2012 Giro d'Italia Photos - Stage 17

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See also:  2012 Giro d'Italia Videos


American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) has a drink before the stage start as schoolchildren scream in his ear
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More photos below


The children want the champ's autograph
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Mission accomplished
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Race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) at the start in Falzes
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Rai Sport's mobile studio.  Rai produces pre- and post-race shows.
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The peloton on one of the more scenic days of the race
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A breakaway group of 5 riders included Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) and Branislau Samoilau (Movistar).  They escaped after about 50km.
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The scenery was stunning all day long
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A TV helicopter hovers high above the peloton
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The battle for overall victory begins to take shape on the Passo Giau as an elite group of six riders leads the race late in the stage.  They include defending champion Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), previous race leader Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox), and Rigoberto Uran (Sky Procycling).
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One of these riders is likely to win the 2012 Giro d'Italia
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The six leaders continue on the Passo Giau
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A chase group includes 2004 Giro winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) takes the stage win at Cortina d'Ampezzo
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Rodriguez and stage victory podium girls
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Rodriguez and pink jersey podium girls
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Rodriguez sprays champagne from the podium
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Rodriguez at the post-race press conference.  The pressure has to be great in the final week of the race; French sports daily L'Equipe reported this week that since 2010 Rodriguez has lost an average of 7 minutes in the final week to the winner in Grand Tours.  The race is wide open with two big mountain stages remaining and the final stage time trial.
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