Martin completes grand tour set with stage win at Giro
Bernal shows first sign of weakness after Yates attacks
Yates moves up to third on general classification
Carthy drops two places down to fifth overall
Simon Yates reignited his Giro d'Italia as a late attack found the first signs of weakness in race leader Egan Bernal while Dan Martin took solo victory from a breakaway on stage 17.
Yates recovered from the problems he showed on Monday as he attacked Bernal on the steep gradients of the climb to Sega di Ala, taking 53 seconds out of the Colombian by the summit to spring back in to the podium places.
Yates crossed the line third on the day, 30 seconds after Martin, who took his first Giro stage win to complete his grand tour set as reward for a long day in a breakaway on the 193km run from Canazei.
Yates had looked down and out after he lost more than two minutes on Monday to drop from second to fifth, while Bernal had not put a foot wrong in the race to this point - and had celebrated a fine stage victory 48 hours earlier.
But things looked very different after Tuesday's rest day as Yates attacked four kilometres from the summit. Bernal initially followed but within a kilometre he was struggling to hold the wheel of Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Dani Martínez as Yates skipped away.
With second-placed Damiano Caruso also struggling, the damage to Bernal's overall lead – now two minutes and 21 seconds – was limited to just three seconds, but it remains to be seen if this was a sign of things to come or a temporary blip after the rest day.
"Today was a tough day for me for sure," Bernal said. "The last kilometres were really steep. I tried to follow Yates but today he was stronger than me. I just tried to arrive with Caruso who is closest in the GC [general classification] . I don't want to take any risks.
"For sure Yates was very impressive and I just did my best. I'm happy because I didn't lose too much time."
BikeExchange's Yates now sits in third, three minutes and 23 seconds back, overhauling Aleksandr Vlasov and Hugh Carthy, who both slipped back and are now more than six minutes down in fourth and fifth respectively.
"I didn't know the situation," Yates said of his attack. "I didn't know he was dropped until a bit later. I was going full gas so it's not like I could accelerate to increase the gap.
"I just hope the weather stays like this. Every day it has rained I've not had a good day so hopefully it stays the same and we'll see what I can do."
Martin, racing the Giro for the first time since he crashed out in the opening team time trial in Belfast back in 2014, had seen his own hopes of pink effectively ended on the gravel roads of stage 11.
But he rescued his race in some style here as he hit the climb with an advantage of around 90 seconds and held on ahead of the fireworks behind.
"I think the shake of the head at the end there said I couldn't quite believe it was happening," the ISN rider said.
"That's what I came here for, to try to win a stage and I knew today was one of the last opportunities. With the time I lost it was possible to go in the breakaway and to do it was incredible." PA
Bernal retains pink; Yates up to third
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) has kept hold of the maglia rosa, the leader's pink jersey, and despite all that drama the Colombian only lost just three seconds to Damiano Caruso (Bahrian Victorious).
Speaking afterwards, Bernal said: "Today was not my best day but I didn't lose much time, just a few seconds from Caruso. In the end, it's another day out, now let's think about tomorrow. Yates went very fast, he rode an impressive climb. I tried to follow him and maybe I was wrong to follow him immediately. This Giro ends in Milan, every day you can lose or gain a lot of time, I have to stay focused."
Simon Yates (BikeExchange), however, moved up to third while gaining 53sec on the maglia rosa. Another Briton, Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo), meanwhile, dropped two places to fifth.
Speaking to Eurosport and GCN, Yates said: "I didn’t even realise he [Bernal] was dropped until a bit later, I was already going full gas so it wasn’t like I could accelerate more and that’s about it.
"Everyday it’s rained, I haven’t had a good day, but hopefully the forecast stays the same and I’ll see what I can do. We actually missed the breakaway and I wanted to have a go for the stage. By the time the breakaway had already gone, there was only 60km or so before the first climb of the day so it wasn’t a huge job."
Martin wins stage 17 at the Giro!
Dan Martin (ISN) has completed his set of stage wins in all three grand tours. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) repays his team-mates, who did some huge efforts earlier in the day, to take second and gain some valuable time on general classification while also highlighting a possible weakness in the armour of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step) is third.
Speaking afterwards, Martin said: "I have no words to describe this success. I came to the Giro to do well in GC [general classification] and try to win a stage. Today I wanted to go on the attack and enter in the breakaway, I didn't think the peloton would let me go on the attack but my team did a great job to help me. I have to thank them. I needed a climb like this and the sun to do well."
500 metres to go
Dan Martin is moments away from the stage win.
1km to go
Egan Bernal is losing time here today, but has team-mate Dani Martínez willing him on. The Ineos Grenadiers rider should hold on to his leader's jersey as he's sat alongside Damiano Caruso who started the day in second, but questions will be asked tonight: has the Colombian's legs gone, or have the back problems that forced him to abandon last year's Tour de France resurfaced? Simon Yates, meanwhile, is gaining valuable time and may move up to third on general classification with this ride here this afternoon.
1.5km to go
Simon Yates is out of the saddle, Joao Almeida is hanging on. Dan Martin is around 25sec up the road, the maglia rosa 30sec or so further behind.
2km to go
Egan Bernal has team-mate Dani Martínez for company and boy does he look like he needs him. Damiano Caruso is alongside the pair.
Egan Bernal cannot hold the wheel of his team-mate Dani Martínez. It is almost as if he is over-geared, or perhaps those doubts over his back coming into the Giro d'Italia are returning to haunt the young Colombian? Simon Yates is closing in on Dan Martin. This is quite unbelievable. The Giro often produces great drama in the third week and we could be seeing another shuffling of the pack here today.
3.1km to go – Bernal has cracked!
Good grief, what's this? Egan Bernal appears to be human after all. The race leader has been dropped by Simon Yates and Joao Almeida.
3.5km to go
Simon Yates, Egan Bernal, Joao Almeida and Dani Martínez are riding together, but Damiano Caruiso has been dropped. Dan Martin, meanwhile, is holding on but his advantage has dropped to 53sec.
It's been in the post all afternoon, but can Simon Yates deliver the goods? The Briton rises out of his saddle and sets off up the road. Egan Bernal is wise to the move, jumping straight onto his wheel, but is this a sign of what is to follow on the steeper stretches of road?
Here we go. Joao Almeida, who started the day over 10 minutes down on general classification, floats off the front of the maglia rosa.
4km to go
Hugh Carthy drops back to the group containing Aleksandr Vlasov and Giulio Ciccone, all three likely to lose time on general classification. Gianni Moscon, meanwhile, is reunited with his three Ineos Grenadiers team-mates as they inch towards the steepest part of the climb.
4.5km to go
Did not expect to see this: Hugh Carthy is struggling on this climb. The Briton has team-mate Alberto Bettiol helping him. Up the road, Dan Martin is holding onto his lead, the Irishman has 1min 8sec on the maglia rosa.
5km to go
Hugh Carthy, the rangy climber from Preston, stands tall on his pedals as the road inches up. Will these steep inclines favour the EF Education-Nippo rider, will Egan Bernal strike again, or is Dan Martin going to be the ninth breakaway winner at this year's Giro?
6km to go
Time gaps between Dan Martin and the maglia rosa are concertinaing faster than the Irishman's head is bobbing – there may be an issue with the transponders. It briefly dropped to 45sec, but is back to 1min 21sec. Egan Bernal is riding third wheel, just ahead of Damiano Caruso (second on general classification), while Hugh Carthy has his jersey unzipped, his mouth gasping for air.
Dan Martin is looking good, but with the might of Egan Bernal and a couple of Ineos Grenadiers on the front he will have to dig deep into his library of experience to hold them off an take his first ever stage win at the Giro d'Italia. Aleksandr Vlasov is cooked, the Russian has been dropped and, as it stands, may be replaced by Simon Yates in fourth. The Briton started the day just two seconds shy of Vlasov.
8km to go
Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) and Giulio Ciccone, who admirably managed to get back on, are labouring a few bike lengths off the back of the maglia rosa's group. Simon Yates and Hugh Carthy are in the same group as Egan Bernal, the former of whom may gain some time here today to reignite his general classification ambitions at the Giro. But there';s a long way to go just yet, this climb pitches up to an eye-watering 17% in its finale.
9km to go
Dan Martin removes his sunglasses as he rides in the shade of the Sega di Ala, he briefly wipes the sweat from his eyes, then replaces his eye protection. Martin's instantly recognisable, almost violent, riding style – head bobbing, left to right– is front and centre as he leads the stage, his advantage has increased on the maglia rosa to 1min 35sec.
10km to go
Simone Ravanelli is the first to be dropped by the breakaway. Giovanni Carboni follows before Gianni Moscon and Geoffrey Bouchard, the leader in the mountains classification, also crack. Antonio Pedrero briefly hold the wheel of Dan Martin, before the Irishman rises out of his saddle and with one single kick drops the Spaniard leaving him to be the lone leader of this stage.
10km to go
And the maglia rosa's group hits the bottom of the Sega di Ala, this is the first time the Giro d'Italia has tackled this climb and it sounds like a brute.
The breakaway's lead has dropped further still: 1min 15sec.
11.25km to go . . .
. . . and onto the final climb we go.
12km to go
Pieter Serry, who was in the earlier breakaway, rejoins the maglia rosa group where his Deceuninck-Quick Step team-mate Joao Almeida is positioned. The gap between this group and the stage leader has dropped to below two minutes now. A tense finale.
15.5km to go
Giulio Ciccone works his way through the team cars before the Italian, who started the day sixth overall, takes another bike change. He's burning up an awful lot of energy and has no team-mates helping him get back on which is a little odd, I must say.
17km to go
Apologies, I missed this but it looks like Giovanni Carboni and Simone Ravanelli have bridged over to Dan Martin's group. That could be useful for Martin or whoever else is thinking of challenging for the stage. This sextet of riders will have to work together as a cohesive unit in an effort to hold off the maglia rosa's group.
18.5km to go
Following the stress of that descent, when Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo), Mikel Nieve (BikeExchange) and Nick Schultz (BikeExchange) all crashed, the stage leaders, the two chasers and the maglia rosa's group, is onto the short flattish section that leads in the final climb of the day. This is the climb, remember, that Gianni Moscon said was as hard as Monte Zoncolan!
21km to go
Remco Evenepoel is back in the saddle and back in the race, though trailing by some distance following that crash.
23km to go
Back on the front of the race, Dan Martin and his three breakaway companions lead the maglia rosa by 3min 10sec, while the chasing pair of Giovanni Carboni and Simone Ravanelli are about 15sec down.
25km to go
Remco Evenepoel was one of those involved in the crash. The young Belgian is being checked over before he continues, if in fact he does.
Giulio Ciccone is one of several rider to hit the deck on this descent. Four or five went down at speed, but I'm not too sure who they were.
28km to go
A pair of Italians – Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) and Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) – are off in pursuit of the leading quartet.
31km to go
Bike change for Giulio Ciccone.
35km to go
Plenty of jockeying for position as the chasing group nears the summit, Vincenzo Nibali is circling, his fin twitching, sat poised – but will the man they call the Shark of Messina attack?
Bouchard is back!
Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën) managed, somehow, to get back on before taking maximum points atop the Passo di San Valentino to extend his lead in the mountains classification. The quartet crest the summit and have an advantage of almost three minutes on the maglia rosa. Just hearing, too, that Remco Evenepoel has regained contact with the chasing group which is good going bearing in mind the speed at which they are tackling this category one climb.
40km to go
Egan Bernal has team-mate Jonathan Castroviejo and Dani Martínez alongside him as the Ineos Grenadiers trio trail Mikel Nieve and fellow BikeExchange rider Tanel Kangert – Simon Yates is a few wheels down. Also interesting to notice Giulio Ciccone has two Trek-Segafredo team-mates, one of whom is Vincenzo Nibali whos is , as you will know, a mean descender. Are Trek-Segafredo thinking af attacking once over the other side of this climb and test the mettle of the maglia rosa?
41km to go
Matteo Badilatti is dropped by Dan Martin's group which is around 4km from the summit.
42km to go
Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën), who remember, is leading the mountains classification, is looking focused on catching Dan Martin as he eyes the points atop the Passo di San Valentino that he may need to retain his maglia azzurra today.
43km to go
Dan Martin is looking sprightly, the Irishman spins away at a high cadence before putting in a fierce acceleration in an attempt to split the group. Gianni Moscon manages to hold on, as does Matteo Badilatti (Groupama-FDJ) and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) but the rest of the group have been dispatched.
43.5km to go
Dan Martin rises out of his saddle, Gianni Moscon holding onto the Irishman's wheel on this steady and reasonablt long climb. It's a beautiful day out in northern Italy today where the riders have been able to leave their leg warmers and rain capes in the team cars and get some much needed vitamin D.
46km to go – Narváez is dropped
Egan Bernal has lost a team-mate after Jhonatan Narváez is dropped by the BikeExchange-powered group. Quite surprised at that, but presumably the maglia rosa has enough confidence in himself to hold on here and go toe-to-toe with any rider that wants to challenge him. It is Mikel Nieve, the talented Basqu climber, who is setting the infernal pace on the front for his BikeExchange team-mate Simon Yates today. Hugh Carthy has also lost team-mates, the Briton now has just Alberto Bettiol for company.
47km to go
Andrea Pasqualon is caught by the maglia rosa's group which will come as no surprise. The Italian is normally found contesting the bunch sprints and was, presumably, in the breakway today to help Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team-mates Quinten Hermans and Jan Hirt. The breakaway now comprises 11 riders.
48km to go
BikeExchange are still on the front of the maglia rosa's group, pulling on the front for Simon Yates. Up at the front of the peloton Irishman Dan Martin is, likewise, doing almost all of the heavy lifting.
49km to go
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) has been dropped by the maglia rosa's group. Interestingly, Gianni Moscon who is from the region they are racing through today was interviewed earlier today and says the final climb today is as difficult as Monte Zoncolan!
50km to go
BikeExchange return to the front of the group containing the maglia rosa and all of the other general classification contenders, though Michael Hepburn and Cameron Meyer have peeled off having completed their shift for the day. They are very muck onto the penultimate climb of the day which is not too steep, not by Giro d'Italia standards, and averages at around 7%.
52km to go
The pace in the peloton whips up as BikeExchange, Ineos Grenadiers, Trek-Segafredo and Astana-Premier Tech all battle for position no doubt keen on reaching the bottom of the climb well positioned.
Jorgenson dropped from the breakaway
Just as they hit the bottom of the climb, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) drops off the pace, the tall American's day looks done. Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), who had a mechanical a few minutes ago, has also popped.
53km to go
BikeExchange move another three of riders towards the head of the bunch, including their team leader Simon Yates, a sit approaches the lower part of the ascent up towards Passo di San Valentino. The breakway's lead, as a result, drops to 3min 40sec.
57.5km to go
Breakaway has increased its lead a little to four minutes. I really hope for Simon Yates's sake, that the Bury rider is able to do something here today because his team-mates are doing an awful lot of work and I'm a little worried that all they are doing is giving Ineos Grenadiers a rather generous free ride. They are going at a fair old lick – as we can see from the strung out peloton, stretched out in a long single line of riders snaking behind Cameron Meyer et al.
63.5km to go
Cameron Meyer, the two-time Australia nation champion, has been putting in a huge shift on the front of the peloton, but at what cost? Will be interesting to see if Simon Yates is able to take anything from today's stage, or if the the chief beneficiary of BikeExchange's efforts will be Ineos Grenadiers who will be getting a free ride here today.
Lovely, isn't it?
71km to go
As you can see below, rave leader Egan Bernal is surrounded by all but one team-mate, Gianni Moscon who is in the breakaway, as they follow the wheels of three BikeExchange riders (see sleeve bottom right). Ineos Grenadiers are followed closely by EF Education-Nippo whose Hugh Carthy started the day third on general classification.
The breakaway leads the stage by 3min 35sec.
76km to go
The breakaway has lost a little more time, they hold an advantage of 3min 30sec now and are around 25km from the start of the ascent up towards Passo di San Valentino. I think they really need to gain a little more time if they want to take the stage win this afternoon.
83km to go
Breakaway's advantage is down to 4min 10 sec thanks the the work being done by Cameron Meyer and his two BikeExchange team-mates on the front of the peloton.
85km to go
Lovely day for a bike ride out in Trento today.
90km to go
This strong looking breakaway are all working together, powering along on the flat section of today's stage towards the Passo di San Valentino. Gianni Moscon is in that 19-man group, the Ineos Grenadiers rider is local to the area so will know the roads well, not that that means he will find the two incoming climbs any easier!
100km to go
Just under halfway into today's stage and there has been an interesting development on the front of the peloton. It had appeared that Ineos Grenadiers were happy to ride on the front, protecting the maglia rosa while also monitoring the gap on the breakaway, but that has changed. BikeExchange now have three riders going fairly hard on the front, that injection of pace has led to the breakaway losing a little bit of time. Presumably this means Simon Yates, who endured a terrible stage on Monday losing a couple of minutes on general classification, is feeling decent today and fancies a crack at the stage and, potentially, hopes to claw back some vital seconds or minutes.
As it stands . . .
There was just one non-starter today, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka-Assos), meaning the 151-rider peloton passed through KM0 at 11.14am (BST) It was a rapid start to the stage which given that the profile started with a long downhill section will surprise nobody.
There were a flurry of early attacks with a few small splits forming, before a decent sized breakaway of 19 riders formed. With 105km of today's stage remaining, that group comprising Matteo Badilatti (Groupama-FDJ), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën), Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Dan Martin (ISN), Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers), Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech) and Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-Quick Step) have a lead of 5min 10sec over the peloton.
What's on today's menu?
Featuring 3,400 metres of vertical elevation over 193km, today's stage is another tough one that will favour the climbers. In theory the in-form Egan Bernal is the favourite to win on the summit finish, but with opportunities slowly fading into the mist for the Colombian's rivals, could another grimpeur rise to the challenge?
Or will it be another day that sees a rider from the breakaway prevail? A staggering 50 per cent of stages at this year's Giro have been won from the breakaway – Taco van der Hoorn (stage three), Joe Dombrowski (stage four), Gino Mäder (stage six), Victor Lafay (stage eight), Mauro Schmid (stage 11), Andrea Vendrame (stage 12) and Lorenzo Fortunato (stage 14), Victor Campenaerts (stage 15) – so I don't think anybody would be too surprised if another rider not involved in the battle for pink were to challenge for the honours.
Here's what the roadbook says: "This is a high mountain stage running entirely downhill at first, and featuring a summit finish. The route travels the Val di Fassa, the Val di Fiemme and the Pine plateau all the way to Trento, where it moves to the right bank of the Adige.
"The course passes through Mori, climbs up to Passo San Valentino (see below profile), descends into Chizzola, and moves to the left bank of the Adige in Ala. Past Sdruzzina, the riders will negotiate the closing climb.
"The final climb is approx. 11km long (see below profile). The gradient hovers above 10% for the first 9.5km, with lengthy peaks exceeding 15% (and topping out at 17-18%).
"After the last hairpins, leading into the Passo Fittanze plateau, the route continues with milder gradients all the way to the finish line, on tarmac road."
Catch up: Highlights from Monday's stage
On a day that was blighted with technical issues due the horrific weather conditions in the Italian Dolomites, live television pictures were, at best, intermittent and so this highlights package is pretty much what all that those of us glued to the gogglebox all day saw.
Speaking of what we 'saw' on Monday, Bernal must have seen his life flash before his eyes as he went over the Giau while he was chased by two, er, enthusiastic fans armed with chainsaws. As you do.
Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 17 at the Giro d'Italia, the 193-kilometre run from Canazei to Sega di Ala.
The clock is ticking on a number of riders' hopes and ambitions at this year's race following Egan Bernal's (Ineos Grenadiers) latest display of dominance during Monday's shortened stage in the Dolomites. With just three mountainous stage remaining, including Friday's which has also been shortened with the Mottarone climb removed following Sunday's cable car crash in which 14 people were killed, anybody wanting to challenge Bernal must act soon.
Before we have a look at today's stage, though, let's remind ourselves about the standings in the top classifications. Having extended his lead in the general classification having descended into Cortina d’Ampezzo alone on Monday, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) will wear the maglia rosa, or leader's pink jersey, for the eighth day.
Given the nature of Monday's stage, it will surprise nobody to learn that the upper echelons of the points classification remained the same as they were going into the stage, and so Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) keeps hold of the maglia ciclamino, the cyclamen jersey.
Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën), the leader in the mountains classification, managed to get into the breakaway during stage 16 allowing him to take maximum points on the category one La Crosetta, before Bernal crested the Giau first to close the gap on the Frenchman slightly courtesy of the extra 10 points on the Cima Coppi. Bouchard will wear the maglia azzurra, the blue jersey.
Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) will again wear the maglia bianca, or the white jersey, on behalf of the maglia rosa Bernal.
Rider Team Nationality Time 1. Egan Bernal Ineos Grenadiers Col 66hr 36min 4sec 2. Alexandr Vlasov Astana-Premier Tech Rus 4min 18sec 3. Daniel Martínez Ineos Grenadiers Col 7min 17sec