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Pirazzi wins Giro stage, Quintana retains pink jersey

VITTORIO VENETO Italy (Reuters) - Italian Stefano Pirazzi won the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday as the top guns stayed safely in the pack following Tuesday's chaotic ride.

Pirazzi prevailed at the end of a 208km trek from Sarnonico, beating breakaway companion Tim Wellens of Belgium and Australian Jay McCarthy to hand his Bardiani team their third win of this year's Giro.

Overall leaders Nairo Quintana, who took over from fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran in controversial circumstances on Tuesday, finished safe in the pack 15:36 behind the winner.

He still leads Uran by 1:41 with Australian Cadel Evans in third place overall, 3:21 off the pace.

On Tuesday, Quintana seized the lead by winning the stage after breaking clear in a descent which some teams thought had been neutralised by organisers because of bad weather conditions.

"Following events at yesterday’s Giro d’Italia Stelvio descent, UCI officials have been in contact with the Giro race organisers," the International Cycling Union said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Clearly Giro organisers were concerned about race safety and took the decision to place motorbikes in front of each group on (the) Stelvio descent.

"Security is of course a primary concern for all race organisers and for the UCI.

"It is important to stress however that yesterday’s decision by Giro organisers should have been approved by UCI commissaries, as stated in the UCI Rulebook, and coordinated and communicated to the teams more effectively."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)