Giro d'Italia: Hirt withstands the pain as Hindley closes in on Carapaz

By Sports Desk May 24, 2022

Richard Carapaz's overall lead at the Giro d'Italia was cut to just three seconds as Jai Hindley finished third in a gruelling stage 16 won by Jan Hirt.

The Giro returned in some style on Tuesday following Monday's rest day, with a 202km route from Salo to Aprica that included three category one climbs and over 5,000 metres of climbing in total.

Hirt came out in front, sealing the first grand tour stage win of his career.

The Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider was part of the breakaway and subsequently pushed up the final climb on the Valico di Santa Cristina before managing a difficult descent. 

He finished seven seconds clear of Thymen Arensman, with Hindley sprinting ahead of Carapaz to put pressure on the rider wearing the maglia rosa and claim the four-second bonus for finishing third. 

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

"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."

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 [Joao] Almeida."

Alejandro Valverde, on his final Giro appearance, got himself up the GC standings, though not enough to be a true contender in the final week. He sits 11th overall.
 

Mythical Mortirolo

An initially big breakaway group split on the Mortirolo Pass, one of the most notorious climbs in professional cycling.

Hirt was one of the riders to drop off, but he recovered brilliantly and joined a seven-strong group that wound its way to the final climb.

"Every time I hear Mortirolo I want to anticipate. I wanted to go in the breakaway today," Hirt said.

"There were difficult moments when the group split, so then we had to come back on the Mortirolo, then in the end on the last climb I had a problem with my bike, it was not shifting properly and the chain was jumping.

"Then I had cramps on the downhill, so I had all these problems, but I just wanted to fight all the way to the finish."

STAGE RESULT 

1. Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 5:40:45
2. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) +0:07
3. Jai Hindley (BORA-Hansgrohe) +1:24
4. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +1:24
5. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +1:24

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 68:49:06
2. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:03
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:44

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238 
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains

1. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 167
2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 99
3. Diego Rosa (EOLO-Kometa) 92

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