Visconti wins stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia

Movistar's Giovanni Visconti produced a superb stage-winning performance to claim what was probably the best win of his career as he finished alone in falling snow on the Col du Galibier. Visconti was one of a small group of riders who jumped away near the top of Mont Cenis in the search for mountains points and then increased their advantage on the descent off that climb and the run through the valley to the foot of the Col du Télégraphe. Visconti went clear of the group on the Télégraphe, cleared the summit with a lead of 40 seconds and maintained his advantage all the way up to the finish next to the Marco Pantani monument, 4km below the programmed finish.

"I can't still believe I won in such a mythical climb like this. It's been a really hard year for me and I gave everything in of my heart for this victory," said Visconti.

"I didn't have any energy left for the finale, so it was my mind that got me through the climb today. It's a honour for me to win in front of the Pantani monument. I was born on January 13 like him, and I'm sure he helped me a bit today. This is the real me, not the rider you saw over the past one and a half years. All my team-mates and the staff were so happy for me because they know what I've gone through. [Movistar manager] Eusebio Unzué was always there supporting me and used to repeat a sentence I tried not to forget: 'The one who is strong will always remain strong.' I kept it in mind for every single metre today.

"This is a proof of sacrifice paying off, giving you a reward sooner or later. I hope this victory will be a turning point in my career, because I'm who goes well when they are confident. I hope I won't be fighting 'only' for national championships, but also for other kinds of races. For the time being, I don't expect anyone will sleep better than me tonight. This one is for my family, my kids. They are my life, my oxygen. I won thanks to them."

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) easily nullified all attempts to threaten his race lead, finishing in a group with all of his major rivals a minute down on Visconti. A number of riders tried to escape from this group, including Nibali himself at one point, but none of them managed to make an attack stick in the freezing conditions.

The icy weather not only resulted in the stage finish being moved several kilometres down the Galibier, but also led to a truce being declared in the peloton until the summit of Mont Cenis was almost in sight. Nearing it, mountains leader Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole) and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) went clear. They were caught on the descent off the climb by a chase group that included Visconti, Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini) and Paolo Longo Borghini (Cannondale).

Their lead rose to almost six minutes as they approached the Col du Télégraphe. Weening tried hard to escape the group on this climb, but Rabottini and Visconti came back up to him. Visconti responded with an attack of his own and pushed his lead out to 42 seconds crossing the Télégraphe.

He sped down into Valloire, which sits in the dip between this pass and the Galibier, then started up the 13km ascent to the snow-shrouded finish. Rabottini made a vain attempt to chase down Visconti, but eventually fell back to the maglia rosa group, which was closing in rapidly behind.

Nibali’s Astana team-mates never looked in danger of losing control of that group. They were happy to let Robert Gesink (Blanco) go clear on the Télégraphe and allow Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel), Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack) and Sergio Henao (Sky) to join him, holding them at around 30 seconds before steadily reeling them in. Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel) showed his form is getting better day by day with an attack from 5km out, but he too ended up back with the Astana-led group.

Coming into the final kilometre, four riders did finally manage to slip away from Nibali and his henchmen, among them the two riders battling for the young rider jersey. Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) held it, but lost out in the sprint for second on the stage to Carlos Betancur (Ag2r) and for third to Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre). The 12 bonus seconds Betancur gained enabled him to leapfrog Majka into the white jersey for stage 16 on Tuesday.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team4:40:48
2Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:42
3Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-MeridaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 3 - Cell 2
5Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia0:00:47
6Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:54
7Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 9 - Cell 2
11Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack LeopardRow 10 - Cell 2
12Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:58
13Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 12 - Cell 2
14Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:01:00
15Yury Trofimov (Rus) KatushaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:01:06
17Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:01:09
18Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia0:01:24
19Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team0:01:27
21Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:39
23Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:49
25Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:01:52
27Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia0:01:55
28Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:02
29Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling0:02:04
30Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:02:12
31Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:27
34Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:02:34
35Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:47
36Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:58
37Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:05
38Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling0:03:23
39Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida0:03:26
41Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:03:41
43Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 42 - Cell 2
44Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:03:55
45Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:04:33
46Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling0:04:59
47Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:05:13
48Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team0:05:28
49Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling0:06:32
50Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:07:07
51Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 50 - Cell 2
52Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli0:07:09
53Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Argos-Shimano0:09:53
54George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack LeopardRow 53 - Cell 2
55Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 54 - Cell 2
56Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 56 - Cell 2
58Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack LeopardRow 57 - Cell 2
59Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 58 - Cell 2
60Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La MondialeRow 59 - Cell 2
61Vladimir Gusev (Rus) KatushaRow 60 - Cell 2
62Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 61 - Cell 2
63Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:09:59
64Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia0:10:02
65Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:10:53
66Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling0:11:02
67Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 66 - Cell 2
68Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ0:11:55