Eurosport - Wed, 26 May 17:20:00 2010
The 27-year-old Frenchman launched a late attack on the final climb of the 173km stage from Bruneck to Peio Terme to claim his first career win ahead of Danilo Hondo (Lampre) and Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank).
Overall race leader Arroyo stayed in pink after coming home safely in the peloton, while there was no change in the order of the next five riders on the General Classification. The Spaniard now holds a two-minute-27-second lead over Ivan Basso (Liquigas), with Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) a further nine seconds behind.
The biggest winner on the GC was Alexander Efimkin (AG2R), who started the day in 16th but ended it in 12th, 10:59 behind Arroyo.
The Russian was the highest-ranked member of a 19-man group that broke just before the first climb of the day up the Passo della Palade.
The peloton, led by Caisse d'Epargne and Liquigas, were clearly not interested in trying to close the gap with several gruelling mountain stages on the horizon, leaving the leading pack to battle it out amongst themselves for the stage victory.
The breakaway group remained intact until Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) took the initiative with 28km to go. He was soon reeled in but the break prompted more movement in the pack, with Monier, Kruijswijk and Hondo eventually managing to pull away as they reached the second and steepest ascent of the day to the finish line at Peio Terme.
Monier went on the attack with 3km remaining and showed great strength to hold off Kruijswijk, who was eventually overtaken by Hondo close to the end.
Thursday's stage 18 of 21 sees the riders travel from Levico Terme to Brescia on the shortest stage of this year's race - a 151km flat run made for sprinters - before two mountain stages precede Sunday's final time trial in Verona.
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