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.
"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." - Sport Director Matt White
|1||Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) - Movistar Team||4:42:35|
|2||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) - Garmin Sharp||0:00:08|
|3||Pierre Rolland (Fra) - Team Europcar||0:01:13|
|4||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) - Belkin Pro Cycling Team||0:03:32|
|5||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) - AG2R La Mondiale||0:03:37|
|6||Fabio Aru (Ita) - Astana Pro Team||0:03:40|
|7||Rafal Majka (Pol) - Tinkoff-Saxo||0:04:08|
|8||Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) - Team Sky||0:04:11|
|9||Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|10||Cadel Evans (Aus) - BMC Racing Team||0:04:48|
|111||Svein Tuft (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:39:33|
|139||Michael Hepburn (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:44:07|
|147||Ivan Santaromita (Ita) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|