Steven Kruijswijk edged closer to a maiden Grand Tour win on a comfortable day for the Giro d'Italia leader that saw Roger Kluge snatch victory on stage 17.
After building a three-minute lead in the mountains recently, Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) was able to take it easy on the relatively flat route from Molveno to Cassano d'Adda
Safely positioned within the peloton, Kruijswijk was able to allow an early three-man break control the stage before watching on as Kluge edged the sprint to take the win.
Kluge (IAM Cycling) timed his move perfectly in the final kilometre, bursting from the pack to overtake Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) and cross the line ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Sagafredo) and Nikias Arndt (Giant – Alpecin).
Kruijswijk cruised home within the peloton, his lead unchanged with four stages to race.
Daniel Oss (BMC Racing), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina-Southeast) and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff) formed the day's breakaway group early on and held onto that advantage until the final 5km of the 196km route.
Eventually they were overtaken and the jostling for position began ahead of the sprint finish in Cassano d'Adda.
Lars Bak (Lotto-Soudal) was first to make a move before Pozzato looked to have done enough to take the win, however Kluge had other ideas and took it upon himself to break from the pack.
His move seemed to catch his rivals off guard and he was able to sit up and celebrate his win as he crossed the line – the third German winner in this edition of the Giro.