Rodriguez: king of Cortina
The 17th stage with the finish line in Cortina d’Ampezzo promised to be the first of the big challenges for the pretenders of the Giro d’Italia final victory and certainly at the top of the climb there were only the best. For the first Kilometers the Liquigas-Cannondale was team that leaded the group keeping the rhythm up to prevent sudden flights, then the challenge triggers and the bigs can be found on the switchbacks to the top of the Passo Giau, all the others left behind and remaining face to face.
No surprises till the top, a part of a moment of uncertainty by Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), but he was able to return immediately due to its ability in downhill.
Ivan Basso confirms to be extremely bright and often leads the group, also showing a descent headed with undoubted class. Thus we arrive on the final ramp, sprint launched and here he is again, Joaquim Rodriguez, pink shirt and once again spectacular when the fight for the victory starts.
The arrival of Vedelago, 18th stage, is a surprise for everyone: Guardini prank Cavendish in a sprint that seemed already written, Team Sky train in perfect position and no hitch, but Mark may have hesitated too much in the beginning, so he finds alongside the Farnese young rider already launched and with too few meters in front of him to remount. Excellent timing for a great first statement in the Giro d’Italia.