This article originally appeared on VeloNews.com
Ben O’Connor (NTT Pro Cycling) nabbed the win on stage 17 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia in a successful solo effort.
The Australian was second on the previous stage, barely missing the win, in a similar situation when he went off the front of the break.
“Yesterday was so close. To pull it off today, in the mountains, it what I dream of,” O’Connor said.
João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) held onto the Maglia Rosa for another day, fending off attacks from Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley (Sunweb) on the steep slopes of the final climb.
How stage 17 unfolded
An 18-man break escaped, and at 88km to go, they had 7:15 advantage over the Maglia Rosa group, riding
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) featured strongly in this break, along with Rohan Denis (Ineos Grenadiers), doing much of the work. O’Conner had made his way into this break, having performed similarly the previous day.
Attacks broke this group up several times, but the bunch came back together several times through the following 55 kilometers.
With the final 10km all uphill, and a gap to the main group still 5:30, O’Connor launched an attack on Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) De Gendt and Denis, very quickly got a 20-second gap.
Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-McLaren) went after O’Connor with 6km to go and dropped De Gendt after the Belgian struggled to keep the pace uphill.
Pernsteiner shaved 10 seconds from O’Connor on his initial counter, however, he was not able to sustain an overtaking pace and dropped back to a 25 seconds gap, where he would finish the day, in second.
In the peloton, Hindley and Kelderman applied pressure to Almeida at 6km to go but were not able to shake the race leader.
Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) lead out the field sprint, but it was Tao Geoghegan Hart who came around to lead the best of the rest through the line.