The Giro d’Italia of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was further embellished this Tuesday thanks to a victory of Jan Hirt in the sixteenth stage between Salo and Aprica, exactly one week after the success of Biniam Girmay in Jesi.
With over 5000 meters of climbing, it was one of the important stages of this 105th edition with notably the Passo del Mortirolo, one of the mythical climbs of the event.
The winner of the Tour of Oman joined a breakaway of 22 riders together with Lorenzo Rota and fought for a long time to increase its advantage. The gap grew over 4 minutes under the impetus of Lorenzo Rota in the downhill of Goletto di Cadino (19km at 6.2%).
Halfway through the 202 kilometer stage, the Passo del Mortirolo (12.7km at 7.7%) caused a lot of damage in both the breakaway and the peloton. While Jan Hirt crossed the top in the lead of the race with six other riders, Rein Taaramäe and Domenico Pozzovivo followed the maglia rosa group.
The seven leaders maintained their advantage, enabling them to fight for the stage win on the final climb Valico di Santa Cristina (12.7km at 8.1%). Jan Hirt left his competitors behind on the steepest part of the climb and crossed the top with an advantage of 15 seconds on his first chaser.
De Czech rider resisted to his chasers during the 8 kilometer downhill on wet roads and crossed the line as the winner, taking the ninth victory of the season for the Belgian team.
Thanks to his first Grand Tour stage win, Hirt climbs to ninth place in the provisional classification. Despite a crash in the downhill of the Mortirolo, Domenico Pozzovivo bravely fought until the line to stay in the top six of the provisional classification.