- Giro d'Italia Stage 17
Rodriguez tightens grip on Giro lead with Stage 17 win
Spanish rider Joaquin Rodriguez maintained his hold on the leadership of the General Classification in the Giro d'Italia, by taking victory in a thrilling Stage 17.
The 186km Falzes to Cortina d'Ampezzo run, which included five climbs, ended with a six-rider sprint for glory after the group had broken away with around 25km to go.
It was the pink jersey-shod Katusha rider Rodriguez who handled the final descent and small uphill finish best, as he powered to the win ahead of Ivan Basso and Ryder Hesjedal as the Giro headed into the Dolomites for the first time.
Rigoberto Uran Uran came in fourth, with Michele Scarponi and Domenico Pozzovivo completing the top six after a gruelling push at the end, which included a difficult ride across cobbles before Scarponi opened the sprint with 300 metres to go.
The top three in the GC standings remained unchanged with Scarponi moving up to replace Paolo Tiralongo in fourth as the Astana man suffered and dropped to eighth overall, after he crossed the line nearly three minutes off stage winner Rodriguez.
Stage 17 result
1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 05:24:41
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda
4 Rigaberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +00:00:02
7 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team +00:01:22
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha Team
9 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
10 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team
1 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 74:46:46
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda +00:00:30
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale +00:01:22
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD +00:01:36
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling +00:02:56
6 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team +00:03:04
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +00:03:19
8 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team +00:04:13