Stefano Pirazzi took a surprise stage victory in the Giro d'Italia with the race taking a break from the big mountains.
After stage 16 of the Giro yesterday which was in the mountains, the race today was more of a transitional stage which saw the riders race 208km encountering three small climbs.
Pirazzi was part of a 25 man breakaway group that held off the peloton before a select few broke away in the final kilometre to race for the stage win.
The Bardiani-CSF rider outsprinted Tim Wellens and Jay McCarthy to win the stage. This is the third stage that riders from Bardiani have won so far during this Giro.
This was Pirazzi's first win since 2009 but he did win the points classification for the King of the Mountains jersey in the Giro last year.
With another big mountain stage tomorrow the main contenders for the overall race lead kept themselves quiet as they attempted to recover in time for stage 18.
The race leader Nairo Quintana and his fellow competitiors, Rigoberto Uran and Cadel Evans finished 15 minutes 36 seconds behind Pirazzi but with no challengers in the breakaway group the Colombian still remains 1 minute 41 seconds ahead of fellow countryman Uran.
With the race finishing on Sunday it seems that the Giro is Quintana's to lose after a sensational climb and stage win yesterday. His commanding time advantage will be extremely hard to beat unless his suffers from illness or a mechanical problem.
The Colombian certainly answered his critics yesterday after having a very quiet race so far but with the pink jersey to hold on to now I would be surprised if he kept quiet for the rest of the week.
Giro d’Italia 2014, stage 17: Sarnonico to Vittoria Veneto, 208km
1. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF in
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
3. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
4. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
5. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale all at s.t.
6. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr at 28 secs
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-Shimano
8. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
9. Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep all at s.t.
Overall classification after stage 17
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 73-05-31
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-41
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 3-21
4. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 3-26
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 3-28
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 3-34
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r at 3-49
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 4-06
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 4-16
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing at 8-02
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