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Giro d’Italia 2024: Pogacar pulls further ahead but day belongs to Steinhauser
Cycling Sport

Giro d’Italia 2024: Pogacar pulls further ahead but day belongs to Steinhauser

Germany’s Georg Steinhauser halted the race leader Tadej Pogacar’s streak of stage wins at the Giro d’Italia with a solo victory on Wednesday after a day of incessant climbing.

Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost) went alone on the first climb of the Brocon Pass with just over 30km of the 159km 17th stage remaining, and he continued to open up a sizeable gap over Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier. With the peloton showing no real urgency in giving chase, the 22-year-old Grand Tour debutant Steinhauser powered up the second climb of Brocon Pass in steady rain to take the victory.

The Giro debutant Pogacar had won the 15th and 16th stages to open up a huge gap in the battle for the maglia rosa but resisted the urge to make it a hat-trick. The UAE Team Emirates rider accelerated away from the main group in the final kilometres to put more distance between himself and his supposed general classification rivals.

Georg Steinhauser reacts as he wins the 17th stage.View image in fullscreen

Pogacar finished one minute and 24 seconds behind Steinhauser to push his overall lead to 7min 42secs over Daniel Martínez in second. Geraint Thomas remains in third, 22 seconds further back.

“Well, I really held my horses until the final so it was a really beautiful stage,” said Pogacar, who has dominated the race almost from the start. “A little bit cold on the last descent but we stretched the legs good on the final climb.”

The Slovenian added that Saturday’s penultimate stage could be his chance to rack up a sixth stage win. “The main goal is always to keep the jersey into Rome and not do anything stupid. But there is one really nice stage, Monte Grappa close to Slovenia, we can see what happens there.”

Race leader Tadej Pogacar on the podium after stage 17.View image in fullscreen

For Steinhauser it was his biggest senior win. “To be honest, I didn’t really think about much, I just concentrated on the roads in front of me,” he said. “The roads were super wet and slippery so I was just in my zone. I heard on the radio and I was super nervous in the last climb and I heard at one point that [Pogacar] was attacking but I was already 2km to go so I thought I will make it.”

Thursday’s 178km run to Padua takes the peloton out of the mountains and will be a day for the sprinters.

Source: theguardian.com