Monthly Archives: May 2018

How the Giro was won – stage-by

Chris Froome

Froome overcame crashes before the opening time trial and again on stage eight to take victory

According to Team Sky boss David Brailsford, Chris Froome came close to quitting the Giro d’Italia as he slid out of the general classification and nearly five minutes off the leaders at one point.

Instead, the 33-year-old stuck in the race to produce one of the most memorable Grand Tour victories in years, reeling in compatriot Simon Yates and holding off defending champion Tom Dumoulin.

In doing so, Froome has become just the third rider to win three successive Grand Tours after taking the Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana in 2017.

Stage 1: Friday, 4 May – Individual time trial, Jerusalem – 9.7km

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Dumoulin proved his time trialling prowess with a sensational ride in Jerusalem.

Winner: Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb)

Report: Froome crashes before race as Dumoulin crushes rivals

Chris Froome’s quest to win a third Grand Tour on the trot takes an early blow when he crashes on a pre-stage recce of the route. Defending Giro and world time trial champion Tom Dumoulin goes out last and comfortably beats his rivals, also eclipsing long-time leader Rohan Dennis to take the stage win and maglia rosa. Simon Yates is the strongest of those chasing GC honours, finishing seventh, just 20 seconds back

Stage 2: Saturday, 5 May – Haifa-Tel Aviv, 167km

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Elia Viviani picked up his second career Giro stage win with victory in Tel Aviv

Winner: Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Viviani wins sprint as Dennis takes race lead

Elia Viviani lives up to his favourite billing by winning the bunch sprint in Tel Aviv, despite losing his lead-out men in the closing stages. All the race favourites finish in the peloton, while Rohan Dennis picks up three bonus seconds in an intermediate sprint to take the overall race lead.

Stage 3: Sunday, 6 May – Be’er Sheva-Eilat, 229km

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Viviani won his third career Giro stage in front of huge crowds by the Red Sea

Winner: Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Viviani takes second win as race leaves Israel

The ‘Big Start’ comes to its conclusion with the expected finale as Elia Viviani wins the sprint for the line by Red Sea. He is nearly dumped into the barriers by Ireland’s Sam Bennett but nudges his way through to complete a superb start to the race.

Stage 4: Tuesday, 8 May – Catania-Caltagirone, 198km

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Wellens claimed his second Giro stage, having won his first in 2016

Winner: Tim Wellens (Bel/Lotto Fix All)

Report: Yates up to third as Froome loses time

The first stage in Italy serves up an exciting race as Tim Wellens breaks clear to win on a testing uphill finish. Simon Yates impresses by finishing fourth in the same time as Wellens to move up to third overall. But Chris Froome struggles and loses 21 seconds, slipping to almost a minute behind Rohan Dennis, who retains the pink jersey.

Stage 5: Wednesday, 9 May – Agrigento-Santa Ninfa, 153km

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Enrico Battaglin claimed a third stage victory during the Giro d’Ita

Winner: Enrico Battaglin (Ita/LottoNL-Jumbo)

Report: Battaglin wins stage five as Yates remains third

Enrico Battaglin comes off the wheel of Italian compatriot Giovanni Visconti to snatch stage five as the overall lead stays the same. Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Battaglin makes his move inside the final 200m of the stage in Sicily. In another frantic finale, Britain’s Simon Yates takes fifth to stay third overall, 17 seconds behind general classification leader Rohan Dennis.

Stage 6: Thursday, 10 May – Caltanissetta-Etna, 164km

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Yates (R) finished in the wheel tracks of Colombian team-mate Chaves, who took his second Giro stage win and first of 2018

Winner: Esteban Chaves (Col/Mitchelton-Scott)

Report: Yates takes overall lead as Chaves wins stage six

Britain’s Simon Yates storms into the overall lead as team-mate Esteban Chaves wins stage six. The 26-year-old attacked in the last two kilometres of the 163km stage to Mount Etna with his rivals for the general classification unable to react.

Yates now leads from reigning champion Tom Dumoulin by 16 seconds, with Chaves 26 seconds back. Chris Froome sits eighth, one minute 10 seconds behind his compatriot, after crossing the line in the second group.

Stage 7: Friday, 11 May – Pizzo-Praia a Mare, 159km

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Bennett, 27, celebrates his first Grand Tour stage win

Winner: Sam Bennett (Ire/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Bennett wins stage seven as Yates retains lead

Britain’s Simon Yates holds on to the overall lead as Ireland’s Sam Bennett wins stage seven of the Giro d’Italia. The Bora-Hansgrohe rider jumped Elia Viviani just before the line as the 159km stage from Pizzo to Praia a Mare ended in a bunch sprint.

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates, who took the pink jersey with a 16-second lead after stage six, is among the group of riders to finish behind Bennett.

Stage 8: Saturday, 12 May – Praia a Mare-Montevergine di Mercogliano, 209km

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Richard Carpaz becomes the first Ecuadorian rider to win a Grand Tour stage

Winner: Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar)

Report: Yates retains overall lead as Ecuador’s Carapaz wins stage

Britain’s Simon Yates hangs on to the leader’s pink jersey as Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz makes a late move to win stage eight of the Giro d’Italia. The Movistar rider launched a solo attack with a little over one kilometre to go on the 209km route from Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano.

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates finishes safely in the bunch to maintain his 16-second lead over Tom Dumoulin.

Stage 9: Sunday, 13 May – Pesco Sannita-Gran Sasso d’Italia, 225km

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Simon Yates goes into the second rest day of the Giro with a 32-second lead over team-mate Esteban Chaves

Winner: Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton Scott)

Report: Sensational Yates takes first Giro stage win

Britain’s Simon Yates extends his overall race lead to 32 seconds with a well-time burst from the pack to win his first Giro stage on a summit finish. The Bury rider makes his move in the final 100m to distance defending champion Tom Dumoulin and fellow Briton Chris Froome, who now sits more than two minutes adrift.

Stage 10: Tuesday, 15 May – Penne-Gualdo Tadino, 239km

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Matej Mohoric won his second Grand Tour stage with victory over Nico Denz in a two-man sprint

Winner: Matej Mohoric (Slo/Bahrain-Merida)

Report: Mohoric sprints to victory over Denz

Slovenia’s Matej Mohoric outsprints Germany’s Nico Denz to take the stage win after the pair break clear late on. Britain’s Simon Yates retains the overall lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin, who moves up to second after Yates’ team-mate Esteban Chaves cracks and loses significant time.

Stage 11: Wednesday, 16 May – Assisi-Osimo, 156km

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Simon Yates became only the second Briton after Mark Cavendish to win multiple stages in the same Giro

Winner: Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott)

Report: Yates extends lead with second stage win

Britain’s Simon Yates, who picked himself for victory in this guide, wins his second stage of the Giro and extends his overall lead. The Mitchelton-Scott rider attacks with about 1.5km to go, dropping all his rivals before Tom Dumoulin responds to limit his losses, coming in two seconds down on Yates to now trail by 47 seconds. Chris Froome struggles again and slips to over three minutes behind Yates.

Stage 12: Thursday, 17 May – Osimo-Imola, 214km

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Sam Bennett became the first Irishman to win multiple stages at a Grand Tour since Sean Kelly at the Vuelta a Espana of 1988

Winner: Sam Bennett (Ire/Bora-Hansgrohe)

Report: Bennett wins stage as Yates stays in pink

No change among the main contenders after a stage for the sprinters eventually ends as just that.

Elia Viviani does not contend the finish after he gets dropped and it is Sam Bennett who kicks early to win in some style and secure his second stage win of the 2018 Giro.

Stage 13: Friday, 18 May – Ferrara-Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km

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Elia Viviani claimed his third win of the 2018 Giro on stage 13

Winner: Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Viviani wins third stage as Yates retains lead

Elia Viviani emphatically wins his third stage of the 2018 Giro, leaving his rivals behind in a bunch sprint finish. The contenders for the title enjoy an easy day before the imposing Zoncolan climb on stage 14, with Simon Yates retaining his overall lead.

Stage 14: Saturday, 19 May – San vito al Tagliamento-Monte Zoncolan, 186km

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Chris Froome sprays the celebratory champagne after winning stage 14

Winner: Chris Froome (GB/Sky)

Report: Froome wins first Giro stage as Yates extends lead

Chris Froome secures a first stage win at the Giro, beating Simon Yates on the brutal summit of Mount Zoncolan. The four-time Tour de France winner, who had slipped to more than three minutes off the lead, won the stage following a battle with his fellow Briton who finishes second, six seconds behind and puts more time into key rivals as he holds on to the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Stage 15: Sunday, 20 May – Tolmezzo-Sappada, 176km

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A third stage win for Britain’s Yates and he increased his lead at the top of the standings

Winner: Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott)

Report: Yates wins his third stage and extends leads

A fine solo win from Simon Yates sees him claim his third stage victory of this year’s race and extend his overall lead. He becomes the first rider since Gilberto Simoni in 2003 to win three road stages while wearing the maglia rosa in one edition and now leads by two minutes 11 seconds.

Monday, 21 May – rest day

Stage 16: Tuesday, 22 May – Individual time trial, Trento-Rovereto, 34.2km

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BMC’s Rohan Dennis – riding in his Australia national champion’s kit – took the time trial but Simon Yates was the big winner on Tuesday

Winner: Rohan Dennis

Report: Yates retains Giro lead after pivotal time trial

Simon Yates produced a magnificent ride to limit his losses on Tom Dumoulin to a minute and a quarter and tighten his grip on the maglia rosa. With four stages to go – including three in his favoured mountains – Yates leads the Dutchman by just under a minute.

Stage 17: Wednesday, 23 May – Riva del Garda-Iseo, 155km

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Viviani had won one Giro stage before this year’s race

Winner: Elia Viviani

Report: Viviani takes fourth win of Giro as Yates retains lead

Italy’s Elia Viviani claims his fourth stage win of this year’s race after a chaotic sprint finish in the rain. Britain’s Simon Yates stays clear of any danger to maintain his 56-second lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin.

Stage 18: Thursday, 24 May – Abbiategrasso-Pratonevoso, 196km

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Max Schachmann celebrated his first grand tour stage win

Winner: Max Schachmann

Report: Simon Yates’ lead cut in half after stage 18

Britain’s Simon Yates has his Giro d’Italia lead cut in half after a dramatic final climb on stage 18. Young German Max Schachmann capitalises on a breakaway to take the stage win after 196km to Prato Nevoso. But all the drama is behind him as Yates loses 28 seconds to Tom Dumoulin, in second, and Chris Froome in fourth.

Stage 19: Friday, 25 May – Venaria Reale-Bardonecchia, 184km

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Froome struck out to win from 80km from home

Winner: Chris Froome

Report:

Chris Froome launched a devastating attack to win stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia and take the leader’s pink jersey from fellow Briton Simon Yates. Yates finished almost 39 minutes behind Team Sky’s Froome, who attacked 80km from the finish in Bardonecchia. With two days remaining, Froome now has a 40-second lead over Tom Dumoulin as he attempts to become the first British man to win the Giro d’Italia.

Stage 20: Saturday, 26 May – Susa-Cervinia, 214km

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Mikel Nieve left Team Sky for Mitchelton-Scott at the start of this year

Winner: Mikel Nieve

Report: Froome set for historic Giro victory

Chris Froome is set for a historic Giro d’Italia victory after he held off late attacks from nearest rival Tom Dumoulin on the penultimate stage into Cervinia. He extends his advantage over the Dutchman to 46 seconds with Sunday’s final stage in Rome traditionally a procession.

Stage 21: Sunday, 27 May – Rome, 115km

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Froome has finished on the podium in 10 of the last 13 Grand Tour appearances he has made

Winner: Sam Bennett

Report: Froome wins Giro for historic treble

Team Sky’s Chris Froome becomes the first Briton to win the Giro d’Italia as he coasts home in Sunday’s processional stage in Rome. The 33-year-old is the seventh man to complete a Grand Tour hat-trick after adding Italian success to the 2017 Vuelta de Espana and four Tour de France wins.

“For any cyclist this is the dream to have all three leaders jerseys in the space of 10 months,” Froome said. “To have finally won this race, I can’t quite believe it myself.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/43891228

‘People have made up their minds’

Chris Froome

Chris Froome has finished on the podium in 10 of his last 13 Grand Tour appearances

“What will really go down in history is the way that this race was won,” said Team Sky boss David Brailsford after Chris Froome’s historic win at the Giro d’Italia.

Brailsford said on Sunday that the virtuoso breakaway on stage 19 was the defining moment in a Froome victory that made him only the third man to hold all three of cycling’s Grand Tours simultaneously.

Others think it is still to come.

“It was one stage where he took the race by the scruff of the neck and did this epic ride,” said Brailsford.

“On 99.9% of times it wouldn’t have worked, but it came off. That is what everyone is going to remember this race for.”

Or will they?

A win that changes everything – and nothing

The 33-year-old Briton became only the seventh man in history to complete a full house of Grand Tour victories as he wrapped up his maiden Giro victory on Sunday, a win to sit alongside his 2017 Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France successes.

But that holy trinity of prizes could be broken up.

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Froome’s victory in Italy followed 2017 success at the Tour and the Vuelta

The test in September that showed double the permitted concentration of the asthma medication salbutamol in Froome’s system could yet see him stripped of his Vuelta crown.

The Giro’s organisers believe that he will remain their 2018 champion regardless, but no-one is entirely sure.

For now, Froome protests his innocence and the investigation into his case continues.

“If you try and strip that out that context, it was a deeply impressive comeback win,” said Michael Hutchinson, writer, journalist and 5 live BeSpoke podcast pundit.

“But in truth it is difficult to consider this race without all that surrounds it.

“His stage win on Friday felt like a throwback to the heroic era of Jacques Anquetil, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx. It was bike racing the way that people like to remember.

“But the way that people view the sport has changed. There is so much cynicism about bike racing in general.

“That straightforward heroism is much harder for people to accept, given the sport’s recent history.

“In some ways we have had a Schrodinger’s Giro d’Italia – a race that Chris Froome is both winning and not winning.

“An enormous amount depends on the salbutamol case. Whether his win is good or bad for cycling as a whole largely comes down to its outcome.”

Whether the win has done anything for Froome’s public image is another matter.

Jeremy Whittle, the Times cycling correspondent and fellow Bespoke pundit, is not convinced.

“It was a spectacular achievement, but whatever he says, Team Sky say, whatever anyone says, people have made their minds up,” he said.

“They have already made their minds up about whether he is a big cheat or a fantastic champion.

“Long-standing fans are so polarised now, for everything he has done in the Giro, we are still in the same position that we were at the start.”

Next stop, Le Tour?

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UCI president David Lappartient had said it would be better had Froome been stood down by Team Sky while his adverse findings were investigated

UCI president David Lappartient is keen for a verdict to be handed down before the start of the Tour de France in July, but admitted earlier this week that that deadline might not be met.

In the absence of any judgement, Froome is free to race in the Tour.

He may not.

Tour de France organisers – a separate entity to cycling’s world governing body – could exclude him. Froome himself might opt to swerve a potentially hostile reception or minimise a possible ban by voluntarily skipping the event.

But the lure of becoming the first man in 20 years – since Marco Pantani in 1998 – to win the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year is considerable.

“That is the multi-million euro question,” says Whittle of Froome’s potential involvement. “I would guess he would be there.

“He is incredibly resilient to all of the white noise around him. It is remarkable how – as perhaps the most divisive athlete in sport – he does that.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44273794

‘There should be no question at all about the validity of my Giro win’

Chris Froome

Chris Froome defeated 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin by 46 seconds to win a maiden Giro d’Italia title

Chris Froome says there should be “no question at all” about the validity of his Giro d’Italia success.

Team Sky’s Froome wrapped up his maiden Giro victory on Sunday to become only the third man to hold all three of cycling’s Grand Tours simultaneously.

The 33-year-old Briton is involved in an ongoing anti-doping case after giving an adverse result in a test at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.

But he told the BBC he was tested “every day” of the three-week Giro.

Four-time Tour de France champion Froome has asthma and received permission from cycling chiefs to use legal asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta, which he won to become the third man to claim the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year.

However, he was found to have double the allowed level of the drug in his urine.

With cycling’s governing body, the UCI, still investigating and Froome denying any wrongdoing, he competed at the Giro and is the first British man to win the race in its 101-year history.

“There should be no question at all about the validity of the results here,” Froome told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday.

“I am being tested absolutely every day – before the race and after the race.

“I know from my side, I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and it’s only a matter of time until that is clear to everybody.

“It’s unfortunate for the sport and its image, but hopefully we’ll get this result as soon as possible. For everyone, that would be the best thing possible. We’re in the middle of that process right now.”

‘This was the hardest victory’

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Chris Froome crashed during practice for the first stage of the Giro

Froome is the seventh man to complete a Grand Tour hat-trick, after adding Italian success to his 2017 Vuelta and four Tour de France wins.

In addition, he joins Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault as the only riders to have held cycling’s three most prestigious stage races at the same time.

But he says the Giro was the toughest yet, having skidded out on a reconnaissance lap during the curtain-raising time trial stage in Jerusalem – before another crash on stage eight.

“It’s so much more unpredictable,” Froome said.

“It’s a lot more explosive and, with the risk involved in terms of crashing and missing the right move at the right moment, I think this is the most tricky of the three Grand Tours that we have on our calendar.

“This was the hardest victory for me.”

‘I’ve got no doubt’ – Froome tips Yates for success

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Simon Yates (left) won three stages of this year’s Giro

An extraordinary attack during stage 19 of the Giro led to Froome taking the leader’s pink jersey from fellow Briton Simon Yates, who looked set for a maiden Grand Tour victory having worn the maglia rosa for almost two weeks.

Mitchelton-Scott’s Yates eventually finished 22nd in the general classification, more than an hour behind Froome, but his compatriot believes it will not be long until the 25-year-old wins a Grand Tour.

“Simon rode an incredible race. Obviously he’s a rival of mine and I was trying to beat him, but for two and a half weeks he was on top form and was amazing,” Froome said.

“He had such a strong lead and it really looked as if he was going to win the race. Unfortunately, it was two or three days too much for him – but I’m sure he is going to bounce back.

“I’ve got no doubt he will win one of these big races one day.”

‘I want to be in the best shape possible’ – Froome eyes Tour

Barely 24 hours have passed since Froome’s Giro success was confirmed, yet he is already looking ahead to the next challenge.

The Tour de France begins on 7 July and a fifth victory for Froome would see him draw level with Merckx and Hinault, as well as Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain, at the top of the record books for most wins.

“It’s been a brutal three weeks. As picturesque as it was rolling into Rome on Sunday, the cobbled streets have left their mark on us,” he said.

“I’m going to take two or three days off to relax with my family, but then it’s straight back into training.

“It’s six weeks to the start of the Tour de France, so that’s the big goal now. I want to be in the best shape possible for the start in July.”

Analysis

BBC Radio 5 live BeSpoke podcast pundit Michael Hutchinson

The way that people view the sport has changed. There is so much cynicism about bike racing in general.

That straightforward heroism is much harder for people to accept, given the sport’s recent history.

In some ways we have had a Schrodinger’s Giro d’Italia – a race that Chris Froome is both winning and not winning.

An enormous amount depends on the salbutamol case. Whether his win is good or bad for cycling as a whole largely comes down to its outcome.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44277687

Chris Froome wins Giro d’Italia to claim historic Grand Tour treble

Chris Froome

Chris Froome toasted victory with Team Sky general manager David Brailsford

Team Sky’s Chris Froome became the first Briton to win the Giro d’Italia as he coasted home in Sunday’s processional stage in Rome.

The 33-year-old is the seventh man to complete a Grand Tour hat-trick after adding Italian success to the 2017 Vuelta and four Tour de France wins.

“For any cyclist this is the dream to have all three leaders jerseys in the space of 10 months,” Froome said.

“To have finally won this race, I can’t quite believe it myself.”

Froome finished 46 seconds ahead of Dutch defending champion Tom Dumoulin in the overall standings.

His victory echoes that of Welsh Olympic gold medallist Nicole Cooke, who won the women’s equivalent – the Giro Rosa – in 2004.

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Froome and Tom Dumoulin rode side by side in the early stages of the day

Britain’s Simon Yates, who led for most of the race and claimed three stage wins, finished 22nd in the general classification, with Ireland’s Sam Bennett claiming the sprint finish for a third stage win of his own.

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Froome rode a customised pink bike into the Italian capital

Froome’s triumph also means he is only the third man, after legendary pair Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault, to hold cycling’s three most prestigious stage races at the same time.

The traditional leisurely pace of the final stage dropped even lower as the peloton, unimpressed by the route over Rome’s historic cobbles, succeeded in getting the stage neutralised for general classification purposes.

Riders only needed to complete the 115km, 10-lap, loop of the city centre to maintain their place in the overall standings.

How the race was won

The stage was a sedate end to a dramatic campaign for Froome.

Even before the action had started properly, Team Sky’s lead rider had skidded out on a reconnaissance lap during the curtain-raising time trial stage in Jerusalem before another crash on stage eight.

For the majority of the race he seemed to have faded out of contention, slipping out of the general classification top 10 and nearly five minutes off the pace.

Froome admitted that victory was “unlikely” after losing time on the leaders in stage nine. According to Team Sky boss David Brailsford, the Briton came close to abandoning the race altogether.

But Froome continued chasing and produced an extraordinary performance on Friday’s gruelling 19th stage as Sky abandoned their usual tightly controlled tactics in an all-or-nothing gamble for the pink jersey.

After foiling Dumoulin’s bid for glory on Saturday with another strong ride on Saturday, Froome was assured his champagne-soaked ride into the Italian capital.

Will it last?

Froome’s victory comes as he awaits a doping verdict that could force another rewriting of the record books.

In December a leaked report revealed he had exceeded the permitted levels of salbutamol – an asthma medication that could potentially affect muscle mass – during his win in the Vuelta three months earlier.

With cycling’s governing body – the UCI – still investigating and Froome denying any wrongdoing, he has raced on.

Froome has been questioned frequently about his use of the drug, with his win on stage 19 being compared to the rides produced by confessed doper Floyd Landis.

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Chris Froome expects to win anti-doping case

“I can understand the parallels and comparisons being drawn by some people but I have every confidence it will stand,” said Froome.

He has encountered hostility from some spectators during the Giro, with one apparently spitting at him on Saturday’s penultimate stage after another brandished a giant inflatable inhaler at him the day before.

Stage 21 result

1. Sam Bennett (Ire/BORA) 2hrs 50mins 49secs

2. Elia Viviani (Ita/Quick-Step) Same time

3. Jempy Drücker (Lux/BMC) Same time

4. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel/Katusha) Same time

5. Manuel Belletti (Ital/Androni) Same time

6. Sacha Modolo (Ita/EF) Same time

7. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ital/Merida) Same time

8. Clément Venturini (Fra/AG2R) Same time

9. Paolo Simion (Ita/Bardiani) Same time

10. Fabio Sabatini (Ita/Quick-Step) Same time

Overall standings:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 86hrs 11mins 50secs

2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +46secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +4mins 57secs

4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar Team) +5mins 44secs

5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +8mins 3secs

6. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana Pro Team) +11mins 50secs

7. Patrick Konrad (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +13mins 01secs

8. George Bennett (Nzl/Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) +13mins 17secs

9. Sam Oomen (Ned/Team Sunweb) +14mins 18secs

10. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora) +15mins 16secs

Selected other:

22. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +1hr 15mins 11secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44272406

Froome set for historic Giro victory after holding off nearest rival Dumoulin

Chris Froome

Chris Froome will hold all three Grand Tours barring an accident on Sunday’s procession into Rome

Chris Froome is set for a historic Giro d’Italia victory after he held off late attacks from nearest rival Tom Dumoulin on the penultimate stage into Cervinia.

The Team Sky rider, 33, extended his advantage over the Dutchman to 46 seconds with Sunday’s final stage in Rome traditionally a procession.

Froome will be the first British man to win the Giro in its 101-year history.

And he will hold all three Grand Tours simultaneously after wins last year at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.

Barring any incident or accident on Sunday, the four-time Tour de France winner will be the seventh man to complete the set of Grand Tours.

Spain’s Mikel Nieve won the stage on his 34th birthday, attacking with 32km to go in the mountains to finish two minutes 17 seconds clear of Dutchman Robert Gesink.

Dumoulin provides late drama

It is a remarkable turnaround for Froome, who had been barely in contention a few days ago after an injury-hit first two weeks.

He set up victory with Friday’s stunning stage 19 win that saw him jump from fourth to take the pink jersey.

He had a 40-second lead over reigning champion Dumoulin going into stage 20, a 214km ride from Susa to Cervinia in the Alps in northern Italy,

Both riders had been content to sit in the peloton with Froome protected by his team-mates.

But with the pink jersey at stake, Dumoulin made his first attack 6km out on the last of three category one climbs.

Froome responded immediately, going on the attack himself to rein Dumoulin back in.

It became a cat-and-mouse fight between the pair with Froome’s legs showing no ill-effects from Friday’s heroics.

Dumoulin cracked with 3km remaining as his challenge faded and Froome finished with a sprint, six seconds ahead of his rival to retain the maglia rosa in the shadow of the Matterhorn.

“I felt in control,” said Froome, who would join Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault in holding all three Grand Tours at the same time.

“Everyone had such a hard day yesterday, no-one had the extra legs to go anywhere.”

Praising the support from his team, Froome added: “It was amazing to able to repay them after three weeks of hard work, they believed in me.”

Dumoulin said: “I tried everything I could and Froome was a better rider. I was just tired today and wasn’t sure I’d have the legs to try, but I would always have regretted it if I hadn’t.”

France’s Thibaut Pinot blew a chance for a place on the podium. Having been in third place at the start of Saturday’s stage, he was left behind on the second climb up Col de St-Pantaleon.

Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez took advantage as he took third place overall, four minutes 57 seconds behind Froome.

Stage 20 result

1. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) 5hrs 43mins 48secs

2. Robert Gesink (Ned/Lotto) +2mins 17secs

3. Felix Grosschartner (Aut/Bora) +2mins 42secs

4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/ Bardiani) +3mins 45secs

5. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita/Trek) +5mins 23secs

6. Wout Poels (Ned/Team Sky) +6mins 03secs

7. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +6mins 03secs

8. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora) +6mins 03secs

9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain) +6mins 03secs

10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar) +6mins 03secs

Selected others:

13. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Sunweb) +6mins 09secs

144. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +45mins 32secs

Overall standings:

1. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) 86hrs 11mins 50secs

2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned/Team Sunweb) +46secs

3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana Pro Team) +4mins 57secs

4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Movistar Team) +5mins 44secs

5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Bahrain-Merida) +8mins 3secs

6. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana Pro Team) +11mins 50secs

7. Patrick Konrad (Aut/Bora-Hansgrohe) +13mins 01secs

8. George Bennett (Nzl/Team Lotto NL-Jumbo) +13mins 17secs

9. Sam Oomen (Ned/Team Sunweb) +14mins 18secs

10. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora) +15mins 16secs

Selected other:

22. Simon Yates (GB/Mitchelton-Scott) +1hr 15mins 11secs

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44264833

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