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Jan Hirt finished 12th overall in the 2017 Giro d’Italia

Czech rider Jan Hirt claimed a first Grand Tour win with victory over a tough mountain stage as Richard Carapaz saw his overall lead of the Giro d’Italia cut to just three seconds.

The 202km stage 16 from Sala to Aprica had three category one climbs and was seen as one of the toughest stages.

Hirt finished seven seconds clear of Team DSM’s Thymen Arensman.

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“I’ve had a few problems during the stage. My chain dropped, I cramped, but I never gave up,” said Hirt.

“I’m glad I managed to go solo. I always said that my biggest achievement would be to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia and I could stop after that, but I won’t stop now.”

Hirt, from the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux team, had been part of the main breakaway group, before attacking on the final ride up the Valico di Santa Cristina.

Australian Jai Hindley – who had come into the stage seven seconds behind in the overall standings – brought the rest of the chasing group home, with Ineos Grenadiers rider Carapaz among them.

Hindley’s third place saw the Bora-Hansgrohe rider pick up crucial bonus seconds which moved him closer behind Ecuador’s Carapaz in the battle for the maglia rosa leaders’ jersey.

However, Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) now sits 44 seconds behind having been unable to respond on the final climb, which saw him lose time to his general classification rivals.

Carapaz said: “It’s been a hard stage and at the end I’m happy. I thought I was going to win the sprint for third place. I eventually didn’t, but it’s still a good day for me.

“I’ve lost a few seconds on Hindley, but I gained more on Almeida so the balance is positive.”

Stage 17 runs over another 168km of mountain terrain from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone, with the 21-stage race concluding in Verona with a time trial on 29 May.

Stage 16 result

Jan Hirt (Cze/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) 5hr 40min 45secsThymen Arensman (Ned/Team DSM) +7secsJai Hindley (Aus/Bora Hansgrohe) +1min 24secsRichard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) same timeAlejandro Valverde (Esp/Movistar Team) same timeMikel Landa (Esp/Bahrain Victorious) same timeLennard Kamna (Ger/Bora Hansgrohe) +1min 38secsJoao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) same timeVincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana – Qazaqstan Team) +2mins 6secsHugh Carthy (GB/EF Education EasyPost +2mins 13secs

General classification

Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grendiers) 68hr 49mins 6secsJai Hindley (Aus/Bora Hansgrohe +3secsJoao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +44secsMikel Landa (Esp/Bahrain Victorious) +59secsVincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana – Qazaqstan Team) +3mins 40secsDomenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +3mins 48secsPello Bilbao (Esp/Bahrain Victorious) +3mins 51secsEmanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora Hansgrohe) +4mins 45secsJan Hirt (Cze/Intermarche Wanty Gobert Materiaux) +7mins 42secsAlejandro Valverde (Esp/Movistar Team +9mins 4secs

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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