So, Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo) hangs on to claim a surprise mountain time trial win on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, while maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk extends his advantage in the overall classification.
Castelrotto - Alpe di Siusi
Giro d'Italia - 22 May 2016
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General classification after stage 15
1 Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) 60:41:22
2 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) 0:02:12
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) 0:02:51
4 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 0:03:29
5 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Team) 0:04:38
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) 0:04:40
7 Andrey Amador (Movistar Team) 0:05:27
8 Bob Jungels (Etixx - Quick-Step) 0:07:14
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data) 0:07:37
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 0:07:55
Here is the stage classification:
1 Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) 0:28:39
2 Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) 0:00:00
3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 0:00:23
4 Sergey Firsanov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) 0:00:30
5 Michele Scarponi (Astana Pro Team) 0:00:36
6 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) 0:00:40
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) 0:00:47
8 Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale Pro Cycling) 0:00:52
9 Bob Jungels (Etixx - Quick-Step) 0:01:04
10 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Team) 0:01:09
Kruijswijk comes across the line just shy of Foliforov’s time – a surprise stage win for Gazprom.
An absolute disaster for Niabli who comes in 2:14. That is 25th.
Valverde was second at the end 23 seconds down on Foliforov – decent day for him.
Kruijswijk is the only man who can deny Foliforov the stage now.
Kruijswijk scuttles past the 1km stage some 30 or 40 seconds after Nibali – the Giro could be slipping away from the Shark here.
Chaves comes over the line in fifth, 40 seconds down. Decent effort that.
Oh, Nibali throws a hand out at a fan who got in his way. It is all going on. How much time will he have shipped here?
Mechanical for Nibali. MECHANICAL for Nibali. He has lost some seconds there. How will that impact his time?
Nibali is now 57 seconds short of the maglia rosa. He is struggling. He is drawing deep on his reserves…
Zakarin, who was flying at the 4.4 km check, finishes up some 47 seconds shy of provisional leader Foliforov - that is good enough for fourth!
The maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk has gone through the intermediate time check at 09:07 and that is the fastest time thus far. Nibali was some 30 seconds slower than Kruijswijk at that check. Incredible stuff.
The organisers thought that the winner time would be in and around 24 minutes but the top time thus far has been 28:39 from Alexander Foliforov.
Chaves is a climber of some repute so will try to get a respectable time through to the intermediate check and then go from there.
So Nibali is on the road, with just Steven Kruijswijk to come – this is going to be an important half an hour or so. Andrey Amador meanwhile, who had a disastrous stage 14, is again struggling – he was 38 seconds down at the intermediate split.
Jungels crosses the line with a time of 29:45 which is good enough for fifth place – that means he easily retains the white jersey from Henao.
Ilnur Zakarin has absolutely admonished Jungels' time at the intermediate split – he has gone 12 seconds faster. Woof.
Here is what the GC contenders are facing up to - a maximum gradient of 11%. Alejandro Valverde has set off - what can the green bullet do?
Jungels, donning the white jersey as the best young rider, is motoring well. However, going quickest at the first time check can be a false economy of sorts considering the fact that the opening 1800m is a false flat. Jungels closest competitor for the white jersey is Sebastian Henao who finished with a time of 30:15.
Foliforov still heads the standings, with Gazprom team-mate Firsanov 30 seconds down but the main contenders are out now so we should see some movement. Jungels has just gone as quick as Firsanov at the 4.4km split.
Cunego came in at 15th so that means he could feasibly lose ground in the King of the Mountains.
Ulissi comes in fourth 01:12 down on Foliforov – this has been a strong showing across the race.
Bob Jungels knows this climb; he won it at junior level. His time should be a decent barometer for the rest of the field. Jungels completed the Tour de France for the first time last year, finishing 27th in the overall and 5th in the young rider classification, and has worn the maglia rosa already this year.
Ulissi, who has already claimed two stages at this year’s Giro, is out on the course but he comes through as fifth fastest at the 4.4km.
Rein Taaramae is making great strides and could be about to set the time to beat – he is one second shy of Sergey Firsanov at 4.4km.
Gazprom are not messing about today, Alexander Foliforov goes 01:25 quicker that Ian Boswell.
With the big guns on the horizon, it is worth pointing out that of the last three Giros that have included a time trial, the winner of that stage has gone on to take the overall win.
King of the Mountains leader Damiano Cunego has commenced – while not exactly an elite time trialist but should post a decent time. We are getting close to the big contenders now.
Wellens comes in some 11 seconds down on SKY’s Ian Boswell.
Primoz Roglic claimed stage 9 and could be a contender here so certainly worth keeping an eye on him. However, the Lotto-Jumbo rider will be expected to assist team-mate and new maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk on upcoming stages so perhaps he will be holding back.
Here is Lotto Soudal’s Time Wellens at the start gate. Wellens, who claimed Stage 6 of the Giro, leads at 4.4km. He was six seconds quicker than Boswell of Sky.
So, who are the main contenders today and when are they expected to strike out. There is, of course, overall contender and still marginal favourite, Vincenzo Nibali, who claimed the mountain TT en route to the overall win in 2013 - goes second last at 15:43 (BST). Esteban Chaves is in form, a climber and the fact that they are not racing on TT bikes makes him a contender. Dark horse Steven Kruijswijk should also be in the hunt.
Boswell assumes the lead with a time of 30:04.
Pretty decent day for racing…
Team Sky’s Ian Boswell goes fastest at the 4.4km split – this is his second Grand Tour after the Vuelta last year. Sky are after stage wins since GC contender Mikel Landa abandoned the Giro d’Italia during stage ten.
Vechkin's Gazprom team-mate Aleksey Rybalkin goes fastest, exactly a minute quicker than Vechkin at 33:06. Arnaud Courteille splits the two team-mates with 31:04.
Decent ride from Vechkin, that – no one really near him at the split yet.
Artem Vechkin's 31:36 lops one minute 37 seconds off Cheng’s time, but we are a long old way before any of the GC contenders get underway. Maxime Monfort, the first rider afforded a three-minute interval, is out at 15:04 (BST).
We currently have roughly 30 riders out there at the moment with five having completed the run. Cheng Ji’s leading the way at the moment with 33:13.
So, what can we expect from today’s time trial? The first 1800m is a low gradient, false flat climb before a relatively constant gradient of 8.3% up Alpe di Siusi, as the below graphic details. The all-important split time will be at 4.4km.
The third time trial of the 2016 Giro is underway.
Jack Bobridge gets the 10.8 km predominantly uphill trial started. From here it is one-minute intervals between the riders until, of course, we get to the top 15 who will be afforded the relative luxury of three-minute gaps.
The upshot of yesterday’s stage sees Kruijswijk in pink; while Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali, who finished in fifth some 37 seconds adrift of stage winner Chaves, moves up to second, 41 seconds shy of Kruijswijk.
Overnight leader Andrey Amador lost the pink jersey on a brutal day in the Dolomites – to be fair, though, that was to be expected. However, it was the implosion of team-mate Alejandro Valverde that was arguably the story of the day, who shipped three minutes to many of his rivals and is down in fifth in the GC.
Yesterday, Colombia's Esteban Chaves won a monster stage in the Dolomites on a day Alejandro Valverde cracked and Steven Kruijswijk moved into the maglia rosa. The full report can be read, here:
Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia - a 10.8km mountain time trial up Alpe di Siusi which should see the battle for the pink jersey intensify.