Stefano Pirazzi claimed stage 17 of this year’s Giro d’Italia today, following 208 kilometers of racing from Sarnonico – Vittorio Veneto.
Pirazzi was part of a latent breakaway group containing 26 riders, that didn’t get underway until after nearly two hours of racing.
However, it wasn’t until the final 13.5 kilometers, that Pirazzi and four other riders succeeded in making their way clear of the field. And, it wasn’t until the final kilometer, that the Italian rider managed to execute a lasting attack of his own – which served to hold off his rivals during the closing few hundred meters – to seize the stage victory.
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) finished in second place, with Jay McCarthy rounding out the podium in third spot.
Meanwhile, Nairo Quintana continued to hold onto the overall race lead, with a substantial gap of 1:41 over Rigoberto Uran and 3:21 over Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
With 30 kilometers remaining, Thomas Gendt attacked from within the lead group of riders – to go on and tackle the climb of the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio alone. However, as the route began to pitch upward, the Belgian rider started to slow considerably.
From there, Pirazzi emerged from the fractured chase group, and subsequently caught De Gendt just before the summit.
However, following the descent, the two leaders were caught by Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r La Mondiale), McCarthy, and Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) – with 13.5 kilometers remaining.
With just over a kilometer remaining, and no rider willing to risk an attack on his own, Pirazzi made his move – immediately opening up a small gap. And, with the four riders behind him failing to organize a counter chase until the final 100 meters, it was too late to catch the Italian rider.
Pirazzi crossed the finish line just ahead of his four breakaway companions to win his first ever Giro d"Italia stage.
The Giro resumes tomorrow, with a 171 kilometer stage from Belluno to Rifugo Panarotta, which contains three categorized climbs – ending with a summit finish.
Stage 17 Results ITA 1 PIRAZZI, Stefano (BARDIANI CSF) 4:38:11 BEL 2 WELLENS, Tim (LOTTO BELISOL) AUS 3 MCCARTHY, Jay (TINKOFF-SAXO) BEL 4 DE GENDT, Thomas (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) ITA 5 MONTAGUTI, Matteo (AG2R LA MONDIALE) FIN 6 VEIKKANEN, Jussi (FDJ.fr) + 28 GER 7 GESCHKE, Simon (GIANT-SHIMANO) ITA 8 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK FACTORY RACING) ITA 9 CANOLA, Marco (BARDIANI CSF) BEL 10 PAUWELS, Serge (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP)
General Classification after Stage 17 COL 1 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) 73:05:31 COL 2 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (OMEGA PHARMA – QUICK-STEP) + 1:41 AUS 3 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING) + 3:21 FRA 4 ROLLAND, Pierre (EUROPCAR) + 3:26 POL 5 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 3:28 ITA 6 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) + 3:34 ITA 7 POZZOVIVO, Domenico (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 3:49 NED 8 KELDERMAN, Wilco (BELKIN) + 4:06 CAN 9 HESJEDAL, Ryder (GARMIN SHARP) + 4:16 CRO 10 KISERLOVSKI, Robert (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 8:02
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