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Dainese wins Stage 17 as Thomas keeps Giro d’Italia lead


Team DSM’s Italian rider Alberto Dainese (3rd L) sprints to the finish line to win the seventeenth stage ahead of second-placed Bahrain - Victorious’s Italian rider Jonathan Milan (R) and third-placed Team Jayco AlUla’s Australian rider Michael Matthews (2nd R) during the Giro d’Italia 2023 cycling race, 197 km between Pergine Valsugana and Caorle, near Venice on May 24, 2023. (Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

CAORLE, Italy -- Local rider Alberto Dainese won Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia in a mass sprint that was decided in a photo finish, while Geraint Thomas’ overall lead was unchanged in the last flat day before the race concludes in Rome.

Dainese, who rides for Team DSM, finished just ahead of Jonathan Milan and Michael Matthews but had no reaction at the finish while the trio waited to be told the official results.

In the overall standings, Thomas remained 18 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida and 29 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic.

The stage offered a day off from climbing as the 121-mile route from Pergine Valsugana to Caorle started with a gradual descent before a long, flat finish.

Dainese, who is from the Veneto region where the stage ended, required nearly 4½ hours to complete the route and earn his second career win in the Giro after also winning a sprinting leg last year.

“It’s more special winning at home,” Dainese said. “I knew every bump and hole in the road.”

There are three straight days of hard climbing that should decide the race winner.

The race returns to the high mountains for Stage 18, with two first category climbs followed by two second-category climbs in the finale - including an uphill finish - along the 100-mile route from Oderzo to Val di Zoldo.