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Cadel Evans loses time as Uran keeps pink jersey

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Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Uran smiles before the start of the 15th stage.

Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Uran smiles before the start of the 15th stage. Photo: AFP

MONTECAMPIONE, Italy Rigoberto Uran has kept the overall leader's pink jersey and extended his advantage over Australia's Cadel Evans in the Giro d'Italia.

Evans lost time on the Colombian and sits 1min 03sec adrift, but is still in the hunt.

Young Italian climber Fabio Aru claimed solo victory on the tough uphill finish to Montecampione on Sunday to win the 15th stage.

At the 1665-metre finish, Aru crossed the line with a 21sec gap back to Colombian Fabio Duarte.

The 23-year-old Aru was celebrating his first career success.

"It's a dream come true. But that doesn't change anything. I'm thinking about keeping my feet on the ground, I still have everything to prove," Aru said.

Third place went to Colombian Nairo Quintana, who made up 20sec on compatriot Uran in the standings to lie fifth, 2min40 off the pacesetter.

Uran took fifth in this 225km ride from Oropa to the summit where late Italian climbing specialist Marco Pantani had famously duelled with Russian Pavel Tonkov on his way to victory in 1998.

"I'm satisfied," Uran said.

His chief rival Evans, who lost 31sec to the Colombian, conceded his previous exertions had caught up with him on Sunday but remained hopeful of success.

"It's not too bad. I wasn't able to follow at the end, I think I've paid the price for my earlier efforts but things are going well. There are still some big stages left," said the Australian.

A 12-man breakaway which at one point had pulled around eight minutes clear of the pack saw its cushion reduced to two minutes at the foot of the final climb.

Colombian Julian Arredondo joined and then moved clear of this group, only to be caught by Ireland's Philip Deignan 9km out.

Eventual fourth Pierre Rolland turned up the volume with 5km to go, with Uran then covering Aru's stage-winning attack.

Aru's reward for his fine day's efforts was to move up to fourth in the standings ahead of the last rest day as the Giro enters its final week.

The Giro resumes on Tuesday with a 139km stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello, which features three mountain climbs.

AFP 

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