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Gallery: Pain and pleasure on Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia

Joe Robinson
27 May 2021

The summit finish of Sega di Ala proves a punishing playground for many

Egan Bernal showed a chink in his armour for the first time in this Giro d'Italia yesterday. The Ineos Grenadier had bullied the race up until Stage 17, barging his way ahead of the rest to a comfortable lead in the maglia rosa by the race's second rest day. Yet with the summit finish at Sega di Ala, we got a glimpse that this race may not be over just yet.

By the end of the stage, Bernal's gap to second on General Classification, Bahrain Victorious's Damiano Caruso, had been maintained, however it was the 50 seconds shipped to Simon Yates of Team BikeExchange that will have been of concern.

The Brit powered away on the final climb alongside Deceuninck-QuickStep's Joao Almeida, putting Bernal onto the back foot for the first time this race. Bernal simply could not match the pace as he desperatly clung to teammate Dani Martinez's wheel. You suspect if it was not for Martinez, more time would have been lost by the finish.

Bernal was not the only loser, mind. Astana's Aleksandr Vlasov lost 2 minutes 30 seconds to his GC rivals while EF Education-Nippo's Hugh Carthy lost 3 minutes, hampering their chances of a podium finish in Milan this Sunday. Then there was Trek-Segafredo's Gulio Ciccone who started the stage 6th, 4 minutes adrift and finished it in 10th, 11 minutes back, following a crash earlier in the race.

The same crash was what also ultimately ended Remco Evenepoel's Grand Tour debut as the young Belgian slid along a set of crash barriers to avoid a spill in front of him. He valiantly battled on to the finish but was pulled from the race overnight due to his injuries.

And a word to Dan Martin of Israel Start-Up Nation, his victory entering him into the coveted club of riders to have won stages at all three Grand Tours – a worthy winner.

Below are Chris Auld's best images from yet another brutal day at this year's Giro:

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