photo credits @ Giro d’Italia
Jan Hirt claimed today’s mountainous stage to Aprica, holding off a chase from fellow breakaway companion Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) to earned his Intermarché-Wanty Gobert team its second stage victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The Czech rider was part of a large breakaway group for most of the day, later timing his attack on the ascent of the Valico di Santa Cristina to power his way clear, with only Arensman able to match his acceleration.
But, the Dutch rider failed to get on terms with Hirt along the final climb and descent, finishing some ten-seconds back.
Meanwhile, the maglia rosa group of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinted in for third, with Hindley edging out the race leader for the four-second time bonus.
That result reduces Hindley’s gap to Carapaz in the overall standings to just three seconds, with João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) putting in a dogged performance to hold onto third at 44 seconds.
In the meantime, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qazaqstan) traded places with fellow Italian veteran Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) after his trademark attack on the descent of the Mortirolo resulted in his countryman hitting the deck. Pozzovivo fought back for twelfth place on the stage, one place behind Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), who also hit the deck on the final climb following a touch of wheels with teammate Landa.
As the 24-rider breakaway group hit the final climb, Lennard Kämna, Arensman, Hirt, Alejandro Valverde, Hugh Carthy and Wout Poels hit the front.
Kamna would later open up a slight gap for himself, but the German rider was reined in during the final kilometers by Arensman and Hirt.
From there, Hirt made his winning move, leaving Arensman to chase in earnest, almost catching his rival in the final lead-up to the finish.
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