Stage 15 Review
The 10.8km Individual Mountian Time Trial served a nasty blow to the GC contenders and the field alike, with 8 percent pinches keeping the riders honest, it was a reletively unknown rider that stole the show.
Nibali had mechanical troubles during his ride forcing him to change bikes on the climb. Nibali ultimately lost 2 minutes on current race leader Steven Kruijswijk who looked to be in good form at the first time check some 4.4km in. Chaves started slowly but finished 6th on the stage, 40 seconds off the pace of the eventual winner and moving him to second place on the GC list and in front of Nibali.
Valverde rode well and finished 3rd yesterday but the shock of the Giro came when Kruijswijk crossed the line with what looked to be the fastest time, however, his hopes of the stage victory were quickly derailled when the official times showed 24-year-old Russian Alexander Foliforov from Gazprom-Rusvelo had crossed the line a few hundredths of a second quicker than the race leader.
Foliforov gave his Gazprom team their first ever Giro stage win after he slipped into first on the day. Not known for being a time triallist Foliforov probably surprised himself too.
The best placed Australian was Rory Sutherland riding for Team Movistar back in 34th position, only 2 minutes and 40 seconds of the fastest time.
Monday May 23 is the third rest day for the riders of the Giro, the race will continue on Tuesday May 24.
Stage 15 Podium
1. Alexander Foliforov (Rus) – Gazprom-Rusvelo – 0:28:39
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) – Team LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) – Movistar Team – 0:00:23
4. Sergey Firsanov (Rus) – Gazprom-Rusvelo – 0:00:30
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) – Astana Pro Team – 0:00:36
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) – Orica-GreenEdge – 0:00:40
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) – Team Katusha – 0:00:47
8. Joe Dombrowski (USA) – Cannondale Pro Cycling – 0:00:52
9. Bob Jungels (Lux) – Etixx – Quick-Step – 0:01:04
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) – Tinkoff Team – 0:01:09
General Classification after Stage 15
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) – Team LottoNl-Jumbo – 60:41:22
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) – Orica-GreenEdge – 0:02:12
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) – Astana Pro Team – 0:02:51
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) – Movistar Team – 0:03:29
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) – Tinkoff Team – 0:04:38
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) – Team Katusha – 0:04:40
7. Andrey Amador (CRc) – Movistar Team – 0:05:27
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) – Etixx – Quick-Step – 0:07:14
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) – Dimension Data – 0:07:37
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) – Astana Pro Team – 0:07:55
Stage 16 – BRESSANONE – ANDALO, 132km
The stage is short, yet features long climbs and descents. Over the first 40km, the route runs initially downhill (although the road is deceptively flat) until past Bolzano (intermediate sprint). Here, after clearing the Mendel Pass climb, the road takes a long, undulating descent leading to the foot of the final ascent. The climb is in two parts, the first leading to Fai della Paganella (categorised climb), and the second running all the way up to the finish. 200m before the summit, in the urban area of Fai della Paganella, the climb gradient peaks as high as 15%.
The final 10km are clearly divided into two halves: first a fast-running descent (4km) on wide roads with sharp downhill gradients, then a mild climb (6km), growing steeper, up to 2km from the finish. Next comes a false-flat uphill drag. The finish line lies on an 80m long and 7m wide asphalt home stretch, running gently uphill.