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Gallery: Jan inflicts Hirt on breakaway as Hindley creeps forward on Stage 16 of the Giro

Intermarché's Jan Hirt takes first Grand Tour win on monster mountain stage as Jai Hindley sprints to precious bonus seconds

Will Strickson
24 May 2022

You may remember him from such films as AlienThe Elephant Man and Nineteen Eighty-Four… No sorry that was John Hurt.

Intermarché's Jan Hirt bagged his first Grand Tour win aged 31 in a hugely impressive display on a monster stage that included an alternative route up the mighty Mortirolo and the savage Santa Cristina before a descent finish into Aprica.

As expected, a big time breakaway of more than 30 riders went up the road early on with Hirt joined by the likes of Lennard Kämna, Wout Poels, Thymen Arensman, Hugh Carthy, Alejandro Valverde, Guillaume Martin, Giulio Ciccone, Simon Yatesmaglia azzurra wearer Koen Bouwman and notorious climber Mark Cavendish.

The day’s profile consisted of three huge climbs and a brutal penultimate kicker up to Teglio, so Cav was preempting a tough day out.

Ineos controlled the main bunch as the break exploded up the Mortirolo but Astana took hold as Vincenzo Nibali launched an attack on the technical descent, but all it produced was ‘brake problems’ for Domenico Pozzovivo.

Pello Bilbao did his best Denis Menchov impression up the next climb, hitting the deck and briefly holding up teammate Mikel Landa as well as the ever-fighting João Almeida and ever-impressive Jai Hindley.

Landa launched the first proper attack from the peloton, taking only Richard Carapaz and Hindley with him while the front of the race was whittled down to Team DSM’s potentially Ineos-bound Arensman, Hirt and Kämna, after the latter had spent a long stretch ahead solo.

He paid for that effort though and was soon distanced, with Hirt arriving about 50 metres ahead of Arensman to take an impressive win after ten years as a pro, his previous closest a second place in the 2019 Giro on a stage featuring the Mortirolo. Redemption.

The favourites came in alongside Valverde, with Hindley pipping Carapaz in a sprint to get precious bonus seconds that put him only three seconds back on the maglia rosaHe is absolutely not here to put socks on centipedes.

Alas, you knew that. What you came here for was Chris Auld’s gallery of pics from the day, and it might just the Best One Yet:



Lachlan Morton’s latest challenge has certainly taken a turn.

Something about ET.

We would love to join the Filippo Tagliani Fan Club.

There are a lot of great things about this image, but the fact that stage winner Jan Hirt rode for CCC in 2020 is my favourite.

Bellissimo.

Oh, hi Mark.

Not sure whether the megaphone was necessary.

Tagliani wasn't the only one with fans out in force, this man did a great job of honouring the late Michele Scarponi.

And we’re glad to see some Mikel Landa appreciation.

And you could have it all.

My empire of Hirt.

Thymen Arensman is just 22 years old and earning every bit of the contract coming his way next season.

It took me far too long to realise Carapaz’s left leg isn't enormous.

Jaws music intensifies.

Shoutout Bora-Hansgrohe for having their best Grand Tour by a long way after rebuilding their team this winter.

Per capita the Basque Country must have more top level cyclists than anywhere on the planet.

Mathieu van der Poel is a winner first and a fighter second. Probably an entertainer third.

This one goes out to Jai Hindley.


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