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Giro d'Italia 2017: Pierre Rolland wins solo in Canazei

Frenchman Rolland takes an impressive solo victory for Cannondale-Drapac's first Grand Tour victory in two years

Josh Cunningham
24 May 2017

Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) has won Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia solo after attacking his breakaway companions in the finale of a medium-mountain stage in the Alps. 

The Frenchman went clear with 7.4km to go and held the gap to take his first Grand Tour stage victory in five years, and Cannondale-Drapac's first Grand Tour win in two. 

Tom Dumoulin was guided through the stage by his Team Subweb teammates and finished safely in the peloton to retain his 31 second lead over Nairo Quintana in the battle for pink.

With two steady climbs in the first half of the race, followed by a long, long drag leading up to the finish in Canazei after 219km of racing, the day had long been billed as one for a breakaway success.

As such, it presented the last chance for many riders to claim a stage victory, resulting in more than 40 riders going up the road in the opening stages. 

Stage winner Rolland was himself part of a three-man move at the front of the race, with a large chasing group behind, and the peloton a further 15 minutes back. 

Once the initial three-up came back another move went clear of the leaders, with Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) present in both. When that one came back too, Mohoric went solo, but his efforts ultimately came to nothing as the diminished front group entered the finale as one. 

The peloton meanwhile had upped the pace. Bob Jungels' Quickstep team had realised that his white Young Rider leader's jersey was being put in jeapordy by the presence of Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) in the front group, and so they joined Team Sunweb in starting to peg back the gap. 

Attack followed by counter attack followed by counter-counter attack lit up the race for the stage, but with 7.4km to go it was Rolland who eventually broke the elastic to escape and hold the gap to the finish.

He finished 24 seconds of the rest of the remaining breakaway riders, with Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) leading home for 2nd and 3rd. 

The peloton rolled over 7'51" later, with both Dumoulin's pink and Jungels' white jerseys safe for another day.

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