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HomeRaceRace ReviewsIl Giro d'Italia 2014 - Stage 17; Sarnonico - Vittorio Veneto, 204...

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 17; Sarnonico – Vittorio Veneto, 204 km. Stefano Pirazzi Prevails

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Giro d'Italia logoThe other day we had the score down as 2:0 in the Bardiani v. Sky match – well, it’s now 3:0 as the versatile Stefano Pirazzi demonstrated the desire, desperation and grinta you need to be a Giro stage winner.

As well as being a former Tirreno and Giro King of the Mountains, he’s been a medallist in the Italian TT Championships.

This is his fifth full pro season – initially with Colnago and remaining with the team as it morphed into Bardiani.

Stefano Pirazzi took the stage and made a point or two. Photo©Gian Mattia D'Alberto
Stefano Pirazzi took the stage and made a point or two. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

Bardiani make valves, by the way, for just about anything – their blurb states; ‘Bardiani Valvole Company a world renowned supplier of high quality sanitary and hygienic valves.

Today, we are able to offer a complete line of superb performance valves to the dairy, winery, brewery, food and beverage, chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical Industries.

Whilst CSF is; ‘a leading company in Italy and Europe for the production of stainless steel pumps and steam/water mixers for different kinds of products in the Food, Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Chemical industries and others.’

Yes, we knew that would fascinate you – however both companies must be over the moon at the results the team has achieved and consequent media exposure.

Stefano Pirazzi
Lush countryside today. Photo©Fabio Ferrari

Sky has been low key in this race; albeit Dario Cataldo and Phillip Deignan have been in the action – but no wins.

But David Brailsford & Co. know that there’s only one race which really matters to the Sunday Times readers and Sky viewers – and it isn’t in Italia.

Stefano Pirazzi
Dario Cataldo. Photo©Marco Alpozzi

The ‘Bigs’ had as easy a day as you can hope for in the Giro; after a savage first two hours the right combination went up the road and was allowed to soar away to a 15 minute lead.

The group was huge, it split and split again leaving five to cat fight for the win; and it was Pirazzi who wanted it most – call me soft but I love it when a man wins a stage and bursts into tears.

I know it would never do at Sky, though…

The ‘polemica’ rumbles on, meanwhile – but before we get back into that, let’s talk a little about who shone yesterday.

We went deep into ‘StelvioGate’ yesterday at the expense of who did what on the percorso.

Mick Rogers did sterling work for his Tinkoff team leader, Rafal Majka, yesterday; and if you ignore the ‘monkeydom’ aspect for a moment then both Pierre Rolland (Europcar & France) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin & Canada) performed strongly.

Stefano Pirazzi
Mick Rogers. Photo©Fabio Ferrari

We’ve been saying that Hesjedal should forget GC and go for stages; yesterday he almost did both and now lies ninth at less than a minute from the podium- respect, Mr. Hesjedal.

And to repeat, it’s great to see a Frenchman in a GC battle in a Grand Tour again; Rolland is now fourth a mere five seconds behind Cadel Evans (BMC & Australia).