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Georg Steinhauser’s first professional victory is a Giro d’Italia mountain stage

Georg Steinhauser's first professional victory is a Giro d'Italia mountain stage

An amazing thing happened at the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday–Tadej Pogačar didn’t win a mountain stage. He was runner-up. Instead, young German rider George Steinhauser of EF Education-Easypost earned his first professional win atop Passo Brocon at the end of Stage 17. Steinhauser was third on Stage 15. Pogačar slightly padded his race lead.

Tuesday’s stage
On a day in which the course distance was almost halved, the riders’ start was delayed by three hours and the field raced in wretched conditions, Pogačar won his fifth stage atop Monte Pana. The Slovenian is the first GC rider to win at least 5 stages in a single edition of Giro since Giuseppe Saronni in 1980. Dani Martinez turned a 15-second deficit to second place Geraint Thomas into a 22-second lead.

Count ’em. Photo: Sirotti

Wednesday’s Course
Five categorized climbs were spread evenly along 159 km of the Dolomites, with Cat. 1 Passo Brocon playing the part of yet another summit finish after being climbed from an easier side as a warm up. The weather was a little better than on Tuesday.

The breakaway grew after the first categorized climb, HC-rated Passo Sella, from four riders to 10. Steinhauser was included. Julian Alaphilippe was in his seventh escape of the 107th edition. Nairo Quintana was in his third. Damiano Caruso, just outside the top-20, was also in the gang. Giulio Pellizzari, denied the win on Tuesday but gifted a jersey and shades from Pogačar, took maximum KOM points on the first two ascents, drawing within 60 points of the category-topping Slovenian and claiming the Cima Coppi prize atop Sella.

At the midway point of the day, the gap was under a minute, as DSM-Firmenich yanked along the vastly-reduced peloton. On the middle climb, Cat. 3 Passo Gobbera, seventh-place Romain Bardet attacked when the breakaway was within touching distance. Pogačar quickly nabbed his wheel and 23 riders headed to Gobbera’s crest where the group swelled.

Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Steinhauser flew the coop on the…

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