Ireland's Dan Martin wins Giro 17th stage, Bernal holds pink jersey

Ala (Italy) (AFP) –


Ireland's Dan Martin made a solo break to win the mountainous 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, with Colombia's Egan Bernal holding onto the leader's pink jersey.

Martin, 34, resisted his rivals superbly on the final climb, over 11.2km with an average gradient at 9.8 percent, after the 193km ride between Canazei and a summit finish at Sega di Ala in the north of Italy.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider crossed the line alone 13sec ahead of Portugal's Joao Almeida with Britain's Simon Yates third half-a-minute behind the leader

Ineos' Bernal appeared vulnerable for the first time since the race got underway in Turin, losing time in the final climb but holds the lead with the race finishing in Milan in four days.

Bernal lost nearly a minute to Yates, but held almost all of his lead on Italian Damiano Caruso, overall second at 2min 21 sec.

Yates moved up from fifth to third place, at 3min 23sec.

Thursday's mostly flat 18th stage covers 231km between Rovereto and Stradella with a few undulations over the last 30km.