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Riders suffer in freezing conditions on stage 16 of Giro d'Italia

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A cold and wet day out on the Mortirolo for the riders on stage 16 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia

A cold and wet day out on the Mortirolo for the riders on stage 16 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Connor Dunne comes in with the gruppetto

Connor Dunne comes in with the gruppetto
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jow Dombrowski in the breakaway on stage 16 at the Giro

Jow Dombrowski in the breakaway on stage 16 at the Giro
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Chris Hamilton in the Tour Down Under's white jersey after stage 4

Chris Hamilton in the Tour Down Under's white jersey after stage 4
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
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Reto Hollenstein chases up La Covatilla during stage 9

Reto Hollenstein chases up La Covatilla during stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)
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Richard Carapaz rides through the fog on the Mortirolo climb during stage 16

Richard Carapaz rides through the fog on the Mortirolo climb during stage 16
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the Giro d'Italia blue 'king of the mountains' jersey-wearing Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was busy warding off any thoughts of being cold by winning stage 16 to Ponte di Legno on Tuesday, behind him – and behind the warring GC contenders – many of the riders were just fighting the wild, wet and windy weather, with thoughts of making it back to the warmth of their team buses.

Incredibly, given the weather conditions, Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane) and AG2R's Tony Gallopin – the latter having suffered with a knee injury in recent days – were the day's only two non-finishers, with no one finishing outside the limit. Trek-Segafredo's Will Clarke was the last man home in 145th place, 43:41 behind his teammate, stage winner Ciccone.

Coming in just a couple of minutes ahead of him was Irish road race champion Conor Dunne (Israel Cycling Academy), who revealed in a tweet afterwards just how hard a day it had been.

"So, so cold down that descent," Dunne wrote of the Mortirolo. "Poured hot tea all over myself to try to warm up on the valley road to the finish."

EF Education First's Joe Dombrowski, who finished eighth on the stage, was quick to reply with some advice.

"Just pee in your shorts, mate," wrote the American, possibly revealing the secret of his success on his way to his top-10 placing.

Posting his message while still stuck in traffic, Dunne was nevertheless happy to have ABBA playing on the team bus to keep up morale. Seeing plenty of Irish supporters on the Mortirolo had also helped, Dunne wrote.

"Summer's day in Dungarvan, that," he joked, referring to the Irish town on the south coast between Cork and Waterford.

Australia's Chris Hamilton, who finished 36th on the stage, just 10 minutes on Ciccone, posted a picture of himself riding up the Mortirolo with a rain jacket gripped between his teeth.

"That was a big day out. I swear I got it on by the bottom," the Team Sunweb rider joked of the rain jacket.

Katusha-Alpecin's Reto Hollenstein perhaps summed the mood of the peloton up best, tweeting about the tough stage, but wishing for a return of some sunshine to the race.

"Hope the sun is soon back in Italy," the Swiss rider wrote. "Sixteen stages done. Five to go."