Elia Viviani (Quick became the first Italian in 12 years to land four stage victories at a single edition of the Giro d’Italia after winning the 155-kilometre 17th stage from Riva del Garda to Iseo today.
His victory resulted in the 29-year-old further distancing the competition in the cyclamen jersey classification, with 58 points separating now Viviani from his closest opponent, Sam Bennett, with one flat stage remaining. The Italian sprinter was full of praise for his team-mates afterwards, in particular Fabio Sabatini.
“Saba was amazing today, he kept me out of the headwind until with 200 meters to go and all I had to do from that point was open my sprint after Van Poppel tried to anticipate me,” said Viviani at the press conference. “I had good legs, but what really made the difference was the selfless work of my extraordinary teammates. They deserve the credit for this fourth win, which gives me huge joy.”
The Quick-Step Floors team was attentive from the start, protecting Viviani on the 10-kilometre unclassified climb on the shores of Lake Garda, where several teams upped the pace in the hope of dropping the maglia ciclamino.
Quick-Step Floors took command under the flamme rouge arch on the soaking wet and slick roads of Lombardy, where Zdenek Stybar put the hammer down for 600 metres, stretching out the field in the pouring rain, before Fabio Sabatini delivered a textbook lead-out for Viviani, who blasted past his rivals and captured his tenth victory of the season.
“I was a bit nervous before the stage, because I knew that Bennett was favoured by that climb in the beginning, but the boys kept everything under control. Increasing my lead in the points classification is the cherry on the top, as the cyclamen jersey is an important goal and I hope to keep it until Rome. Sunday puts an end to what’s been a very competitive first part of the season for me and I hope to end it on a high note”, said Viviani.