Professional cyclist Richard Carapaz defended his wafer-thin lead on the second difficult mountain stage of the 105th Giro d'Italia last week.

The 28-year-old from Ecuador finished fifth in stage 17 on Wednesday and is still three seconds ahead of Australian Jai Hindley from the German team Bora-hansgrohe, who finished at the same time as him.

The Spaniard Mikel Landa moved up to third place overall (+1:05).

The Colombian Santiago Buitrago won the 168-kilometer section with more than 3500 meters of altitude difference from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone in 4:27:41 hours.

The 22-year-old won the difficult section with two climbs in the first category as a soloist.

In his first stage victory in a grand tour, he relegated the Dutchman Gijs Leemreize (+35 seconds) and the Czech Jan Hirt (+2:28 minutes) to their places.

"I'm extremely happy," said the winner at Eurosport.

“After yesterday, many drivers are tired.

I was also very tired.

The last climb was very tough.

At the front, everyone is on the same level.

Big gaps weren't possible today,” explained Hindley.

The German hope Emanuel Buchmann did not have a good day after his weakness on Tuesday.

In the difficult final, on the last 45 kilometers, 1,800 meters of altitude had to be overcome, the 29-year-old was no longer able to follow the best drivers and lost 2:28 minutes to Carapaz.

He finished 19th.

Lennard Kämna was 24th (+5:50).

Buchmann is still eighth in the overall standings and is now 7:13 minutes behind Carapaz.

The Briton Simon Yates has dropped out.

The Giro third in 2021, who won the second and 14th stages this year, gave up due to knee problems.

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