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Giro d'Italia

24 hrs later, Jan Hirt climbs again onto the podium

Only 24 hours after his stage victory in Aprica, Jan Hirt climbed again onto the podium in the seventeenth stage of the Tour of Italy. Thanks to a second consecutive breakaway, the Czech rider finished third, bettering once more his position in the general classification.

Almost immediately after the start in Ponte di Legno, Rein Taaramäe and Hirt took advantage from the Passo del Tonale to attack and distance the peloton in a group of 25 riders.

Thanks to the work of the Estonian rider, the breakaway managed to win its contest with the peloton and the gap increased to six minutes at the start of the two last climbs, Valico del Vitriolo (11.8 km at 7.7%) and Monterovere (8 km at 9.6%) within the final 40 kilometer.

One day after his victorious breakaway, Jan Hirt climbed on the third step of the podium in Lavarone. Thanks to his performance he wins two positions in the provisional classification, so he now occupies seventh place. With Domenico Pozzovivo, tenth, the Belgian team has still two men in the top ten after this seventeenth stage.

« Knowing that the start was uphill today, I toyed with the idea of attacking again. When I saw a large group distancing the peloton with some of my contenders for GC, I didn't hesitate one moment and jumped towards this group with the help of Rein Taaramäe. His presence was ideal, just like yesterday with Lorenzo Rota I could benefit from having a teammate in the breakaway. We managed to gain a nice advantage on the peloton so it became clear that I could do a good job in the general classification. I spent quite some energy to maintain this gap and that's why I didn't manage to rival for the stage win today, with riders who were racing with another intension and fresher legs. I'm happy with this new podium for the team and my current seventh place in the general classification. The stage tomorrow is rather flat, so let's hope that we can enjoy some relative rest and that Domenico and I can give all we have left to achieve the best possible result in the three last hard days! »



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