Monster stage 16 of the Giro d'ItaliaTue 26 May 2015
It was another dramatic day on the road for the 16th and queen stage of the 2015 Giro d’Italia.
Having already placed second on stage four, Simon Clarke made the tough bridge across to an early ten-man break in the hope the elastic would snap from the peloton.
It was not to be as a rumble unfolded in the mountains to see Mikel Landa (Astana Pro Team) win his second consecutive stage and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) demonstrate his dominance on general classification despite having to recover from an untimely mechanical.
Colombian Esteban Chaves was first to cross the line for ORICA-GreenEDGE, finishing with the first big group 22minutes down on the winning time of Landa.
“We wanted to put guys in the breakaway in these mountain stages and again the boys have done a good job of getting in there,” sport director Matt White said.
“But they didn’t give the break time to create any substantial gaps when the bigger climbs came and then with all the drama behind, it certainly nullified any time the break managed to get anyway.”
How it unfolded
There was no warming into the 16th and queen stage of the 2015 Giro d’Italia with the first of five categorised climbs coming straight from the start line.
After a number of attempts the first breakaway established with ten riders and Clarke set out in pursuit to make it eleven.
But the elastic was not to snap today as the peloton held them to just a two minute advantage until they decided to light it up from behind.
Astana Pro Team and Team Katusha pushed the pace at the start of the day’s biggest climb whilst race leader Alberto Contador was forced to put in a spirited chase to recover from a mechanical.
Few were left in the mix as Contador recaptured Aru and attacked him with just Landa and Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto Jumbo) for company. Landa was the eventual solo winner escaping on the final climb to the line.