Roger Kluge wins Stage 17. Steven Kruijswijk retains Maglia Rosa
In the pure style of a pursuiter with a strong track background, Roger Kluge, who is set to represent Germany at the Rio Olympics in the Omnium (against Italy’s Elia Viviani and Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria, among others), took a splendid victory, anticipating the bunch sprint to take his first stage win in a Grand Tour. Maglia Rossa Giacomo Nizzolo, second, made the podium for the thirteen time of his career at the Giro d’Italia but he’s yet to win a stage. Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk retained the Maglia Rosa.
Stage winner Roger Kluge said in the press conference: “I don’t think my stage victory will change [IAM Cycling team owner] Michel [Thétaz]’s decision [to stop the team at the end of this year]. It’s something to give back to him. He had been looking forward to the team’s first victory in a Grand Tour. It’s not the last one I hope. Last year, on the last day of the Giro, I won the bunch sprint for third place and I hope I can win a bunch sprint for the first place this coming Sunday in Turin. It’s hard to believe I made it today. I think I took the last corner faster than the peloton and that was the key for winning”.
Maglia Rosa Steven Kruijswijk said in the press conference: “A lot of riders, including the most famous ones, came to congratulate me this morning for what I did yesterday. I know they liked the way I raced. They were congratulating me on yesterday’s ride, not on keeping the Maglia Rosa until Turin. I myself don’t think that I’ve already won the Giro. The only thing I can do is to try my best, and do what I have been doing for the past two and a half weeks. I’ll do it with confidence because I don’t have a weak point”.
Maglia Rossa Giacomo Nizzolo said: “I have nothing to regret. I’m angry but it’s normal. It would have been so fantastic to win my first Giro d’Italia stage here, close to home. I had one team-mate too few to close the gap on Roger Kluge but that’s because my team had to work extremely hard earlier on to chase down the breakaway. I still have a chance to win a stage on Sunday in Turin”.