves, 3'47" behind. Kruijswijk is 5'12'' down and Cardoso just passed him.
Scarponi stops, Monfort goes. Domont, Nieve, Lopez and a Cannondale riders join Scarponi who keeps the back of this group.
28 km to go Kruijswijk is no more solo, he met Jungels, Verona, two Movistar riders, a Katusha rider and a Cannondale rider. Valverde is with Majka and some other Tinkoff riders. In front Nibali and Chaves joined the rest of the break.
23 km to go the group with Valverde and Majka is about to join the group with Nibali and Chaves.
21 km to go Monfort is leading solo, the Ulissi Group is at 1'16'', Group Chaves and Nibali  are at 2'26'', the Valverde Group is at 2'43'', the Gruppo Maglia Rosa is at 3'22''.
Nibali and Chaves have 1'38"on Kruijswijk.
Risoul, the final climb: 12.9 km, 6.9% average. The group with Valverde, Majka and Uran didn't make the junction yet. Kruijswijk attacks the climb solo, then Jungels gives him a pull.
10 km to go Monfort is caught and a new front group forms. Nibali attacks, Chaves and Nieve resist.
Jungels speeds up to join the group with Valverde and Kruijswijk is dropped. He found Pirazzi and Clarke but he's losing time.
Ulissi joins the front group.
5 km to go Nibali attacks, Chaves resists while Nieve is dropped. Nibali attacks again and this time he goes solo.
Behind Kruijswijk is with Boswell, losing to Nibali but maybe gaining some time on Chaves.
3 km to go Nibali has 16" on Chaves, 1'39" on Valverde and 3'30" on Kruijswijk.
2 km to go Nieve joins Chaves.
Last km: Vincenzo Nibali wins solo. Mikel Nieve is 2nd , 3rd Esteban Chaves. 4th is Diego Ulissi.
After the line Nibali bursts on tears.
Kruijswijk arrives with a big delay: Chaves is on Pink and 2nd is Nibali at 44''.

Vincenzo Nibali:
“In the high mountains, I feel good. I feel much more at ease on longer climbs like this compared to the shorter ones. Today I found a bit of feeling again too. Over the years, I’ve always seen that in the Grand Tours you can always hope right to the end that something will happen. You never know. Not every year is the same. I’ve been through some very difficult days but today I certainly found the release. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow’s stage will be pretty similar to today’s, so we’ll have to see how to take it on with the whole team, and we’ll have to be focused. It’s sure to be a very difficult day.
Today I raced thinking only of the stage win knowing that there were a lot of riders ahead of me in the general classification. But when we got towards the top of the Agnello, I could see that there were various riders suffering so I looked to accelerate. There were three of us over the top. I could see Kruijsiwjk wasn’t going very well, so I accelerated. I took the descent on fast. Then Kruijswijk crashed and we changed our strategy. When we got above 2,000 metres, I started to feel much better and at ease. In the end it was a good day, but it wasn’t easy. Maybe I didn’t even believe in it myself either, but deep down I was hoping to do something like that.”

Esteban Chaves:
"It was an amazing day of the race for me. Also, more important I take the maglia rosa. I'm really happy today - the team worked unbelievable. All the guys attacking the dell'Angelo, and Ruben waited for me, and pushed like a real machine. In the final I tried to follow Nibali but he was stronger today - I take the maglia in the final and we will try to defend tomorrow.
Their team showed today they would fight for the maglia rosa, but unfortunately he crashed. Sorry, mate. I was behind Nibali and he descends very fast."
“It’s a dream. Absolutely incredible. The team were fantastic yet again today and I have to thank them and everyone at ORICA-GreenEDGE because this is for all of us.
Today was truly a difficult stage but we executed our race plan to perfection. Ruben (Plaza) was ahead in the break and he worked very hard for me in the final after Damien (Howson) had done a great job on the Colle dell Agnello.
I tried to follow Vincenzo (Nibali) when he attacked late in the stage. I managed to keep my rhythm and stay close enough at the finish. I’m very sorry for the crash of Steven (Kruijswijk), unfortunately it’s a part of bike racing and he was unlucky today.”

Steven Kruijswijk:
"I screwed up. A stupid mistake. It hurt so much."
“On the top of the Colle dell’Agnello, I was on my limit. I wanted to eat and drink something, and followed the others. I made a stupid mistake. I made a wrong move and crashed in that wall of snow. My bike was battered, and I wasn’t able to continue immediately. After I started riding, everything hurt. I felt pain in my back and my ribs, and my morale was broken. I knew that I had lost time and tried to move on, but it was over. I lost my Giro today.”

Bob Jungels:
"It was hard to breathe at high altitude on Agnello, especially when the attacks came, so that's why I wanted to find my own rhythm. Over the top I couldn't follow the leaders, but did a good downhill, went really fast there, and this was important. We had backwind on that section, so I hit a maximum speed of 105 km/h. Then, luckily, Carlos Verona came from the break and helped me until Risoul, and I want to thank him for that. On the last ascent, I rode again without panicking, had a good pace and overall I'm satisfied with how things went. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be as strong and enjoy another solid ride."

Darwin Atapuma:
“Once again I was feeling good and had good sensations on the climbs. At the top of Colle del’Agnello I was distanced a bit and then it was hard to come back from there. On the final summit finish in Risoul, I was at the limit. But we have one last chance in the mountains tomorrow and I want to give it everything I have. With good form I hope to be up there again.”

Nicholas Roche:
"Hit the deck on the agnelo descente. Like many other. Looks like i was actually lucky when i look at other crashes. Good stage for Team Sky".

Georg Preidler:
“It was a hard stage in the mountains but I am really satisfied with my performance. I gave it everything today.”


1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
2 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
7 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling
8 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 78:14:20
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:40
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:05
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:48
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:03:59
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:53
7 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:09:34
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:12:18
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:13:19
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:11
Pink: Chaves
Blue: Cunego
Red: Nizzolo
White: Jungels

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