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Stage 16 wrapup: The one that got away

Following the second rest day, the Giro d'Italia entered its final phase with a 210 km stage between Lissone and Varazze. Run in warm, sunny conditions, the stage was very aggressive from the start, with groups constantly trying to get clear to establish a break. But for the first 90 km, Fassa Bortolo and Credit Agricole weren't particularly keen to let anything go without one of their riders in it. Finally a group of 18 escaped before the 100 km mark and was not seen again.

On the climb of Bric Berton with around 55 km to go, the lead group split, with Alessandro Vanotti (Domina Vacanze), Christophe Brandt (Davitamon-Lotto), Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole), Addy Engels (Quick.Step), Dmitry Fofonov (Cofidis) and Frank Schleck (CSC) getting away from the rest. Vanotti tried to escape alone, as did Addy Engels, but neither could stay away from the remainder of the break. The attacks started again at 2 km to go and after Brandt tried, Le Mevel made a nice counter-attack and escaped for his first professional victory, crossing the line with 9 seconds to spare on the Belgian.

The peloton shut down after the break escaped and rolled into Varazze more than 22 minutes behind the leaders, with leader Paolo Savoldelli well protected by his Discovery Channel team. He will start tomorrow's semi-mountain stage from Varazze to Limone Piemonte with a 25 second gap over Danilo Di Luca, who will be looking for a time bonus in the uphill finish.

Also see:

Stage 16 Full results & report

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