Arredondo claims stage win

Julian Arredondo continued to prove that he is one of the best mountain riders in the world by winning stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia.

Arredondo's triumph is all but certain to seal victory in the mountain classification, with the 25-year-old going solo from the breakaway group four kilometres from the finish before holding off the challenge of compatriot Fabio Duarte.

Arredondo came home in a time of four hours, 49 minutes and 51 seconds on the 171-kilometre high mountain stage of Belluno to Rifugio Panarotta.

Duarte crossed the line 17 seconds later, while Ireland's Team Sky rider Philip Deignan produced an admirable display to place third a further 20 seconds back.

Nairo Quintana maintained his position atop the overall standings after finishing ahead of closest contender Rigoberto Uran, who is 1min 41secs behind with just three stages remaining.

Australian Cadel Evans had been third but any slim hopes he had of catching Quintana appear to be over as the 2011 Tour de France winner slipped to ninth, just under five minutes adrift of the overall leader after losing more than a minute-and-a-half on a disastrous day.