Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) just won his first Grand Tour stage in Giro d’Italia, the Czech rider took the stage 16 win. This was surely a very difficult day in the last week of the Italian Grand Tour, winning this stage was no easy feat to accomplish.
He sprinted away from the other riders on the ascent of Valico di Santa Cristina, which is also where he launched his attack perfectly. The breakaway lauded a much-needed pause from the rest of the day which was quite hectic. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) was on Hirt’s tail trying to bring down the rider but he did not possess the skillset nor the stamina to match the Czech’s ferocity.
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This is the last week of Giro d’Italia which means that things are going to kick up a notch, stage 16 proved to be fully action-packed and hard at the same time. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) tried his best to add another stage victory under his belt but that failed. His teammate Jai Hindley, however, managed to finish in the third position.
João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) on the other hand, limited his Giro 2022 GC standings by following in on Carapaz, Hindley, and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) till they launched their attacks on the Santa Cristina mountain.
How It Went Down
Monday’s rest day provided a much-needed break for the Peloton, this was necessary for stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia which would prove to be the hardest day of this year’s edition of the Italian Grand Tour. This was a 202 km race starting from Salò to Aprica. This race was also going to feature some of the hardest and unforgiving climbs: Goletto di Cadino, Passo del Mortirolo, and Valico di Santa Cristina. Combining all of these climbs, riders would have to climb a whopping total of 5,268 meters.
Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) retained the Maglia Rosa but he had to fight a lot of cyclists that were launching attacks, including Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe).
During the start of the race, an early breakaway group was formed by the likes of Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Pascal Eenhkoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Mark Cavendish for all the right reasons (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
When the time came for the Santa Cristina ascent, Jan Hirt made it there to the summit first. Following right behind him was none other than Arensman, with only 15 seconds behind. Now it was a duel to the finish line, they knew the first to descend the mountain would have the stage win. The wet roads of the mountain surely proved very uncomfortable, the real test began for them with the grip and turns but they managed to hold on.
With the final kilometer of the race approaching, Jan Hirt was at the front of the group, with a lead of ten seconds. He repelled all the attacks coming in from Thymen and crossed the finish line with an amazing lead. A surprising performance from Jai Hindley rewarded him the third overall position. Hats off to Jan Hirt for such an amazing win!
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Featured Image Via YouTube/Cycling Pro Net