'Every day that passes, the bigger the gruppetto becomes': How sprinters survive the Giro d'Italia mountains

We asked the fast-men remaining at the 2017 Giro d'Italia how they got through the difficult mountain days of the final week

Stage 18 of the 2017 Giro d'Italia travels through the Dolomites

(Image credit: LaPresse,Alberto / Ferrari / Paolone / Spada)

Climbing the Stelvio, Mortirolo and passes in the Dolomites appears easy for the race leaders, but how do the sprinters survive the among the Giro d'Italia's giants?

The 18th stage to Ortisei included three 2000-metre passes and two smaller ones. The favourites finished in three hours, 54 minutes. The gruppetto, or the large number of riders who form behind to make the time limit, rolled in 35 minutes later.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.