Chaves up to second overall after individual time trial on stage fifteen of the Giro dâ€™ItaliaMon 23 May 2016
Stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia saw Colombian contender Esteban Chaves produce another incredible ride for ORICA-GreenEDGE to finish in sixth place on the day and move up to second in the general classification.
Chaves, the winner of yesterday’s Queen stage, rode out of his skin in today’s 10.8kilometre race against the clock with the 26-year-old gaining time on all but one of his rivals and moving into second ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
Chaves is now two minutes twelve seconds down on race leader Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo).
“The feeling is really good after these two stages in the mountains,” said Chaves. “Today was very hard but we are happy because we gave the maximum amount of effort that we could and we got a good result.”
“There is still a long way to go and we will continue to ride as we have been doing and stay positive going into the next stage.”
Sport director Matt White was over the moon after another fantastic performance from Chaves at a crucial point in the race.
“It was an extremely tough course today,” said White. “There could be better uphill time trials for Esteban (Chaves), but nonetheless he rode this one to perfection.”
“It was very fast and flying at the start and he showed himself to be one of the fastest guys on the climb out of the whole field.
“We can look forward to some hard stages and competition in the last week. There are thousands of metres of climbing to come and lots of racing but we are super happy to be in this position after another great day.”
How it happened:
Another beautiful sunny day in the mountains welcomed the riders to the start of stage fifteen of the Giro d’Italia, a 10.8kilometre uphill individual time trial from Castelrotto to Alpe di Siusi.
The first rider down the ramp for ORICA-GreenEDGE was Michael Hepburn who posted a time of 34minutes for the challenging course. Hepburn was followed by Canadian Svein Tuft with a time of 35minutes 23seconds.
The best early time was set by Aleksey Rybalkin (Gazprom-Rusvelo) who completed the climb in 30minutes 36seconds then settled down for a spell in the ‘hot seat’.
Next up for ORICA-GreenEDGE was Luka Mezgec with 35minutes four seconds followed by New Zealander Sam Bewley who crossed the line in 35minutes 16seconds.
The four big engines of ORICA-GreenEDGE had all finished as the start order wound its way down the general classification with the team’s four climbers now warming up.
Ian Boswell (Team-Sky) knocked Rybalkin out of the ‘hot seat’ with a time of 30minutes four seconds as Ruben Plaza crossed the line in 31minutes 38seconds. Fresh from his epic breakaway exploits on stage fourteen Plaza recorded the fastest team time so far for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
Fellow Spaniard Amets Txurrruka was the next rider home for ORICA-GreenEDGE marginally slower than Plaza, Txurruka finished in 32minutes 11seconds with Boswell still in the ‘hot seat’.
Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) was the first rider to break 29minutes posting a time of 28minutes 39seconds to take over from Boswell in virtual first place.
Former under-23 world time trial champion Damien Howson was the last ORICA-GreenEDGE rider before Chaves and the young Australian completed the course in 33minutes seven seconds.
Foliforov’s time was holding as one by one the race favourites made their way out onto the road one minute after the other. Chaves, Nibali and Kruiswijk set off in that order with the Colombian the first of the top three onto the climb and 34seconds down at the first time check.
Chaves produced another stunning effort completing the course in 29minutes 19seconds with Nibali suffering a mechanical then a bike change in the final couple of kilometres losing over a minute to the ORICA-GreenEDGE rider.
Kruijswijk retained the pink race leader’s jersey by finishing second on the stage a fraction of a second slower than stage winner Foliforov. Chaves took sixth on the day and moved up to second in the general classification.
Tomorrow is the third and final rest day of this year’s Giro d’Italia with stage sixteen taking place on Tuesday, another mountain stage covering 132kilometres from Bressanone to Andalo. The stage includes the infamous Mendel Pass/Passo della Mendola that comes before the final climb of the day the Paganella with brutal gradients of 15%.
Giro d’Italia stage fifteen ITT results:
1. Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) 00:28:39
2. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) ST
6. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:40
General classification after stage fifteen:
1. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) 60:41:22
2. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:02:12
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 00:00:51