Santiago Buitrago takes stage victory as Carapaz retains Giro lead

Santiago Buitrago won stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia from a breakaway as Richard Carapaz clung on to the pink jersey
Santiago Buitrago takes stage victory as Carapaz retains Giro lead

TOPSHOT - Team Bahrain's Colombian rider Santiago Buitrago celebrates after crossing the finish line of the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2022 cycling race, 168 kilometers from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone, on May 25. 2022. (Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Santiago Buitrago won stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia from a breakaway as Richard Carapaz clung on to the pink jersey.

It was great day for Bahrain-Victorious as Mikel Landa followed his team-mate's stage victory by moving up to third overall, replacing Joao Almeida, but a grim day for BikeExchange-Jayco as Britain's Simon Yates abandoned the race due to the knee injury which ended his ambitions of the pink jersey.

Buitrago had been part of a 25-man break that went up the road on the cold, often damp 168km stage between Ponte di Legno to Lavarone, a largely downhill profile which included the significant climbs of the Passo del Vetriolo and the Monterovere at the finish.

Mathieu van der Poel, winner of the opening stage of this race, tried to add a mountain stage to his name as he hit the final climb alone, but after he was caught by Gijs Leemreize, Buitrago - who had been involved in a heavy crash earlier in the day - went past the pair of them in the final 10km.

His victory made up for the tears that came when he was beaten into second place on Sunday's stage into Cogne.

"To win a stage of the Giro is exceptional for me, especially after the big disappointment of my second place on Sunday," the 22-year-old said.

"The key to the win today was patience in the climb. I think I played it well. This win is for my family in Colombia and all the people who have supported me until now."

Only four survivors of that original break, including EF Education-EasyPost's Hugh Carthy, made it across the line before Carapaz beat Jai Hindley to the line by a bike length, preserving his three second advantage in pink.

But Almeida had been dropped on the climb, allowing Landa to leapfrog the UAE Team Emirates rider into third, now 65 seconds behind Carapaz.

"The truth is it has been a very tough day," Carapaz said. "But in the end, that's another good one for the overall standings. Tomorrow will be another important day. Until Verona I have to stay focused all the way."

Yates abandoned the race having been dropped by the peloton midway through the day.

The 29-year-old has been suffering with a knee injury since a crash on stage four to Mount Etna. He recovered sufficiently to add a fine solo win on stage 14 to his stage two time trial victory, but found this day to be one too many.

BikeExchange-Jayco team doctor Matteo Beltemacchi said: "Despite daily therapy and Simon's tenacity that resulted in a second stage win, the knee pain grew worse and worse, eventually leading to the decision for his retirement from the race."

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