The second half of the stage is packed with testing climbs, notably the Kolovrat, before the short and sharp uphill finale to the Santuario di Castelmonte.
Australian was dropped in the finale but hangs onto second overall as mechanical took place inside the final 3km.
Dan Martin’s Giro d’Italia analysis: Who will blink first in pink jersey battle still too close to call?
Saturday's mountain finish at Fedaia is a real grinder and it's during the Giro's 'epic' third week that reveals a rider's true character.
Bahrain Victorious wins the stage and positions Mikel Landa into a virtual spot on the podium going into the Giro's final decisive stages.
The Australian is running out of time to claw back time on Richard Carapaz but he believes the penultimate stage will prove decisive.
Richard Carapaz, Jai Hindley confirm status as two 'capi' of the Giro, Mikel Landa claws into podium range as João Almeida loses 1:10 on final climb.
Stage 17 features the Vetriolo pass where Andy Hampsten wrapped up the 1988 Giro d’Italia title, followed by the testing ascent to Monterovere.
The three strongest climbers in the race are evenly matched but Hindley is closing in on pink.
Giro d’Italia: Which GC riders lost time on stage 16 as Jai Hindley closes to within three seconds of pink
Vincenzo Nibali and João Almeida lose time as Richard Caparaz sees his lead reduced in sprint for bonus seconds.
Marathon mountain stage sees Pozzovivo and Buchmann bumped out of GC contention as Hindley moves to within three seconds of Carapaz.
From one-hit wonders to doomed superdomestiques, the top of the Giro crop all carry question marks heading into the race's final week.
Newly confident Australian aims at the top step in this year's race.
With five riders within 61 seconds of the pink jersey, nothing is decided, and everything is still in play.
Carapaz has the strongest team but Bora and Bahrain have cards to play, and Almeida remains a threat.
Four riders within 1:01 of pink jersey Richard Carapaz sets the scene for a scintillating third week through the high mountains.
Bora-Hansgrohe rider says the peloton was feeling the pain after a tough day out in Turin on Saturday.
'It’s always better to defend than to attack,' says 2019 winner but with a final time trial to come attacks are on the menu.
Ciccone keeps the Trek-Segafredo celebrations rolling with Alpine victory as Carapaz and the GC contenders recover from red-hot Turin stage.