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Giro d’Italia | Stage 15

05:44:14

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Giulio Ciccone wins stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia!

Trek's third ever victory in this race, and it's been a demonstration by the man from Chieti. Ciccone crosses the line and bursts into tears. He's not had the easiest couple of years, but he's finally found joy. Buitrago comes in for a strong and impressive second place, while Antonio Pedrero crosses the line to take third.
Giro d'Italia
Power of Sport - Giro d'Italia 2022 created history
02/06/2022 AT 10:30

1km to go: Under the flamme rouge

Past an inflatable bottle of prosecco, between the barriers, Ciccone looks behind but there’s no-one there. It really is in the bag for him.

3km to go: Ciccone takes three bonus seconds

Not sure what he’ll do with them, but they’re his all the same. The home fans didn’t have much to shout about in the first half of this race, but since the middle of last week there’s been a flurry of victories. I make that three out of the last five for the tifosi. They need another four to match last year's haul.

5km to go: Ciccone heading to victory

The kilometres tick by and his lead only ticks up. 1'33 now. It's been a battlle for Buitrago, but Ciccone has only seemed to strengthen over the course of this climb.

8km to go: Big ring time

This is where the gradient falls to the low single digits and it becomes a fairly straightforward time trial to the finish for Giulio Ciccone. It looks as if he’s on his way to a first victory since before the pandemic. As Rob Hatch has just said, he really has looked a class above today.

12km to go: Ciccone one minute ahead

Bradley Wiggins, on the bike, thinks we’re looking at the stage winner in waiting. The terrain now suiting the Colombian better, Buitrago has eased ahead of Carthy.
The clock shows Guillaume Martin has gained around 90 seconds on the maglia rosa group, which should take him back into the top ten. He should be pleased with that, but you can’t help think it would be easier for him if he could find a way to be more consistent, and lose less time in the first place.

17km to go: Buitrago and Carthy struggling to stay with Ciccone

Ciccone, not only on a very good day, but making the most of his weight advantage, rides away and doesn't look back. The hardest part of the climb complete, the pair behind can and will need to work together to keep the Italian within arm’s reach and then bring him back.

22km to go: Onto the final climb

And just as expected, Ciccone attacks right at the foot of the climb. Buitrago reacts and Carthy grabs hold of his wheel. They know that the road averages 4.4% for the rest of the stage, but with the stretches that suit them all coming in the first half.

27km to go: Martijn Tusveld makes it over to the front four

The DSM Dutchman has descended with poise and precision, sweeping past Rui Costa and showing the Portugese rider how it’s done. That makes six in the lead ahead of the final climb which, although long, is only steep in the early few kilometres. It’ll be hard for the true grimpeurs among them, Carthy, Costa and Ciccone in particular, to gain much advantage. They might not want to hang around on the low slopes. Robbie McEwen thinks it's going to be Santiago Buitrago's day.

36km to go: Onto the descent, back down into the valley

Ciccone goes over the summit in first place to take maximum - and his first - points in the mountains competition. That immediately puts him in 7th place. Bouwman is now back in the peloton so there'll be no more points added to his total today. We'll see him again for the podium presentation.
This looks to be a pretty treacherous descent. By taking a few risks Rui Costa could probably make contact, but based on his cautious cornering it seems he’d rather be safe than sorry. Ciccone, in contrast, is pushing the limits.

42km to go: The yo-yo goes

Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) shipped a load of time yesterday, falling back to 9 minutes plus on GC, which means he’s of little concern to Ineos Grenadiers, who don’t react. Martin soon has more than 30 seconds on the peloton, but he’ll need a lot more to get back into contention. Could jump back into the top ten with a 40 second gain, though.

With the summit looming, Hugh Carthy bridges to the front trio. Ciccone won't be too thrilled to see him, you suspect.

45km to go: Three now in the lead

Ciccone is in no mood to hang around and his repeated accelerations are coming at the irritation of Buitrago and Pedrero. He might be able to do it on his own from here but, still with one long - albeit not particularly challenging - climb to come, you’d think he’d be better off engendering cooperation from them. Rui Costa rides tempo with Hugh Carthy coming back to him. 5km to the top of this climb. Behind, UAE have moved to the front of the peloton and Davide Formolo has taken over from Ineos for the first time.

48km to go: Ciccone attacks from the chase group

With Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) and Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) on his wheel. They catch the three up the road relatively quickly and Ciccone sails on by. Trek Segafredo’s Italian, who was the King of the Mountains in 2019, has had a disappointing Giro by his standards so far. He had been expected to contest the GC but it’s been his team-mate Juan Pedro Lopez who has been the star of that team’s Giro. This could be Ciccone's opportunity to redeem his race.
Update: Koen Bouwman has been dropped, with Van der Poel next to fall away.

52km to go: Next up, the Verrogne

Without wanting to be dismissive of the previous climb, this one is much more of a test. With multiple switchbacks, and a gradient that varies constantly across it’s 13.3km, this is where we’ll find out who has what. We should also know by the summit whether the break can make it to the finish, or if the peloton will drag them back. Mathieu van der Poel, a much more heavyset rider, is having to work to stay with Tusveld and Bouwman on the steep early ramps. Behind them, Merhawi Kudus accelerates from the chasing group, tracked by Nico Denz. Game on.

60km to go: MVDP makes a move on the descent

Taking Martjin Tusveld (Team DSM) with him, the Alpecin Fenix rider charges down the descent and soon has Bouwman in his sights. Soon we will have three “cheesmen” (Copyright Sean Kelly) at the front of the race. Not much valley road before the next climb, but we'll see what they can do together.

65km to go: Remaining KOM points taken atop Pila-les-Fleurs

Natnael Tesfazion (Drone Hopper Giaccatoli) 18 points
Nico Denz (Team DSM) 12 points
Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) 9 points
Merhawi Kudus (EF Education Easypost) 6 points
Harold Alfonso Tejada (Astana Qazakstan) 4 points
Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) 2 points
Luca Colvi (Bardiani-CSF) 1 point

72.3km to go: Bouwman is the new (virtual) King of the Mountains

The Dutchman arrives at the summit with a minute in hand, takes the maximum 40 mountains points and a lead of 17 in that competition. If he can take anything at all on the next climb, he should be on the podium, in blue, at day’s end. Onto the descent with a lead of close to five minutes. Whether it will be a GC day or one for the break remains an open question, at this point.

75km to go: Bouwman pushes on alone

Clearly frustrated with the pace being set by his colleagues, Koen Bouwman accelerates up the road. He already has half a minute over the rest, and has increased his lead over the Ineos-led peloton to 4 minutes. The British team have hardly had to work so far, and still have a full complement of seven riders around Richard Carapaz.

79km to go: JJ Rojas joins the break

To make a total of 28 riders in it. Must have been a long old slog for the veteran Spaniard, former national champion, and one of the stars of the Netflix series, Movistar: The Least Expected Day. Julius van den Berg (EF Education EasyPost) and Lawson Craddock (Bike Exchange Jayco) are the only riders to have been distanced so far, which tells you they've not exactly been stretching themselves on the climb so far. Bouwman shows his interest in the points by being either at or very near the front of the group.

82km to go: What does this climb have in store?

At 12km and 6.9% average gradient, the Pila-les-Fleurs is a category one climb. That means there are a maximum forty points on offer to the first rider to the summit. With current KOM Diego Rosa long gone, at 23 points behind Koen Bouwman (Jumbo Visma) is best-placed to wrest the virtual jersey from the virtual shoulders of the virtual Italian.

87km to go: Dries de Bondt claims the sprint points

One big effort and then an amble to the line for the Alpecin-Fenix rider, crossing the line just before the rest. Riding smart not hard. Nicely done, DDB.
The climbing proper is about to begin and the break has a comfortable head start over the peloton of more than four minutes. Ineos are showing limited interest in slowing them down - more concerned about keeping their team together for as long as possible - we can expect this gap to grow towards ten minutes by the summit of the Pila-les-Fleurs.

92km to go: Life comes at you fast

From no break at all to a whopping great one in the space of a few minutes. There are now 27 riders more than two minutes up the road. Most teams are represented bar the big GC teams. Israel Premier Tech also appear to have missed out, again.
The best placed rider is Thymen Arensman at 11 minutes behind on GC. As it's obligatory to mention Mathieu van der Poel, whenever he is in the break, I will also note that he is in the break.

97km to go: Five more try their luck

Don’t speak too soon but, as the race passes through the narrow streets of the small town of Fenis, another small group has gotten something of a gap. They are…
Rémy Rochas (Cofidis)
Merhawi Kudus (EF Education Easypost)
Erik Fetter (Eolo Kometa)
Lawson Craddock (Bike Exchange - Jayco)
Thymen Arensman (Team DSM)
Behind there seems to have been a much larger lop off the front of the peloton itself. More as we figure it out.

102km to go: Diego Rosa dropped

That’s a strange one. The King of the Mountains, so lively throughout the first half of yesterday’s stage, doesn’t appear to have suffered a mechanical. Maybe he’s just suffering? He waves the camera moto away.

110km to go: “Now is a good time to go.”

Says our commentary team, before adding the qualification that that’s obviously easier said than done. Even if yesterday hadn’t been an utterly brutal one for everyone concerned, we’d still be two weeks into a Grand Tour. The rest day can’t come soon enough for some of this lot.
The elastic is stretching, but it refuses to snap. We’re barely 20km from the intermediate sprint point. Might as well just ride towards it together at this point.

Chute!

You may have caught whispers of an early crash involving our new maglia rosa, Richard Carapaz. Though not an entirely scurrilous rumour, it occurred at relatively low speed, with most caught up enjoying a soft horticultural landing and all getting back on their bikes.

Carapaz, Yates among riders involved in ‘clumsy’ crash

115km to go: It’s all coming back together…

Would you Adam and Eve it? After all the effort that five have put in, as hard as they’ve been working, the break is about to be reabsorbed by the bunch. Onto a somewhat more significant rise than they’ve been on so far, we can now expect another round of attacks, with perhaps a slightly higher chance of one of them establishing itself.

120km to go: A second group goes hunting

Alessandro De Marchi (Israel - Premier Tech), Davide Ballerini (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl) and Alessandro Covi (Trek Segafredo) have clipped themselves off the front. They’re 20 seconds behind the front five, with the peloton a further ten behind. Still the race refuses to settle down. 52kph the average speed so far for the stage. On these wide roads it’s hard for the likes of Ineos to form a barrage and block the road.

131km to go: Five riders off the front

And it’s several of the usual suspects, working reasonably well, with a lead of 10-15 seconds.
Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen)
Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane)
Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Anthony Perez (Cofidis)
Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal)
One of those, Kamna, is not like the others. If he can get up the road he could be a lot of help to Jai Hindley later in the stage. That’s a big if, though. Plenty of riders and teams still eager to make the jump the peloton, still strung out through the valley, isn't ready to sit up yet.

I can be your Giro, baby

Welcome to live coverage of Stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia 2022. If yesterday was a dance around the undulating skirt of the Alps, today sees the race make a beeline for the big mountains of the Valle d’Aosta. Although the climbing proper doesn’t come until km 94, the road rises steadily and consistently by as much as 250m until then. Not enough to cause any issues for this lot, but hardly easy on the legs either.
You join us 35km into the stage and a breakaway is still to stick. With the intermediate sprint arriving right at the foot of the category 1, Pila-les-Fleurs, the sprinters' teams have an interest in efforts to control things. There’s a reasonable chance of the race staying all together until then.

What happened yesterday?

Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia promised much but managed to deliver even more.
Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco), who last Sunday seemed a spent force, rode a race of renewal to claim his second stage of this edition. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) crossed the line in Turin a few seconds back and seized the maglia rosa from the shoulders of a formidable, but finally beaten, Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo).
After a blistering lone attack from Carapaz was thwarted by Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan), Yates turned the trio into a quartet before attacking near the summit of the final climb.
Yates soloed away to a fifth victory at the Giro to banish thoughts of his poorly knee, with Hindley winning the battle behind for second ahead of Carapaz to boost his own GC challenge.
Read the full report here

Stage 14 highlights: Yates wins classic, Carapaz in pink as GC battle detonates

HOW CAN I WATCH THE GIRO ON TV AND LIVE STREAM?

Each and every stage will be broadcast in its entirety on Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, bookended by The Breakaway, presented by Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd. Rob Hatch and Hannah Walker will be in the commentary box with regular contributions from pundits Robbie McEwen, Sean Kelly and Adam Blythe, with Bradley Wiggins doing his thing on the back of a motorbike.

WHEN IS STAGE 15?

Tune in from 11:00-16:45 BST to watch Stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia. Watch uninterrupted coverage on discovery+, or watch from 12:00 on Eurosport 2.
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Stream the Giro d'Italia live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
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