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Giro Stage 17: Breakaway Bonanza

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Breakaway fighting it out on the Cassano d'Adda bridge
DeAgostini/Getty Images

Stage 17: Molveno - Cassano d'Adda 196 km

A brief respite among the big mountain stages.

What's It About?

To get from the Dolomites to the Alps on the border with France in the fastest and most interesting way possible. Let everyone take a breather before we hit the Alps hard.

Today we get as far as Lombardy and Cassono d'Adda not far from Milan. We won't see Milan in this year's Giro though. Someone who did make it to Milan and the La Scala opera is Cassano d'Adda native Teresa Brambilla (almost certainly* an ancestor to Gianluca Brambilla, our former Maglia Rosa) who was the soprano who created the original role of Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto.

* May not be in any way factually true.

Course Features

Nothing much, there's a lumpy start before the race once again comes into the dreaded Po valley with it's intimidating flatness.

If there had been any sprinters left this would have been a fine day for them but now we'll likely see LottoNL give free reigns to a safe breakaway group and that will be all she wrote.

Passing through "Calcio" with 35 km to go may be the highlight for soccer fans today. Only about two weeks until Euro2016 now. Did Italy qualify this year?

Riders to Watch

This should basically be a free-for-all for the teams who still haven't gotten much out of this Giro. IAM, BMC, Southeast, Trek, you name it. So pretty much everyone with legs left should be going for this one.

AmyBC's Food and Wine Pairings

Wine: Balgera Rosso di Valtellina 2010

The Valtellina is a very small wine-producing region in the mountains north of Milan, just south of the Alps that border Switzerland. The predominant grape variety is Nebbiolo, usually referred to here as Chiavennasca,

Food: Finally time for polenta, because it is a Giro food of the day. In this case, prepared simply and served with some of that Bolognese from stage 10.

Pick to Win:

Eugert Zhupa: Because who has a more fun name than Eugert Zhupa? I mean I could pick a name out of a hat too but at least with Zhupa you get a fun name.