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As it happened: GC favourites battle out stage 16 summit finish in brutal weather


Buongiorno and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 16 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia!

We're only a few hours into the morning and the Giro has been thrown into chaos as teams have unanimously agreed not to participate in Tuesday's stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia unless the course is changed to remove the Umbrail Pass.

Our own Stephen Farrand snapped a picture of the adverse weather conditions from Livigno where teams were set to sign on at the start of Stage 16.
Whether the stage will continue as planned is still uncertain, but if changes are afoot organisers will be racing to work out a solution to transporting the riders to a position where they could safely begin.

Stage 16 was set to feature the Cima Coppi in light of the removal of the Stelvio pass but the new highest peak - Umbrail Pass - is proving just as treacherous as the Stelvio may have been.

There are reports that the decision has already been made to remove the pass, but now RCS must decide how to transport riders to the other side of the pass.

However, elsewhere there are reports that the decision is still yet to be made.

It is still a miserable situation in Livigno and the confusion is still widespread for the peloton. 

Riders appear to standing around in the wet and cold at the start location without any clarity. The Neutralised start in Livigno was scheduled to be in 2 minutes time so that is looking heavily unlikely now. 

Race leader Tadej Pogačar's confusion sums up this very strange Giro d'Italia morning:

"I don't know, I honestly don't know a lot about the situation. From what I can see it is really terrible weather. Already in our hotel, I see snowflakes at 1900m so to go 600 metres more up I think it is full snow so it's quite dangerous to go downhill," he told Eurosport before the stage.

Here's a look at some of the horrid weather along the route from CN's head of news Stephen Farrand en route to the finish of stage 16.

Slightly less diplomatic but likely the correct words from fourth place Ben O'Connor at the start of the day:

There did seem have been a decision made with a neutralised start from Livigno as planned before riding through the Munt la Schera Tunnel into Switzerland and getting back into the team buses.

However, some riders were on the start line for the postponed start time but without the full contingent so headed back to their team buses. Complete confusion in Livigno without anything concrete yet. 

Planned start of the stage is now expected to take place from Spondigna at 14:00 CEST. But who can be sure after such a confusing morning.

OK, some information from our team on the ground - the riders are going to do the neutralised section all in cars instead of riding to the tunnel.

Here's some earlier words from Giro d'Italia director Mauro Vegni to RAI:

A look at just how tough the conditions were going to be on the Umbrail Pass as captured by one of the photographers at the Giro. 

Race leader Tadej Pogačar and his UAE teammates tried to make light of the messy situation at the start. They were in the popular ski resort Livigno after all. 

Full news story on the chaos that descended this morning at the Giro:

Snow, rain, rider protests and confusion end with Umbrail Pass removed from Giro d'Italia stage 16

Amid all the chaos of the morning, there have been two DNSs after the second rest day:

We're around 45 minutes from the new proposed start of stage 16.

Update from that last post: there's been a change of start location just down the road from Spondigna to Lasa with the start time moved to 14:15 with the flag drog expected at 14:30 CEST (13:30 BST).

With some time left until the postponed start, make sure to read this harrowing update on Lizzy Banks' life and career after she endured a tiresome battle to clear her name from a positive doping test.

Here's how the Giro saw the total palaver that unfolded this morning:

A reminder that today's stage is the start of the final week of the Giro d'Italia with Pogačar sitting 6:41 ahead of Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) in second. Catch up with his updates from the rest day below:

The revised route for today's stage:

Just over 20 minutes to go now until the new start in Lasa.

Riders will be getting wrapped up and ready for the restart now with a stage still to content with despite the strange morning. It will only be 120km now and without a dangerous 20km descent to start the day but it will still be far from an easy stage. 

More honest words from the peloton as Luke Plapp similarly hits out against organisers as Ben O'Connor had done earlier: 

Riders are on the line with a possible start incoming from Lasa but there have been murmurings of a possible protest. 

After a dramatic morning, stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia is finally underway. We'll be neutral behind the lead race car for now with the flag drop still to come. 

Official race distance for the day is 118.4km as the Giro resumed after the second race day. 

118.4KM TO GO

More counter attacks are coming with blue jersey wearer Simon Geschke (Cofidis) involved. 


Frigo is still going well out on his own but has an advantage of only eight seconds for now.


Here's the lone leader Frigo on his brave effort out in front. He's no stranger to a Giro breakaway but he's yet to be joined as the attacks continue behind him in the peloton. 

Juanpe López (Lidl-Trek) and Kevin Vermaerke (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) are among the riders in the counter attack which has just caught Frigo. Davide Ballerini (Astana Qazaqstan) also present. 

They only have a slim advantage now with the peloton riding at a strong pace behind. It is Movistar on the front as they are unhappy with the configuration. 


Alaphilippe is with his breakaway companion from stage 12, Mirco Maestri (Polti-Kometa), after the two combined brilliantly as a duo and the Frenchman took a memorable victory.


Sprinter Fernando Gaviria is the man put to work for Movistar on the front, keeping the gap at just 1:41 from the leaders now. 

A rider as recognisable in a rain jacket as any thanks to his style on the bike and facial hair. Here's Alaphilippe launching his move into the day's breakaway. 


The weather is marginally improving temperature wise but the dreadful rainy conditions means it is going to be a brutally long day in the saddle for those in the peloton.

Movistar are still leading the peloton as the race heads fully into the valley. Gap to the leaders is at 2:00. 


The race is heading towards Bolzano, capital of the South Tyrol region and also the first intermediate sprint of the stage. 

A day of staying safe and staying warm for race leader Pogačar in the peloton. He could of course win the stage should a breakaway be kept within reach by Movistar but UAE are yet to hit the front to chase. 

No contest at the intermediate sprint in Bolzano with Ballerini rolling over in first. The roads will begin to head uphill again soon so we could see the sprinters try and mop up the last few points in the city. 

Peloton rolls over the sprint point without much interest in speeding up at all. 

Julius van den Berg (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) has abandoned the Giro d'Italia after his heroic fighting performance to finish last on Sunday's queen stage. 


Gaviria is continuing to do a good job for the climbers in his team with the gap now at 1:12. Here's a look at the upcoming climb - the 23.3km Passo Pinei with the breakaway quartet just a few hundred metres from the start.

Dani Martínez is being moved into best position by his Bora-Hansgrohe team). Way too long for a move but certainly a good time to get ready. 

Average speed has been above 53kph in the shortened stage. 

Pogačar won't be panicking but he is down a key teammate in Mikkel Bjerg. 

Piccolo and Ballerini are struggling to hold on in the break with the steeper roads starting. 

Alaphilippe leaves Maestri and goes solo in the breakaway. His advantage is only at one minute so he would need to find his best legs to stay away from the Movistar-led peloton which is thinning out behind.

Now that it looks like a GC day is imminent in today's finish, here's how the GC sat heading into the final week of the Giro, powered by FirstCycling.


Movistar has settled into a tempo behind, allowing Alaphilippe to build his gap after attacking away from his fellow escapees. The two-time world champ is now at 1:41.

Andrea Pietrobon (Polti-Kometa) is the next to get away from the now slowed-down peloton, trying to gain more Intergiro points. 

They are all our in rain jackets and with umbrellas but it is good to see some fans still out in pretty grim conditions to welcome the riders. 

Alaphilippe still leads solo with his advantage at 1:55. He's still got 25km to go but can he re-find his best form and stay away?

Four of the other men who attacked in the day, Maestri, Pietrobon, Ballerini and Fiorelli have formed an Italian chasing quartet some 1:30 behind Alaphilippe but they will soon be back in the bunch. 

Temperature has dropped significantly as the kilometres tick away on the Passo Pinei. 


Tobias Foss (Ineos Grenadiers) tried to follow Sanchez's move out of the peloton but is struggling to hold his wheel and looks to now be dropping back. 

Lots of moves are being made behind Sanchez to try and get a move going - Jan Tratnik (Visma-Lease a Bike) is among them. 

The move from Sanchez has brought Alaphilippe's gap down to the minute mark. Thankfully for him, he'll have a small descent section before tackling the last 5km of the long climb but it still looks unlikely that he can make it. 

The descent has allowed Alaphilippe to regain 30 seconds and establish a gap back out at 1:35 from the peloton but Sanchez is flying in pursuit and the peloton will go significantly faster up the final climb to Monte Pana. 


Both race leader Pogačar and second place Thomas are staying well towards the front of the peloton in case of any attacks. 


Quintana's work is done and it is now Sanchez pacing. Rubio should be launching his planned attack soon but who will follow him?

There is some serious signs in the peloton of action bubbling over. Pogačar is in just his short sleeve jersey now and looking ready for action. 

Filippo Zana, who started the day in 8th - one place higher than Rubio - also looks to be struggling. 

Rubio was probably near the front too early and let Sanchez pull away again on his own. He was joined by Ewen Costiou (Arkéa-B&B Hotels), who has been one of the most attacking riders at this year's Giro. 

Costiou has got away from Sanchez who looks to have a mechanical issues. Scaroni is trying to join the Frenchman in pursuit of Alaphilippe. 

A final look at the valiant efforts of Alaphilippe in the Dolomites with the peloton now under 30 seconds from his wheel and likely to fight for the stage win. 

UAE look very comfortable in the peloton as they now hit the front of the peloton for Pogačar. This has allowed Alaphilippe to build his advantage again and crest the Passo Pinei with a 40-second advantage. 

Costiou leads a chasing trio with Scaroni and Pellizzari just 16 seconds down on the Frenchman. Scaroni sprints for KOM points which could put him into second in that classification, meaning he will likely wear it tomorrow. 


It's full gritted teeth for Alaphilippe as he heads towards the final climb of the day up to Monte Pana. It will take quite the effort if he is to make it so expect the peloton to burst into life and chase him down. 

Bardet is with two teammates on the downhill and they are trying their best to make it back to the peloton before the final climb. He's around 25 seconds off the back of the peloton.

Pogačar is down to his final man Majka and it could be deja vu from Sunday when the race leader launched from his teammates wheel to all but confirm overall Giro victory barring incident. 

Alaphilippe has been caught by the chasing group on the road now and it looks certain to be a day for the peloton.


Still status quo in the peloton as the pace goes out momentarily from Majka. Pogačar will know he can pull back 20 seconds in a flash on this climb. 

Alaphilippe cracks and it is just three in front as they prepare to hit the hardest part of the climb. Chapeau to the Frenchman for another courageous ride. 


Costiou is making his move in front for Arkéa-B&B Hotels. He's onto the switchbacks and leaving the two Italians in the break but the peloton could yet break his heart. 

Majka is out of the saddle and ramping things up again for the hardest slopes. Pogačar isn't quite on his wheel for now. 

Pellizzari has paced it better and has caught and passed Costiou behind. This would be huge for Bardiani and Italy if he can make it as one of the top young talents from the home nation. 


Costiou reeled in too now and the man in pink is again asserting his dominance at the Giro d'Italia. Pellizzari is in his sights. 

Thomas is with Tiberi and struggling in the cold and wet. He's trying to limit his losses but Martínez could be moving back into second here. 


Pogačar goes solo inside the final 700 metres. He left the young Italian instantly after reaching his wheel and it is stage win number 5 incoming now. 

Martínez is doing brilliant work in the fight for the podium and looks like he will also chase down Pellizzari which would bring in more bonus seconds on the line. This is huge with Thomas really struggling behind. 

Here we go again, Pogačar wins a summit finish and again extends his lead past the seven-minute mark. 

It will be a big loss for Thomas behind with O'Connor also losing time in a bad day for both men. Pellizzari did brilliantly to finish second ahead of Martínez but it is a huge gain for the Colombian. 

The Slovenian holds up a five over the line and he shares a nice moment with Pellizzari after the line, gifting the young Italian his sunglasses and maglia rosa. Signs exactly of why he's a true champion of the sport on and off the bike. Simply incredible and no shame in the young man losing to one of the best ever. 

Pogačar's teammate Rafał Majka revealed the ease of UAE taking the win, with the team not wanting to go for the stage until others pulled and the Slovenian actually wanting to let his teammate go for the victory:

Here's what Pogačar had to say after an incredible fifth win at this year's Giro:

Here's the wonderful moment shared by Pogačar and Pellizzari after the stage. 

Here's a very Italian top 10 result on stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia. Pogačar out of sight with Martínez doing well to finish third on the day to climb back to second on GC. Thomas finished the stage 15th after a tough final climb, some 33 seconds after the Colombian. Powered by FirstCycling.

Make sure to read our full stage report from a typically chaotic day at the Giro d'Italia. 

Here's a look at the GC after stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia, with Geraint Thomas the big loser in the top 10. He lost second spot to Martínez after dropping away during the final climb. He'll have many more chances to get time back and could be forced into more attacking racing with 22 seconds to make up. Powered by FirstCycling.

With today's chaotic and brutally tough stage complete, the pain of the final week doesn't stop there. Stage 17 is  presents another incredibly tough route from Selva di Val Gardena to Passo Broncon. 

That wraps things up for our live coverage of stage 16 at the Giro d'Italia on what was a wild day from postponed start to finish. Check back tomorrow for live coverage of stage 17 and look out for news coming out of the race from our team on the ground in Italy. 

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