On the final climb up to the line, de la Parte and Antunes worked well together to limit their time loss to the front of the race, where Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) was soloing to the stage win.
It was a tough battle to make the breakaway stick today with the original group of nine, which included Antunes and de la Parte, being closely marked by the peloton as more riders tried to bridge across.
The group’s advantage was narrow to begin with but as the chasers made contact on the descent of the uncategorized Passo del Mendola, taking the total number of riders in front up to 17, the gap went out to over two minutes with 120 kilometers, of the 181-kilometer course, still to go.
From here, the gap continued to grow and, at the foot of the category four Elvas climb, it was sitting at over six minutes with de la Parte and Antunes continuing to help with the pace-making before one-rider attacked off the front of the group to go solo over the summit.
On the next climb, the category three Terento, the breakaway split as the race to close the gap picked up however, while Antunes and de la Parte initially missed out on the move, the CCC Team duo worked hard as part of the second group on the road before rejoining the front of the race on the descent with less than 30 kilometers to go.
While the road started to rise once more shortly after the group came back together, the final category three ascent officially began with 6.6 kilometers to go and at this point the eventual winner was already out in front alone.
Behind him, the breakaway split once again as riders, including de la Parte and Antunes tried tirelessly to close the gap before, eventually, the CCC Team duo crossed the line in 13th and 14th respectively.
Quotes From the Finish Line
Víctor de la Parte:
“It was definitely hard to make the breakaway stick today. Everybody wanted to go in the breakaway today because it was a good opportunity for a move to arrive at the finish, and that’s what we saw. Amaro and I tried really hard on the climb to come back but after setting a really hard tempo all day, it was not easy. We were completely at our limit today but we did our best and to take a little bit of time for the GC. I feel good and I think for me, tomorrow will be a chance to recover a little bit ahead of the last mountain stages.”
“It was a very hard stage today and immediately after the start me and Víctor were trying to go into the breakaway. It was a good situation for us because there was nobody too high on the General Classification and that meant that we could get a good gap. In the final, we worked well together and we rode out own pace to keep in front of the bunch and to finish in the best position possible.”
Stage 17: Commezzdura (Val di Sole) > Anterselva (181km)
Top 3: 1. Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) 2. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3. Davide Formolo (BORA – hansgrohe)
CCC Team Top 3: 13. Víctor de la Parte 14. Amaro Antunes 89. Łukasz Owsian