Giro d'Italia

Rolland battles to stage 17 Giro d'Italia victory

It has been a long wait for Pierre Rolland, but five years after his last Grand Tour stage win, he added another to his collection in Italy.
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Rolland battles to stage 17 Giro victory

Pierre Rolland produced a determined and persistent performance to claim victory on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday.

The Cannondale-Drapac rider formed part of a three-man break from the start and surged clear of the pack once more with just under eight kilometres to go, eventually crossing the finish line alone.

Pierre Rolland wins stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia

Rolland's long wait

Rui Costa (UAE Emirates) and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) came home 24 seconds behind the winner in a result that ended Rolland's five-year wait for a third Grand Tour stage win.

The Frenchman's previous two victories came on home soil at the Tour de France in 2011 and 2012.

It turned out to be a day of little movement at the top of the general classification, with most of the frontrunners electing to take it easy following the exertions of a demanding stage 16.

Dumoulin still leads over Quintana

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) remains 31 seconds clear of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the Maglia Rosa, while Jan Polanc (UAE Emirates) dumped Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) out of the top 10 in the only change at the head of the leaderboard.

"Today I thought 'okay, yesterday was a super hard stage and everyone is completely tired'," said Rolland. "Sometimes after a hard stage I go from the start, but I didn't think there'd be just three of us.

"I took the first climb easy, the second climb easy, then waited for the big group. Those big groups are never easy to manage – they're like a big lottery. At the end everyone is dead, you follow attacks, again, again, again.

"One moment I went, I had my team-mate Michael Woods back there for the sprint if it came back. With 1km to go I knew I'd won, and I'm just so happy, it's difficult to explain."