Sivakov battles to maintain Giro top 10

29 May 2019

Sivakov battles to maintain Giro top 10

Giro d'Italia stage 17: Commezzadura (Val di Sole) - Anterselva/Antholz, 181km

Pavel Sivakov was forced to dig deep to maintain his overall position on a gruelling stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia which was won by Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale).

Sivakov had his GC placing threatened by Davide Formolo (Bora Hansgrohe) who was part of an 18-man break which amassed a lead that would have seen the Italian move above the Team INEOS rider.

However, hard work from Team INEOS on the front of the peloton throughout the stage ensured the gap was reduced significantly before a gripping finale which saw the favourites battle it out on the final climb.

Sivakov slipped back as Mikel Landa split the maglia rosa group with two kilometres remaining, but was paced back into contention by Eddie Dunbar and was able to limit his losses to remain ninth overall and second in the young rider classification, having dropped back slightly to +2’04” to Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana). 

Earlier, a large 18-man break formed early in the stage, with Formolo the biggest threat to Sivakov’s overall position. As the break’s lead steadily increased, Team INEOS aided the chase with Movistar to help bring the escapees to heel, with Christian Knees and Salvatore Puccio working hard to limit losses.

The Terento/Terenten climb with around 50 kilometres remaining caused the break to split up, leading to a group of eight at the front with Bahrain-Merida also assisting the pursuit which helped bring the gap down.

Puccio then returned to the front of the bunch alongside Jhonatan Narvaez and helped bring the time gap back to within reach as Peters' solo attack from the front ensured the breakaway were split and Formolo was unable to gain enough time to leapfrog Sivakov.

- Salvatore Puccio

"We had Formolo ahead of us in the break and as we wanted to keep Pavel's GC position we needed to bring them back.We needed to reduce the lead of the break and we managed to pull them back in time, Davide is still in the top 10, but Pavel remains ninth.

"We will see in the next few days if we can hold that position overall or even do better. I am feeling good again after recovering from my injury and am looking forward to finishing the race strongly."
General classification:
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 74:48:18
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +1:54”
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:16”
4. Mikel Landa (Movistar) +3:03”
5. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +5:07”
9. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +8:21"
What’s next? 

A lumpy start to stage 18 could encourage a breakaway, but then the 222km profile flattens out with only a category four climb to test the sprinters. This will be a day for the fast men to have one last chance for a stage win before the end of the race in Verona.