Bob Jungels won a sprint of the GC riders to take the stage win on stage 15 and make it 5 wins for Quick-Step in this Giro.
Jungels was the best sprinter out of the select group of GC riders that made it to the finish ahead of the main group after Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team initiated an attack in the final few km.
Jungels was the chief protagonist of the attack taking most of the GC riders except Dumoulin with him, with Dumoulin chasing on in the final 2km to get back on terms with the group.
Quintana finished second and Pinot 3rd to claim some time back on Dumoulin with the bonus seconds but Dumoulin will be in a strong position with a lead of 2’41” over Quintana going into the final rest day.
The stage started off with a breakaway of 5 riders which formed after 10km but the peloton wasn’t happy with their make up so worked to bring them back. The gap to Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors), Moreno Hofland (Lotto Soudal), Jan Barta (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina) never got more than 30″ as the peloton tried to bring them and riders kept trying to bridge over and after 100km they were caught.
A second breakaway went which consisted of Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step), Phil Deignan (Team Sky), Julien Amezqueta (Wilier-Triestina), Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), Rudy Molard (FDJ), Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Simone Petilli (UAE) and they were allowed to go further as the peloton sat up.
The break was kept at a lead of around 2′ and as they began the first climb of the day – the category 2 Miragolo San Salvatore – the gap was down to just 45″. The incline soon took its toll on Gaviria who dropped out of the break and, shortly after, out the back of the peloton.
Gaviria wasn’t the only one suffering on the climb and at the summit the only riders left from the break were Deignan, Molard and Janse Van Rensburg.
Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac) had attacked the peloton in a bid to bridge over the the climbers and he formed part of a chasing group which included Barbin and Amezqueta as they tried to make it back up to the leaders. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) followed Rolland’s lead and made it up to the chasers who had 21″ on the peloton and were 34″ behind the leaders.
On the descent Quintana took the wrong line through a corner and crashed, he was soon up and chasing but had to stop again to get a new bike from the team car. Dumoulin and Sunweb immediately took the pace out of the peloton allowing Quintana to get back on before racing began again.
On the category 2 Selvino which was immediately after the descent of the Salvatore, Bahrain-Merida and Orica-Scott were leading the peloton with Sunweb and Dumoulin close behind. The Rolland group had managed to bridge over to the leaders on the descent and climb and it was Rolland who was able to take full mountain points at the top of the climb with the GC-led peloton crossing over 37″ afterwards.
At the foot of the descent the break had managed to keep their lead to 30″ and Sanchez was keen to push on for the stage win, fancying his chances of beating the other riders in a bunch sprint.
The racing was fast paced and the technical run into Bergamo was littered with street obstacles, some unmarked. 7th placed GC rider Tanel Kangert unfortunately struck one of these obstacles, going over hard and having to abandon the race with a broken elbow.
As the breakaway entered the tight, cobbled streets of Bergamo their advantage was just 16″ and on a short, sharp climb about 4km out Rollan tried his luck and attacked the breakaway, who were soon caught by the advancing bunch.
Jungels attacked to move over to Rolland with Nibali going with him along with Pinot, Yates, Pozzovivo, Mollema and the rest of the GC except Dumoulin. Dumoulin managed to TT his way over with 2km to go to create the select group of GC riders who would contest the sprint.
Giro d’Italia 2017 Stage 15: Valdengo>Bergamo (199km)
|Position||Name (Team – Nationality)||Time|
|1||Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux)||4:16:51″|
|2||Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col)||–|
|3||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra)||–|
|4||Adam Yates (Orica-Scott – GBr)||–|
|5||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita)||–|
|6||Patrick Konrad Bora-Hansgrohe – Aut)||–|
|7||Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita)||–|
|8||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned)||–|
|10||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned)||–|
|Position||Name (Team – Nationality)||Time|
|1||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb – Ned)||59:31:17″|
|2||Nairo Quintana (Movistar – Col)||+2’41”|
|3||Thibaut Pinot (FDJ – Fra)||+3’21″”|
|4||Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida – Ita)||+3’40”|
|5||Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha – Alpecin – Rus)||+4’24”|
|6||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo – Ned)||+4’32”|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – Ita)||+4’59”|
|8||Bob Jungels (Quick-Step – Lux)||+5’18”|
|9||Andrey Amador (Movistar – CRc)||+6’01”|
|10||Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo – Ned)||+7’03”