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by Mark Zalewski
May 27, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Landa solos to Giro stage win as Quintana takes lead from Dumoulin; Brändle wins Belgium Tour TT, van Aert takes over lead; Pujol wins Mt. Fuji stage at Tour of Japan; Dumoulin on losing pink ‘I just had really bad legs’; Nibali angry over Dumoulin comments; Dumoulin walks back comments against rivals, hints at Dutch pact; Mike McCarthy, America’s forgotten world champion; Tankink abandons Giro with Milan in sight; Van der Haar still battling injury; Despite sponsor exit, ambitious hopes for future of An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team; First UCI Urban Cycling World Championships set for China; Fan offers Dumoulin ‘help’ during stage; Video: Team Cinelli Chrome @ Red Hook Crit Brooklyn No. 10; Video: Tall bikes will save the world.
Mikel Landa (Sky) won stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia with a dominant solo performance, climbing to the win nearly two minutes ahead of chasers Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), and stamping his authority on the climbing classification of the race. But the bigger story was in the GC race that turned on its head, with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) giving the Maglia Rosa over to rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and now sitting 38 seconds behind the Colombian with two stages to go.
“I feel very happy because my family was here today,” Landa said after the stage. “I had a teammate in the breakaway and that was key.” When asked if the stage win and the likely win in the mountains classification will save the race for his team, he responded, “I am very happy and proud — it’s not what we expected at the beginning but I am very happy.”
Landa and Costa were off the front together late in the stage when the Spainard attacked with just under 10km to go. Behind Rolland mounted a solo chase and eventually hooked up with Costa in pursuit. Back in the peloton Dumoulin seemed comfortable with the climb, but as the kilometres ticked down he slowly began to float to the rear of the group. With his rivals smelling blood in the water the speed was increased by Bahrain-Merida and eventually the Maglia Rosa was gapped off the back with Quintana, Nibali and Pinot all remaining in the group. Dumoulin only had the help of Simon Geschke with Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) also with them, and the trio rode tempo to limit the losses. But a few kilometres later Geschke was cooked and the race leader was left to chase on his own. Not long after Pinot made a move out of the group, in a solo attempt to claw back more time in pursuit of the final podium.
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) put in a late attack to separate himself from Quintana and Nibali with Dominico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) going with him, following Pinot across the line by six seconds and the pair moving even closer to the podium.
“I was feeling good and it was a very hard stage. Thanks to my team I was able to take the Maglia Rosa,” said Quintana. “Things are complicated and we will take it day by day. Tomorrow will be a hard stage and then we will play to win in the time trial.”