Giro d'Italia Stage 16: Survival ModeTue 27 May 2014
The 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia had it all. Three infamous mountain passes. Snow. Poor visibility. Dangerous descents. Pre-race talk of cancellation. Mid-race confusion over neutralisation.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) soloed to victory atop Val Martello. The Colombian broke away from the maglia rosa with a small chase group on the descent of the Passo dello Stelvio. Quintana’s efforts allowed his group of five to overhaul the remaining riders out front from earlier attacks. Despite a valiant effort from Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) to remain in contention for the stage win, Quintana would cross the finish line alone, 8” ahead of Hesjedal and 1’13 ahead of Pierre Rolland (Europcar).
Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) ceded 4’11 to Quintana and slipped to second overall. Quintana moves to the top of the Giro general classification with a 1’41 advantage. Cadel Evans (BMC) currently rounds out the top three at 3’21.
The ORICA-GreenEDGE trio of Ivan Santaromita, Michael Hepburn and Svein Tuft bravely soldiered through the stage. Tuft was the first finisher for the Australian outfit in 111th place in a group that crossed the line nearly 40 minutes behind the stage winner.
COMMENTS FROM SPORT DIRECTOR MATT WHITE
We had a good rest day yesterday. We were stayed up quite high at 1900 metres. We rode down one side of the mountain, had a coffee and rode back up the other side. It was a good little hit out to keep the body moving and be as prepared as possible for today’s stage.
Today, it was just survival for us. It was the toughest day of the Giro and the hardest day to make the time cut. The last group will only have made it by a couple minutes.
Aside from the 60-odd kilometres of climbing, we had snow and temps of one degree Celsius. It was a tough day for sure. Ivan touched down on a descent, and we had to do a couple clothing changes to stay warm, but we survived. We’ll have some opportunities tomorrow and Sunday – and maybe Santa can do something on Saturday.