The Frenchman wins solo in Canazei after a long stage where Dumoulin successfully retains his Maglia Rosa.
Pierre Rolland put an end to a long drought as he rolled out to claim the victory he seeked throughout many attacks. He rode away from km 0, waited for a counterattack and then found the route to success with 7km to go in another very long stage. Tom Dumoulin retained the Maglia Rosa after being threatened by the presence of Jan Polanç in the winning move.
1 – Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) – 219km in 5h42’56″, average speed 38.316km/h
2 – Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (UAE Team Emirates) at 24″
3 – Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar Team) s.t.
Today’s stage winner Pierre Rolland said: “I woke up at 5am yesterday because I was very excited ahead of the Stelvio stage. This is my reason for being a cyclist, I love the history of my sport: this is the 100th Giro d’Italia. I love the great stages like yesterday’s. Unfortunately I had a bad day and I wondered if the good form I had at the beginning of the Giro was on the down but it wasn’t the case. Today, I felt great. I expected to perform yesterday or tomorrow but I decided to ride today as if there wasn’t any race tomorrow. Everyone was tired from the Stelvio stage. It was one of the hardest I’ve ever done. It was a question of courage today. Last winter I went to Colorado to discuss my season with Jonathan Vaughters, my team manager who is also my coach now, and we decided that I’d do the Giro and the Tour for stage wins. This is the kind of cycling that I truly like, more than racing for GC, which is stressful and doesn’t leave many opportunities to enjoy the racing. This sport is too hard for not having fun doing it. I enjoyed cycling a lot today!”
The Maglia Rosa, Tom Dumoulin, said: “I try not to be busy with how big the news of my troubles yesterday is in The Netherlands. I felt a bit insecure this morning. I was a little bit worried but I was completely fine during the whole stage. I knew it was a very long way from the second climb till the finish. I would have been very surprised if any GC rider tried to go from far out. Bahrain-Merida tried at the start, they did a good job because we had to work more than we hoped for. There could be attacks from the start tomorrow, we have to be ready for everything. I’m not here to make history for shitting in the bushes, I’m here to write history for taking the pink jersey to Milan.”
Stage 18 – Moena (Val di Fassa)-Ortisei/St. Ulrich 137km – total elevation 3,700m
This stage across the Dolomites takes in 5 consecutive categorised climbs, with not even a single flat stretch in between: Passo Pordoi, Passo Valparola, Passo Gardena, Passo Pinei and Pontives (final climb).