Giro d’Italia - Stage 16 as it happened - Bad weather shortens route in Dolomites as Egan Bernal wins again
It’s the big one! Dreams will be dashed as the Giro tackles the 212km run from Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo on Stage 16 – a route boasting Cima Coppi status and a staggering 5700 metres of climbing in the Dolomites. Is this the day Egan Bernal shows some weakness or will the Colombian shrug off challenges from Simon Yates and Co to hold pink again?
'It's a shame, this is the history of the Giro' - Wiggins on Stage 16 change
Meanwhile, Romain Bardet is up to seventh while Joao Almeida is now in 10th after his teammate Remco Evenepoel plummeted down the standings...
Today's top 10
We didn't see much of it but we can all see the result here...
Classy finish for Bernal
It was a nice touch from the Colombian to take off his rain jacket and put it in his back pocket in time for the finish - and quite brave given he did it on wet cobbles. It also shows just how confident he is: the race leader was not pushing for more seconds but instead preparing the way for a photo opportunity and honouring the maglia rosa.
Bardet takes second
The Frenchman comes home for second place just ahead of Damiano Caruso and around 25 seconds back. It's Giulio Ciccone who takes fourth at 1'17" with Hugh Carthy and Joao Almeida just behind. Next home is Aleksandr Vlasov who crosses the line at 2'11". A bad day for Simon Yates who comes home after Formolo and Foss and Izagirre - a whopping 2'36" down. He will drop out of the top three roday.
Victory for Egan Bernal!
We have no idea how he rode the final kilometres of the climb or how his descent went off the Passo Giau - but here is the maglia rosa, who unzips his jacket to reveal his pink jersey - which is a brave mood given he's riding on the cobbled street of Cortina. What a victory for the Colombian...
2.5km to go: Bernal is approaching...
... we think! Because the first race cars have come over the line. Caruso and Bardet have joined forces in pursuit of the lone leader, who will win his second stage today while extending his lead in the overall standings.
5km to go: still 40 seconds?
Caruso has slipped back to 40 seconds now to Bernal - but these are all estimates from race radio, and there will be a slight delay... For us fans, we're rooted to the finish line and waiting for the arrival: there are no moto or helicopter images at the moment...
9km to go: gap coming down
Still no pictures but we're hearing Bernal's lead is down to 30 seconds on Caruso with Bardet 45 seconds back. Big, big shame for everyone involved that no one can see what's going on out there.
17km to go: Bernal takes 50 KOM points
It's lucky Geoffrey Bouchard picked up those 40pts over the first climb today because Egan Bernal has pocketed 50pts over the summit of the Giau. So he'll creep closer to the Frenchman in the blue jersey standings. But it's pink he's concerned about - and can he now hold on down the hill to Cortina?
We're hearing that he has 45 seconds on Caruso, 1'13" on Bardet, 1'30" on Almeida, Martinez and Vlasov at 2'10" and Yates at 2'50". No update on Carthy...
18km to go: Confusion reigns
We have no idea what's going on right now following that big attack from Bernal. We're told Yates and Vlasov are one minute down on the lone leader, who is approaching the summit of the the Passo Giau.
19km to go: Caruso in pursuit
We have no live images, which is pretty frustrating given this is perhaps the key moment of the 2021 Giro d'Italia. But we're hearing that Bernal's nearest challenger is Damiano CAruso who is 26 seconds back, with Romain Bardet in third at 33 seconds. Caruso could be up to second on GC today and Bardet perhaps up into the top five.
21km to go: Bernal now in the lead
The live images fizzled back just in time to see Egan Bernal overtake Antonio Pedrero and move onto the front of the race. Wow. He must have dropped all his GC rivals and then passed Nibali, Formolo and Almeida... Surely this is the day he cements the Giro d'Italia win - as long as he doesn't crash on the descent...
It's worth adding that Ineos use rim brakes, not disc brakes, although I can't see that being a problem - I mean, riders coped with wet descent for decades, centuries even, on the old system of braking, so it's hard to see it being what floors Bernal today.
22km to go: Bernal attacks!
The Colombian anticipates things with an attack as soon as Carr stops riding - and only Carthy and Bardet can go with Bernal there. Ciccone and Caruso are combining behind - but that happened before Yates and Vlasov managed to return to the pink jersey group.
23km to go: A tale of two Simons
Simon Carr continues to bury himself for Hugh Carthy and this has put Simon Yates under the cosh. The latter hasn't give up, though, and the elastic has yet to snap. Pedrero holds a 15 seconds gap on Almeida with the Italians Nibali and Formolo further back. But the Spaniard only has 1'05" on the maglia rosa group so it looks like he will be caught before the summit and the long descent to Cortina.
TV images have disappeared (there are no helicopters) and so we're going through a bit of a commentary black spot again.
24km to go: Yates distanced
Just as the maglia rosa group catches Izagirre, Carr ups the tempo for Carthy and that has seen Yates drop off the pack. Vlasov, meanwhile, will soon return to Yates - so perhaps they can form an alliance especially with Izagirre to do the pacing. On the front, Formolo has been caught and passed by Pedrero, who is our new lone leader.
25km to go: Formolo soloes clear
The Italian drops Nibali and rides clear on the Giau. His gap is just 1'30" back to the pink jersey group, which is tiny: Carr, Carthy, Ciccone, Bardet, Bernal, Martinez, Caruso and Yates. That's it. Vlasov apparently got his jacket stuck in his spokes, while all the others have been distanced.
It's each man for himself on this climb: Formolo has a small gap on Pedrero who has a small gap on Almeida who has a small gap on Nibali: they're each riding on their own and against both the elements and the gradient savagery.
27km to go: Cat.1 Passo Giau
This is a 9.9km slog at 9.3% and it could prove pivotal in this Giro d'Italia. Pedrero was quickly joined by Nibali and Formolo at the start of the climb, with Almeida a little further back and Izagirre nowhere to be seen - so he must have crashed or stopped with a mechanical issue.
Talking of which - Izagirre's Astana teammate Aleksandr Vlasov has apparently been laid low by a mechanical issue so that's not good for the rider who, until the Zoncolan, was second on GC.
28km to go: near miss for Izagirre
A heart-in-mouth moment for Gorka Izagirre who overcooked a bend, went off road and almost ploughed into a parked van. The Spaniard was following compatriot Pedrero off the front of the break - and there's a chance he then stacked it moments afterwards because he was forced to take the next bend wide, and now he's nowhere to be seen...
31km to go: Six becomes five
Ghebreigzabhier has been caught by the main pack after the Eritrean did much of the pacing for his teammate Nibali ahead of this climb. Those five leaders have gone over the top of the Santa Lucia but their gap is now under two minutes thanks to this hefty shift by Bettiol on the front of the pack for EF and Carthy.
Short descent and then it's the Passo Giau and snowy show time.
35km to go: Evenepoel off the back?
We're hearing reports that Remco Evenepoel has been dropped by this pack - and is perhaps even two minutes off the back. It's hard to see for sure with our own eyes because the pictures are not great. But that's an interesting development - and entirely justified Joao Almeida being in this breakaway. That said, the gap is now down to three minutes for those six leaders what with Bettiol being joined by Simon Carr on the front for their man Hugh Carthy.
Carthy in the mood
Apparently, the Lancashire climber took one look at the conditions today and felt this was his best chance of winning the Giro. According to Tejay van Garderen, the man who was just setting tempo for EF, this is how it went down: "You know, we woke up, we saw rain this morning, and Hugh said ‘we have a chance to win the Giro today’."
That would explain Carthy's annoyance while being questioned about the shortening of the stage... he was clearly up for riding the entire 212km stage. But he's not thrown in the towel and is still clearly going for it. Great to see!
‘I prepared for 212km’ – Carthy on shortened Stage 16
37km to go: Colle Santa Lucia
The leaders are onto this uncategorised climb ahead of the Giau and it's getting feisty behind as EF Education-Nippo sent Alberto Bettiol to the front with Hugh Carthy by his side.
38km to go: Two bonus seconds to Almeida
He'll need a fair few more if he wants to put himself back in the GC picture, but Joao Almeida just took two bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint at Caprile, passing through just behind Ghebreigzabhier. A bit earlier, it was Izagirre who 'won' te first intermediate sprint at Agordo. The gap, meanwjile, is down to four minutes with EF's tempo having strung out the peloton while also sending Ineos's two Italian powerhouses - Puccio and Ganna - off the back.
45km to go: EF Education-Nippo enter the fray
Hugh Carthy's team has sent Tejay van Garderen to the front to help the pacing. Ineos are happy to hand over the baton, while the rest of the EF team tuck in behind the pink jersey. Remember, they lost Carthy's mountain lieutenant Ruben Guerreiro yesterday after that nasty crash near the start. But Carthy likes these kinds of conditions and perhaps he's up for a rise up the standings today.
Earlier on today, before the stage was officially shortened, the Briton said this to our man Bernie Eisel:
“If they cancel the stage, they cancel the stage but I’ve prepared for 212km and I’m ready for the stage... Wrap up, eat a lot, drink a lot, spin your legs, do the things you were told as a rider, the boring stuff and hope for the best to be honest. It’s a complicated stage in this weather and your mind can be the biggest factor. As riders, we have to work together and make a decision together. I want to ride the whole stage and I want to finish in the Cortina but if they cancel it they cancel it, it’s not my decision.”
50km to go: Chasers caught
It's all over for that large Bouchard chase group, who have been swept up by the Ineos-led peloton on this long grind towards the final climb. They lost touch with the six leaders on the descent of the first climb and have been slowly going backwards ever since. Those six are now just under five minutes clear of the pack.
60km to go: Still Ineos on the front
Filippo Ganna and Salvatore Puccio have been taking it in turns on the front of the pack for Ineos Grenadiers. They have their man Egan Bernal safely tucked in, seventh in line, ahead of the BikeExchange team of Simon Yates. The pack trails the leaders by 5'10" with the 18-man chaser group now at 3'40". The riders are on the long gradual uphill grind towards the foot of the Giau. We have the two intermediate sprints before the final climb - but they will be completely immaterial for the six leaders, who are: Izagirre, Almeida, Pedrero, Nibali, Ghebreigzabhier and Formolo.
70km to go: All over for the chasers?
It's not going well for the 18 chasers, who are now over three minutes back - and closer to the peloton than the six leaders. Dan Martin bust a gut to get in the break but he'll be disappointed today. He could have saved his race with a stage win or at least a rise back up the standings after his gravel issues last week - but at this rate the Irishman wil end up losing, not gaining time, today.
Reminder: Stage 16 shortened
Four weather - driving rain, sleet, low visibility and freezing temperatures - has forced the organisers' hands and they have scrapped two climbs from today's itinerary: the Pordoi and the Fedaia. That means we have just one more climb today - the Cima Coppi ascent of the Passo Giau - ahead of the descent to Cortina. More on that decision below...
"It's grim, isn't it? My goodness... dark, cold, pouring with rain..." Dan Lloyd just about sums it up befoe the pictures cut out once again. The leaders still have 2'30" over the chasers and 5'45" on the main pack. Here's a picture of the Shark, who will be up for the final descent today - provided he's still in the mix after the ascent of the Passo Giau.
Nibali had a stationary fall in the aftermath to yesterday's big pile-up at the start of the stage - and he had checks on his ribs after suffering pain during the stage. But he was given the all-clear to ride today - and it looks like he's a man on a mission, plus he has a teammate in Ghebreigzabhier in this move.
90km to go: Break in Belluno
This could be a really big day for Joao Almeida. The Portuguese was 8'32" down on GC this morning - which was 4'40" down on his Quick-Step teammate Remco Evenepoel. But with the gap currently at 5'52" for this six-man move, Almeida is up to virtual sixth in the standings at 2'42".
The chasers, meanwhile, continue to go backwards: they're 1'35" down on the leaders now and none of them look committed enough to catch anyone from this first group.
100km to go: Four minutes for six
The six leaders - Gorka Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quick-Step), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Trek-Segafredo) and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates). They have 45 seconds on the chasers and 4'25" on the pack, which is being led by Ineos through the rain. It's so dark and gloomy it feels like nighttime - with all the support cars driving with their lights on.
Sebastien Reichenbach has called it a day. The Swiss Groupama-FDJ rider was involved in that big crash that soured the start of yesterday's stage so it's no huge surprise to see him call it quits.
102km to go: the 18 chasers
It appears that some of the names of riders in the initial break were a little confused - either that or a few more managed to bridge over after the climb. In any case, the 18 chasers are: Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2R-Citroen), Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious), Giovanni Visconti and Samuele Zoccarato (both Bardiani-CSF), Matteo Fabbro and Felix Grossschartner (both Bora-Hansgrohe), Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Einer Rubio and Davide Villela (Movistar), Tanel Kangert (Team BikeExchange), Nicolas Roche (Team DSM), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).
105km to go: Six go clear
Yes! We now have live images again... The breakaway has split up on the descent and we now have Izagirre, Almeida, Pedrero, Nibali, Ghebreigzabhier and Formolo riding in a move ahead of the main body of the break - the gap is around 35 seconds back to the Bouchard chase group of 18. Ineos Grenadiers are on the front of the peloton, which trails the leaders by 3'40".
Wiggo on stage shortening
“I don’t think the riders all wanted to ride the stage. There’s not a cyclist I know that would not have been happy about that today, I certainly would’ve been one of the. There’s a bit of history playing out there from last year where they stopped in the rain. They didn’t want to ride a flat stage in the rain last year and now they all suddenly want to ride. This is to avoid the criticism that I think will come from the media and fans because this is the epic stage everyone wants to watch. Most cyclists are pretty crazy and who’d want to ride [that today].
“As a fan sitting here now, this is what the Giro is about. When I rode the Giro in 2003, we got eliminated on a stage like this because it was snowing. That was the famous stage Pantani attacked on a descent and crashed in the snow. This is what makes the Giro. To lose a stage like that… it’s shame that we’re losing that a little bit.”
113km to go: it's still very wet
Another fleeting snippet from the back of a motorbike - not of the breakaway but of the wet descent. We're hearing it's still around 2'40" for the breakaway which includes some big names in Martin, Almeida, Formolo and Nibali.
120km to go: Almost three minutes for break
We're hearing that the gap for the 21 leaders is 2'51". Tesfatsion is 2'15" back and has been joined by Kilian Frankiny of Qhubeka-Assos. For a brief moment we have some live images as the break fought the elements on a plateau ahead of the descent proper to the valley road. But those have been taken away by the host broadcaster and so it's back to the drawing board.
Here's a still from the few seconds of coverage we had just now:
125km to go: Bouchard bags KOM points
The blue jersey consolidates his grip on the climber's competition by going over the top of La Crosetta in pole position. That's another 40pts to his tally, which puts him in good stead to take this jersey - just as he did in the Vuelta two years ago.
127km to go: Tesfatsion dropped
We're hearing that the Eritrean emerging star has been spat out by this break, which is now 21-strong as it approaches the summit of the first climb. No time gaps yet - and no images either.
The best placed rider in this move is the Irishman Dan Martin, who is 7'50" down on GC. The thing is - we have no idea what's happening on the road. We have no pictures and no time gaps. All we know is that they're a few kilometres from the summit of this first climb of La Crosetta. We do have a photo of the break from Quick-Step if we don't have live images...
135km to go: 22 riders in the break
This is a quality move off the front and it includes: Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2R-Citroen), Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), Natnael Tesfatsion (Androni Giacattoli), Gorka Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious), Umberto Marengo and Filippo Zana (both Bardiani-CSF), Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quick-Step), Marton Dina (Eolo-Kometa), Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Antonio Pedrero, Einer Rubio and Davide Villela (Movistar), Tanel Kangert (Team BikeExchange), Nicolas Roche (Team DSM), Vincenzo Nibali, Gianluca Brambilla and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (all Trek-Segafredo), and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates).
136km to go: Cat.1 La Crosetta
We're onto the first climb today, which is 13.3km at 7.1%. There's a large group of around 20 riders which formed after an initial attack from Davide Formolo of UAE Team Emirates. But pictures are breaking up and it looks like the weather is going to put paid to the host broadcaster's live coverage...
140km to go: Vervaeke joined by three others
Lone leader Vervaeke looks to have lost his mojo until he's joined by Remi Cavagna, Jefferson Cepeda and Alessandro Covi as the peloton looked to be closing in. There's a lot of movement behind as others try to get involved ahead of this first climb.
And, indeed, it does come back together - with Geoffrey Bouchard, the blue jersey, on the front of the pack as it made the connection. Moments later there's a counter attack from Matteo Fabbro of Bora-Hansgrohe. Their GC man Emanuel Buchmann crashed out yesterday and so Bora will be hunting for stages from now.
148km to go: one man clear
Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) has put in a dig and no one seems too interested in following. The Belgian opens up a gap as he digs deep and battles the elements. He'll be hoping for some company - not necessarily for the first climb, but the long valley road afterwards. It's a bit nervous behind. After a fast opening, the desire to get clear seems to have evaporated a little. Hardly surprising given the rain and foul weather.
153km to go: Stage 16 under way!
The flag has been waved - and there's a flurry of moves from the outset of this shortened stage, which is encouraging... In fact, Eurosport had that on a reduced screen because they were playing a series of happy birthday wishes to the one and only Sean Kelly. Buon compleanno, Sean!
De Gendt withdraws; Lotto Soudal down to two
They may have won a couple of stages through sprinter Caleb Ewan, but Lotto Soudal are now down to just two riders from their original quota of eight following the abandonment of Thomas De Gendt. The Belgian has been off the boil since 2019 in Grand Tours - and despite a couple of small lacklustre attempts to get into moves this past week, he hasn't managed to get anywhere near his previous highs in this year's Giro. We're hearing from the horse's that it's a knee issue...
Those two remaining Lotto Soudal riders are Stefano Oldani and Harm Vanhoucke...
Mauro Vegni speaks
Our man Bernie Eisel just spoke to the race director about the decision to shorten today's stage. Here's what Mauro Vegni said:
"It’s a bit different from the past. We’ve had time to talk with riders and organisers. In my opinion it was possible to do the entire stage. I think the whole thing – even the descent – is completely doable. But the conditions means we have to take two climbs out to keep the race going – so we still have a real race.
"What we really wanted was not a go-slow but a proper race. By eliminating the problems, we hope to have a proper race. Hopefully we’ve made everyone happy with the decision. We didn’t need to speak to the riders because we took the decision ourselves – there was no protest.
"I’m still angry about what happened last year in stage 19, which wasn’t respectful to the race. So this year we’re making the decision ourselves to respect the fans."
Riders readying to begin
The peloton has gathered at the start in Sacile and will soon be rolling out through the neutral zone. They're all decked out in rain gear and it looks pretty miserable - but at least we have had a decision before, and not during the stage. Here were some of the GC big guns at the sign-on earlier this morning...
The race was due to get going at 10am UK time but that has been put back - provisionally - by half an hour. We'll keep you updated.
Some fans are not happy with the decision... and think it sets a dangerous precedent...
But one interesting point made by the venerable Inner Ring blog is that this may not have happened if the original start time to this Giro had gone ahead - but the Tokyo Olympics forced all the major summer races to take place a little earlier than anticipated. So let's not get too carried away. It has been, after all, a very wet and miserable spring/early summer all over Europe.
New Stage 16 profile
The stage is now 153km and features just the two climbs with the finish still in Cortina after the riders climb the Passo Giau, which remains on the itinerary and is still the Cima Coppi of the 2021 Giro. Here's the new profile...
Carthy: I want to race 212km
The decision to shorten the stage did not come under rider pressure, apparently. Most of them are keen to ride this stage and there was no push from them to reduce the queen stage of the race. But the officials and the rider union, the CPA, pushed to have those two climbs taken off because of safety concerns - they didn't want a situation like the 2013 Milan-Sanremo where riders had to be bundled into buses to skip the Turchino.
"Safety first, as it should always be." That's the reaction of Rob Hatch on comms.
One rider not best pleased with the decision is Britain's Hugh Carthy, who revels in these kinds of conditions (well, he does come from Lancashire). This morning, the EF Education-Nippo rider - who is currenty 2'11" down in fifth - told Bernie Eisel:
Today the stage is 212km and I’m focused on 212km. Wrap up, eat a lot, drink a lot, spin your legs, do the things you were told as a rider, the boring stuff and hope for the best to be honest. If they want to cancel the stage, then cancel the stage – I don’t care. But I’ve prepared for 212km. I’m ready for the stage. It’s a complicated stage in this weather but your mind can be the biggest factor. I want to do the whole stage and finish in Cortina – but if they cancel it, they cancel it, that’s their decision.
Stage shortened owing to bad weather
The general consensus is that the riders want to ride this stage - but the weather is such that this is practically impossible. Rain, freezing temperatures and a threat of snow mean the climbs and the final descent would be too dangerous. The latest is that the climbs of the Passo Fedaia and Passo Pordoi will be scrapped. There are talks of GC times being taken at the top of the Passo Giau but that has not yet been confirmed.
Good morning, cycling fans
Ciao ragazzi! Well, it's the big one - the queen stage of the race: a 212km monster in the Dolomites with 5,700m of climbing, three summits above 2,000m, and a fast downhill finish into Cortina d'Ampezzo. Here's what's on the menu...
Who is sniffing around the GC?
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 62:13:33
2. Simon Yates (GB) Team BikeExchange +1:33
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious +1:51
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech +1:57
8. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers +3:54
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma +5:37
10. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ +7:49
'Isolate him' - What Yates and GC hopefuls must do to stop Bernal on Stage 16
Any team with GC ambitions must isolate Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) if they are to claw back time on the Colombian on the monster queen stage at the Giro d’Italia on Monday, according to Eurosport experts Bradley Wiggins and Adam Blythe.
Dreams will be dashed when the Giro tackles the 212km run from Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo on Stage 16 – a route boasting a staggering 5700 metres of climbing in the Dolomites.
The stage, which climbs to an elevation of 2239m (the peak of Passo Pordio awarded Cima Coppi status for the highest point in this year’s race), will give the clearest indication yet of where the maglia rosa will end up.
Bernal is currently in pink and the big favourite to add the Giro to his palmarès after building a 1:33 advantage over Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange).
‘This is the big one’ – Wiggins on brutal Stage 16
“I don’t think Simon [Yates] is going to do anything apart from stay near Bernal,” said Blythe.
He’s not going to try and do anything, he’ll just stay near Bernal and not pay attention to anything else. It’s up to Ineos.
“If anyone wants to do anything with Bernal, they’ve got to isolate him, they need to put pressure on the team.
“I expect a lot of attacks from guys like Dan Martin [12th in GC, 7:50 back], the guys who are just close enough that suddenly became a threat if they start trying to go in the breakaway.
“If I was a team manager of Dan Martin or someone in a similar position, you’ve got to apply the pressure at the start and try to isolate and make it a hard day for Egan.”
With the peloton immediately dropped on La Crosetta for the first of four Cat. 1 climbs, Wiggins is predicting an explosive start.
“I think there are going to be attacks at the start,” added Wiggins.
“Simon Yates is sandwiched nicely between Egan Bernal and the rest of the field.
“[Team BikeExchange DS] Matt White and his team will want to expose Ineos by getting the likes of EF Pro Cycling to launch attacks, use up Ineos’ numbers and expose Bernal for Simon Yates to maybe do something.”
Stage 15 recap
Highlights: Big crash mars Stage 15 as Campenaerts wins in rain
Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) finally conquered a Grand Tour stage as he saw off Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin–Fenix) in a rain-soaked finale on Stage 15 at the Giro d’Italia.
The Belgian made it three wins in five days for Qhubeka following the exploits of Mauro Schmid and previously-omnipresent bridesmaid Giacomo Nizzolo on Stages 11 and 13 respectively.
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) avoided any spills on slippery surfaces to hold the maglia rosa ahead of Monday’s trip to the Dolomites, where he will expect to come under fire from Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange). Bernal leads Yates by 1:33 in the overall, with Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) in third at 1:51.
The day began in splendid sunshine but also with a nasty crash inside the first two kilometres as GC hopeful Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was one of four riders to abandon.
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