Nairo Quintana definitely did something

Prepare yourselves for enthusiastic-yet-vague coverage because I totally missed this stage and YET IT SOUNDS AMAZING.

Nairo Quintana has definitely recovered. He appears to have smashed the Giro to smithereens, finishing 4m11s ahead of previous race leader, Rigoberto Uran.

That time gap again – 4m11s.

It was snowy. It was dangerous. There was a suggestion that they wouldn’t race down from the highest point in the race – the top of the Stelvio Pass – but they bloody well did. This is where Quintana got away from Uran and from then on he and a changing cast of accomplices inched him further and further ahead.

Uran came ninth and most of those ahead of him were major contenders – although poor Cadel Evans wasn’t among them. Somehow the stumpy Oz is still third, but they’re queuing up to get past him. In fact, the battle for third might be all that’s left of this race after Quintana’s performance.

Here’s the top seven. Seven’s the standard leaderboard number. It’s got nothing to do with who’s seventh.

  1. Chuffed Nairo Quintana – 68h11m44s
  2. Sulky Rigoberto Uran Uran – 1m41s behind
  3. Worried Cadel Evans – 3m21s
  4. Pierre Rolland who’s come from nowhere – 3m26s
  5. Possibly fading Rafal Majka – 3m28s
  6. Plain old Fabio Aru – 3m34s
  7. Domenico Pozzovivo – 3m49s

The race is on! But not much! Because Nairo Quintana’s basically won! Hasn’t he? I don’t know! I keep getting everything wrong! And I probably won’t see any of the next few stages either!

Stage 17

Something thrown to the sprinters to keep them from sloping home in a huff before the end of the race.