(Reuters) - Italian Fabio Aru attacked in the final climb to win the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia to reclaim second spot overall form his Astana team mate Mikel Landa on Friday.
Aru, one of the pre-race favorites, slumped to third overall after cracking in a grueling mountain stage on Tuesday, leaving Spaniard Landa to move up behind dominant leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).
But on Friday, the 24-year-old Aru jumped away from a group of favorites and Contador, sitting on a comfortable cushion two days before the finish in Milan, did not react.
Aru did not look back and beat Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) and Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-Quick Step), who were second and third respectively, 28 seconds and one minute 10 off the pace.
Contador, who finished alongside Landa 1:18 behind, leads Aru by 4:37 and his compatriot by 5:15 ahead of Saturday’s last punishing mountain stage.
Contador is aiming for a first Giro/Tour de France double since the late Marco Pantani of Italy in 1998.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows