Aussie O'Connor wins 17th stage as Almedia holds onto the Maglia Rosa
Australian rider Ben O'Connor won the Giro d'Italia's 17th stage on Wednesday in the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio in the northern Italian Dolomites
Portugal's Joao Almeida of Deceuninck Quick-Step maintained his hold on the overall leader's pink jersey going into Thursday's famous 'Stelvio' climb, one of the highest peaks in Europe at an altitude of 2,758km.
O'Connor, riding for the NTT Pro Cycling team, attacked on the climb 8.8km from the finish line of the 203km run through a snowy landscape from Bassano del Grappa.
The 24-year-old, who finished second on Tuesday, crossed the line alone for his first Grand Tour stage win, 31 seconds ahead of Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner, with Belgian Thomas De Gendt third a minute behind the leader.
Snow has been cleared from the road, but temperatures on the 18th stage are expected to dip as low as four degrees Celsius on the mighty Stelvio Pass during the 207km run from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano.
VIDEO: 2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 17 Highlights
2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 17 Top 10
1 Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 5:50:59
2 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren 0:00:31
3 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:10
4 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team 0:01:13
5 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:55
6 Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:49
7 Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team 0:03:29
8 Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team
9 Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) NTT Pro Cycling 0:03:30
10 Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis 0:04:32
2020 Giro d'Italia GC after stage 17
1 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep 71:41:18
2 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:17
3 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb 0:02:58
4 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:02:59
5 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren 0:03:12
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:20
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:31
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:03:52
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:11
10 Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC Team 0:04:26