Giro d’Italia 2017 – Stage 16 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d’Italia 2017 – Stage 16 Preview

By David Hunter

Rovetta – Bormio 222km

A massive day in the battle for the pink jersey.

We have a brutal day of climbing waiting for the peloton. The organisers have packed three very challenging climbs into around 140km, this is going to be fun.


First up is the Mortirolo, 12.6km at 7.6%. The climb is a steady effort, but does get very difficult near the top, with two very demanding kilometres.

Next up the Cima Coppi, the highest point of the race. This is a monster of a climb, 21.7km at 7.1% and is the first of today’s double ascent of the Stelvio. Just like the previous climb, the hardest points are near the very top, a perfect place to launch an attack.

This is a first for the Giro, climbing the Stelvio from the Swiss side. The climb is 13.4km at  8.4% and is the hardest climb of the day. It’s one of those climbs that have no easy sections, it’s just bloody hard! Once over the top, we have a 19.5km descent to the finishing line.


Looking at the last kilometre, I really hope a rider arrives solo. The finish has far too many corners! 


Not as nice as in previous days, the temperature is a little lower and we have a chance of some rain throughout the stage.


A lot of this stage is at over 2000m of altitude. Some of the European riders really do suffer when they climb at over 2000m, but it’s good news for Quintana. He will hope to expose Tom Dumoulin and crack him on the climbs.

Breakaway Hopes

The position of the first climb is not wonderful for climbers hoping to join the morning move. For the little guys to make the break, it needs to form on the first climb. That means some teams will need to try and control the first hour of racing. No easy thing!

With Movistar looking to expose Sunweb, they need to get some riders in the morning move. Expect to see the Spaniards going crazy at the start of this stage. They would love to get one of their climbing domestiques in the move, either Amador or Anacona would be great.

There is no doubt Sunweb look weak, particularly without Kelderman. If the pace is really fast, Dumoulin might be left all alone near the top of the Mortirolo, this could be a very hard day.

If satellite riders make the morning move, it’s bad news for the hopes of the break. The escape artists will hope that the move is free from troubling riders, allowing them a good chance at racing for the stage.

Sunweb v Movistar

SunwebDumoulin, Ten Dam, Preidler, Geschke, Haga, Stamsnijder, Lunke & Bauhaus.

MovistarQuintana, Amador, Anacona, De La Parte, Izagirre, Herrada, Rojas, Bennati & Sutherland.

It’s plain to see that there is a huge imbalance between the strength of the two teams. If I’m being honest, only Dumoulin would actually get into the Movistar squad. They have riders to set a fierce pace on the Mortirolo, exposing the weakness of Sunweb. I would not be surprised to see Dumoulin without any teammates on the first climb, and they won’t make it back on.

Once this happens, this is when Quintana will start to attack. Movistar will send a few riders up the road, if Sunweb have no one left to chase, these riders will find it easy to get away from the peloton. That will set things up nicely for Quintana. We will just have to see if Dumoulin will be able to follow his attack. Dumoulin will also hope for a little help from other teams. In a grand tour, teams fight hard to protect their position on GC, there is a chance Dumoulin might get some assistance.


Nairo Quintana – crashed on Sunday, but it seemed to be a lucky moment for the Colombian. Sprinting to 2nd place was a bonus, he now heads to his terrain. Climbing all the way to 2758m, expect to see the Colombian attack on the first ascent of the Stelvio. He will use his teammates wisely, leaving some to help him on the final climb, but he knows this is the stage that will tell us if he can win this race. He needs to take a big chunk of time back on Dumoulin, I think he’ll hope for something in the region of 2 minutes.

Tom Dumoulin – will be in defensive mode. Given his lack of climbing domestiques, he is going to be left very exposed. It will be fascinating to see how he copes with this, it isn’t something he’s experienced too much. If he can limit his losses to 1 minute, he’ll be a very happy man.

Thibaut Pinot – would hope to benefit from the Quintana attacks. If any of the other GC favourites can follow the Colombian, they stand to make a large amount of time. Pinot suffered climbing to Oropa, but he rode a clever climb. He is the best climber out of the top riders, but he can’t afford to have a bad day. He has a genuine chance of fighting for the overall podium, but this needs to be a good day.

Vincenzo Nibali – we all know what he can do in the third week of a grand tour. He has suffered in the two big mountain stages so far, but this doesn’t mean he won’t come strong in this last week. Nibali is sitting in 4th place overall and will still believe he can win his third pink jersey, but I’m not so sure. We will have to see what he does when Quintana attacks, I hope he follows.

Ilnur Zakarin – he looked very impressive on Saturday, he was unlucky not to have won the stage. The Russian is a fantastic climber and will look to benefit from an attacking day in the saddle. Currently sitting in 5th place, he will have his sights set on the podium. To achieve that, he needs to do well in this stage.

Pierre Rolland – he has great form just now. Free from having to worry about GC, we see a more relaxed rider. He has made some breaks in this race, but has been a little unlucky not to take a win. This stage looks wonderful for him, apart from the final descent. If Rolland is going to win this stage, he needs to make the break and crest the final climb alone.

Igor Anton – I’ve been impressed by the little climber, there are signs of him returning to his old self. To make the break, he needs to hope it goes on the first climb. Given his size, he struggles to make moves that go on the flat. If he gets in the move, he’ll have a decent chance of taking his second Giro win, a full six years after his first.

Omar Fraile – needs to make the break for KOM points. It looks like he and Pierre Rolland are the riders who are keen to go for this jersey. Having already won a stage, there is no pressure on the shoulders of Fraile. Possessing a faster kick than Rolland, he has a big advantage, but Rolland will fancy his chances of dropping him on the climbs. His need for points will hurt his chances of winning this stage.

LL Sanchez – has joined breakaways with ease and I expect this to continue. Sanchez will keep trying until he gets a stage!

Mikel Landa – it’s already been a very eventful race for the Basque rider. He was solid on Etna, attacked in the Peschici stage and then crashed at the foot of the climb to Blockhaus. After recovering he attacked with Fraile on stage 11, but he was dropped whereas Fraile went on to take the win. This was followed up by a strong performance climbing to Oropa, where he finished 3rd. It certainly looks like his form is building and he should have a big say in the outcome of this stage. Sky will have to carefully manage their tactics by sensing if the morning break will survive. If not, he will sit in the bunch and follow the attacks of Quintana.

Prediction Time

I’m looking forward to a great stage. Movistar will throw everything they have at Dumoulin and this is the stage that will make or break the race for him. On these climbs, at high altitude, not many can match Nairo Quintana. I think we’ll see him getting away from the peloton, but a stage win is there for a rider that can follow and work with him. That man is Mikel Landa. I think he’ll be our stage winner and Quintana will take more than two minutes on Dumoulin.

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

Follow us on @CiclismoInter

Join us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

Copyright © 2012-2017 Ciclismo Internacional. All Rights Reserved

1 thought on “Giro d’Italia 2017 – Stage 16 Preview

  1. Super excited for this one dude! Should be a great stage! Still gutted for G, would of been great to see how he faired against Nairo In these proper mountain stages!!

Comments are closed.

Facebook IconTwitter IconMi BlogMi Blog

Discover more from Ciclismo Internacional

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading