Giro dItalia: Jan Hirt wins stage 16 as Richard Carapaz has overall lead cut

- BBC News

Giro dItalia: Jan Hirt wins stage 16 as Richard Carapaz has overall lead cut

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 dItalia 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 DSMs Thymen Arensman.

"Ive had a few problems during the stage. My chain dropped, I cramped, but I never gave up," said Hirt.

"Im glad I managed to go solo. I always said that my biggest achievement would be to win a stage at the Giro dItalia and I could stop after that, but I wont 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.

Hindleys third place saw the Bora-Hansgrohe rider pick up crucial bonus seconds which moved him closer behind Ecuadors 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: "Its been a hard stage and at the end Im happy. I thought I was going to win the sprint for third place. I eventually didnt, but its still a good day for me.

"Ive 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.

Read it all at BBC News