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Giro d'Italia: Stage 16 highlights - Video

GC contenders on the Giro d'Italia's 16th stage

GC contenders on the Giro d'Italia's 16th stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia exceeded any pundit's expectations in terms of drama, but it was not only the high mountains and the attacks of the GC favourites that provided the spectacle.

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), the race leader, was seen curiously drifting back to the team car at a point uncomfortably close to when the fireworks were expected to start. The Dutchman said he simply "could not hold it any longer", and had a desperate pit stop on the verge just before the start of the final climb to the Umbrailpass.

His rivals slowed for a time, but as the climb kicked in, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) couldn't contain himself, and kicked off the attacks, followed by Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

The result, Nibali went solo over the top and used his stellar descending skills to catch early breakaway rider Mikel Landa (Sky), and then out-sprinted him to win the stage, while Dumoulin gave up more than two minutes. He kept the race lead, but only by 31 seconds over Quintana, with Nibali leapfrogging Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) into third.