Cycling-Arredondo wins Giro stage, Evans drops out of contention

RIFUGIO PANAROTTA Italy Thu May 29, 2014 11:34am EDT

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RIFUGIO PANAROTTA Italy (Reuters) - Julian Arredondo of Colombia won the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia as Cadel Evans cracked in the final stages and dropped out of the top three in the overall standings on Thursday.

Trek rider Arredondo was the strongest of a breakaway group in the final climb of the 171-km mountain stage from Belluno.

His compatriot Fabio Duarte took second place and Irishman Philip Deignan finished third.

Nairo Quintana of Colombia controlled the attacks from his rivals and kept the pink jersey, still leading compatriot Rigoberto Uran by one minute 41 seconds.

Frenchman Pierre Rolland, who was the main attacker in the second part of the final ascent, climbed up to third overall, 3:29 off the pace.

He has a two-second lead over fourth-placed Fabio Aruof Italy, whose burst in the last 500 meters helped him gain a handful of seconds over the other favorites.

Australian Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, could not sustain the pace in the last climb and dropped to ninth overall, almost five minutes behind Quintana.

Friday's 19th stage is a 26.8-km uphill individual time- trial from Bassano del Grappa to Cima Grappa.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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