Giro d'Italia: Victor Campenaerts wins stage 15

Victor Campenaerts (Team Qhubeka Assos) took his first World Tour victory in stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia into Gorizia. The Belgium time trial specialist attacked out of a large breakaway of 15 riders taking a small group clear. Only Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) was able to live with Campenaerts and the pair were in a tactical battle towards the finish with both riders attacking. 

However, they ended up sprinting for victory with Campenaerts having enough to power past his breakaway companion for victory. With a big mountain stage 16 in prospect on Monday and a tough climbing day in the Dolomites with three climbs at over 2,000 metres before a descent into the finish at Cortina D'Ampezzo, the bunch allowed the breakaway to compete for the stage. 

A relaxed finish for the bunch saw them finish safely at a steady pace over 17 minutes behind the winner. 

“It was fantastic,” said Campenaerts. 

“This morning at breakfast we said ‘what else can we do to make this Giro greater for the team?’ Three victories are just epic, we went all-in for today as it was the last chance to get a good result with the team we have. 

“We gave everything at the start, it was quite dramatic with the crashes. We were already away in the first few kilometres but we did the same thing again. 

“Three guys in the breakaway and we were just so committed. We all had a good result and I took the victory. We try to give everything for each other and we did an amazing race. We were very motivated for the stage. Team Qhubeka Assos had a hard time to stay alive and we did. We now have three great victories from this Giro and I think this is an amazing chance to get a new sponsor for the team." 

In the race for the overall Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) maintained his 1:33 advantage over second placed Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange).

How it unfolded

After taking an emotional victory on stage 13 into Verona, European champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) decided to abandon the race ahead of a stage which he could have targeted. 

However, in a statement ahead of the stage Nizzolo said he had been struggling on the climbs so decided to abandon and recover ahead of the remainder of the season. 

Stage 15 was another test of 147 kilometres for the fast men with three ascents of the Gornje Cerovo to tackle, with a maximum gradient of 15 per cent, with the final ascent coming less than 17 kilometres from the finish the Gorizia finish. 

Straight from the start riders were attacking keen to get into the day’s breakaway on the exposed coastal road out of Grado. 

The frantic start resulted in a big crash four kilometres into the race and the organisers chose to neutralise and then stop the riders while the casualties received assistance. 

Jos Van Emden (Team Jumbo-Visma) was hurt in the crash, as was Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe), who sat sixth on general classification at 2:36 ahead of the stage. 

Both riders were forced to abandon the race along with Natnael Berhane (Cofidis) and Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo) and the race eventually got back underway after around 20 minutes. Straight from the restart, a large breakaway of 15 riders went clear including Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), lead-out man Simone Consonni (Cofidis) and Nikias Arndt (Team DSM), which went clear while the bunch behind called for calm. 

Mollema was the best-placed overall of classification 41:42 back while Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Dario Cataldo (Movistar), Belgium champion Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) also joined him. 

Victor Campenaerts led a trio of Team Qhubeka Assos riders in the breakaway alongside Max Walscheid and Lukasz Wisniowski. A chasing group of four looked to join the leading group but were stuck between a relaxed bunch and a well-working breakaway eventually falling back. 

De Bondt launched a brief attack to take the first immediate sprint at Mariano del Friuli with 95 kilometres remaining while the breakaway had a gap of almost 10 minutes on the bunch. 

On the first of three ascents of the fourth category Gornje Cerovo climb Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) was denied the king of the mountain’s points by a late sprint by De Bont while Mollema finished third. 

Much was the same by the second ascent with 50 kilometres remaining with De Bont skipping clear to take the king of the mountains points ahead of Mollema and Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix). 

The breakaway was set to battle it out for the stage with the bunch setting 11:29 back led by Ineos Grenadiers. With 31 kilometres remaining attacks started from the breakaway for victory with Riesebeek breaking the alliance but marked straight away by Campenaerts. 

On the flat approach to the final climb, Campenaerts attacked again with Riesebeek and Albert Torres (Movistar) responded and despite discussions between the trio about workload they had an advantage of 30 seconds at the bottom of the final Gornje Cerovo over 1.7 kilometres. 

Hermans pushed the pace on the climb and was joined by De Bont in pursuit of the leading trio led by Campenaerts. Fast finisher and track rider Torres gave it everything to keep in contract with Campenaerts and Riesebeek over the steepest part of the climb but lost contact over the top. 

The rain was pouring down in the fast final 16 kilometres into the finish with Campenaerts and Riesebeek giving everything to stay away 28 seconds clear of six chasers remaining from the original breakaway catching Torres. 

Campenaerts took risks on the descent to distance Riesebeek and a lack of co-operation saw the gap drop to 16 seconds with six kilometres remaining as the Alpecin-Fenix rider attacked three times to no avail. 

On a final rise with three kilometres remaining, Riesebeek forced the pressure before Campenaerts attacked pulling out an advantage with 16 seconds to the chasers. 

However, Riesebeek bridged the gap before the last kilometre resulting in a tactical exchange with the chasers closing in. 

Riesebeek led the sprint out but Campenaerts had enough to power by to deny him victory while Arndt led home five riders remaining from the breakaway to take third. 

 “I think it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and maybe I made a mistake,” said Riesebeek.  “Of course he (Campenaerts) was also really strong and it’s hard after 15 days. I’m really disappointed. I tried to sprint but Campenaerts came.” 

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 3:25:25
2Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
3Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM 0:00:07
4Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
5Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:09
8Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:44
9Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:02
10Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos
11Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
12Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Qhubeka Assos
13Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
14Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
15Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:09
16Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:17:21
17Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
18Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
19Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
20Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
21Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
22Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
23Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
24Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange
25Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
26Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
27Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
28Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
29Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
30Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
31Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
32Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
33Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
34Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
35Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
36Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
37Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
38Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
39Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
40Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
41Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
42Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo
43Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
44Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
45Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
46Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
47Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
48Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
49Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation
50Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
51Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
52Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
53Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
54Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
55Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
56Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cofidis
57Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
58Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
59Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
60Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
61Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
62Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
63Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
64Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
65Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
66Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
67Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
68Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
69Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
70João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
71Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
72Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
73Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
74Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
75Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
76Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
77Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
78Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
79Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
80Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
81Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
82Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
83Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
84Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
85Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
86Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
87Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team
88James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
89Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
90Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team
91Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
92George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
93Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
94Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
95Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
96Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM 0:17:39
97Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
98Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
99Umberto Marengo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
100Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
101Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
102Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
103Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
104Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
105Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
106Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
107Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
108Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
109Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
110Mark Christian (GBr) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
111Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
112Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
113Edward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
114Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
115Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
116Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
117Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
118Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
119Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
120Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
121Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
122Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
123Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
124Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
125Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
126Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
127Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
128Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
129Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
130Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) Trek-Segafredo
131Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
132Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
133Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
134Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
135Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
136Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
137Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:17:52
138Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
139Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
140Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
141Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
142Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
143Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
144Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
145Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:18:50
146Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:19:13
147Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates 0:20:04
148Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
149Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation
150Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
151Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
152Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:23:13
153Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
154Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:23:16
DNFNatnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis
DNFJos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
DNFEmanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNSGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
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Sprint 1 - Mariano Del Friuli km. 53.7
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 12
2Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 8
3Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 6
4Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team 5
5Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 4
6Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 3
7Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team 2
8Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates 1
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Sprint 2 - Gorizia km. 147
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 25
2Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 18
3Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM 12
4Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis 8
5Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 6
6Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team 5
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 4
8Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team 3
9Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates 2
10Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 1
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Mountain 1 - Gornje Cerovo km. 67.6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 3
2Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 2
3Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 1
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Mountain 2 - Gornje Cerovo km. 99.1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 3
2Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 2
3Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 1
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Mountain 3 - Gornje Cerovo km. 130.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 3
2Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 2
3Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team 1
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Bonus Sprint 1 - Nova Gorica km. 142.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:03
2Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:02
3Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM 0:00:01
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Young Riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 3:26:27
2Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
3Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:07
4Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:16:19
5Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
6Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
7Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
8Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
9Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
10Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
11Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
12Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
13Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
14Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
15Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
16Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
17Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
18Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
19Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
20João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
21Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
22Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
23Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
24Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
25Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
26Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
27Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
28Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
29Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech 0:16:37
30Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
31Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
32Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
33Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
34Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
35Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
36Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
37Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
38Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
39Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
40Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
41Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:16:50
42Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:22:11
43Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
44Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:22:14
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Qhubeka Assos 10:18:19
2Movistar Team 0:16:08
3Alpecin-Fenix 0:16:19
4Lotto Soudal 0:17:46
5Team DSM 0:32:45
7Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8Trek-Segafredo 0:32:47
9Groupama-FDJ 0:33:40
10UAE Team Emirates
11Ineos Grenadiers 0:49:59
12Team BikeExchange
13Astana-Premier Tech
14Bahrain Victorious
15EF Education-Nippo
17Bardiani CSF Faizane'
19Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
21AG2R Citroën Team
22Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:50:17
23Israel Start-up Nation 0:50:30
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General classification after stage 15
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 62:13:33
2Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:01:33
3Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:51
4Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:57
5Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:11
6Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:03
7Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:03:52
8Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:54
9Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:04:31
10Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:05:37
11Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ 0:07:49
12Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:07:50
13João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:08:32
14Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:09:52
15Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:10:15
16George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:48
17Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:14:25
18Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:16:04
19Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:16:07
20Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious