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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 15


Welcome to live coverage of the Giro d'Italia stage 15 from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio.

Welcome to the second high mountain stage of this Giro d'Italia to Madonna di Campiglio. Mercifully for the riders it's dry today. There is even some blue sky in sight through the clouds above.

The news this morning is that Richie Porte will continue the Giro d'Italia, despite hinting yesterday that he might call it quits.

Yesterday was a very tough day for the peloton, with the longest time trial in six years and rain falling hard throughout. There's going to be a few sore legs today. Vasil Kiryienka salvaged the day for Team Sky with the victory, this is how it finished yesterday.

The riders are currently signing on, red jersey wearer Elia Viviani is on stage at the moment.

Of course yesterday's stage has a huge impact on the overall classification with Alberto Contador taking back the pink jersey from Fabio Aru. He now has a 2:28 lead over the Italian.

We're 15 minutes away from the neutral start and there is a flurry of riders coming to sign on and they're now queuing to put pen to paper ahead of the stage.

Former race leader and white jersey wearer Fabio Aru has said a few words to the media and is now being introduced to the crowd. He recieves a very big cheer.

Aru had a very disappointing day yesterday. He'd been working in the wind tunnel over the winter but it didn't pay dividends. He was fairly pragmatic though when he spoke to the media afterwards. Read what he had to say after the stage.

The last of the riders make their way on stage, including maglia rosa Alberto Contador but only after a brief chat with Androni Giocattoli boss Gianni Savio.

In his column for Gazzetta dello Sport, Paolo Bettini speculated that Alberto Contador might attack with 2km to go to deal another psychological blow to his rivals.

Today's stage is just the second in the high mountains, and sees the riders take on three classified climbs, two of which are first category. Here's what the parcours looks like today.

The jersey wearers are all lined up and ready to go as the last of the riders join the back of the peloton.

And the riders are off through the short neutralised section.

If you're just joining us as the riders pass through the neutralised section, we can confirm that Richie Porte is riding today.

Alberto Contador's boss Oleg Tinkov flew into Italy yesterday to see his star rider take back the pink jersey. The Russian was very vocal in his belief that Contador will take the pink jersey all the way to Milan.

Alberto Contador on the start this morning.

It's been another big week for the general classification and today's stage could see some more shake ups. We'd like to hear your thoughts on what might happen today.

The riders are finally underway on this 165km ride to Madonna di Campiglio.

Confirmation that 177 riders signed on and we have two non-starters today, and they are Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing) and Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli). Vandewalle put in a good time during yesterday's time trial to finish 12th. He is the first rider to leave for Trek while Gatto is Androni's second abandon.

149km remaining from 165km

Today's stage finishes at Madonna di Campiglio for only the second time in the Giro's history. The first time it hosted a stage finish was in 1999 where Marco Pantani stormed to victory in the pink jersey and had all but won the overall classification. Less than 24 hours later, Pantani was leaving the race after he tested for elevated haematocrit levels.

The quick pace continues and peloton is still all together.

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Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) and Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani CSF) have gone off the front of the group.

127km remaining from 165km

125km remaining from 165km

122km remaining from 165km

119km remaining from 165km

A problem for Juan Jose Lobato as the road goes up, looks like he dropped his chain. He got a helping hand from a Bardiani rider so he could keep moving.

115km remaining from 165km

Attacks continue to come on the Fricca, the average speed over the first hour of racing has been speedy 47.9kph.

113km remaining from 165km

Giavanni Visconti is also part of that group and he has tried to move clear, with an Orica-GreenEdge rider chasing him down.

Zakarin has gone with them and they've got a small lead on the chasers.

The Orica GreenEdge rider is Esteban Chaves.

Chaves has been dropped and it's just Visconti and Zakarin out front. Intxausti appears to be not too far behind them.

Here's how it looks out the moment, we've got Visconti and Zakarin up front, being chased by Intxausti. Behind the mountains classification leader is a four-man group, which contains Chaves. The peloton are behind that four-man group.

Problem for Damiano Cunego, he appears to have crashed in the middle of the group. Unclear how he managed to come off going uphill.

Intxausti has joined Visconti and Zakarin to make it a three-man group out front.

108km remaining from 165km

Hang on we finally have sight on a five-man group who are trying to join the leaders, they are currently 18 seconds down.

106km remaining from 165km

There is no contest and Intxausti takes the points easily. The peloton is only 46 seconds behind them at the top of this climb.

Behind them, Gilbert has attacked from the peloton. Interesting tactic by the BMC rider.

101km remaining from 165km

Visconti is also hammering it down the descent and he's left his escape companions behind. They can't even see him as he flies around each bend.

Pauhlino was briefly with Siutsou on that descent but the Tinkoff-Saxo rider has dispatched with his companion and has cut the gap to the three leaders down to 25 seconds.

92km remaining from 165km

Contador is left with five men on the front of the peloton as we head into the final 90km of racing. The Spaniard has a man up the road and he's clearly trying to put Astana and Aru to bed while he has them on the back foot after yesterday's time trial.

The rest of the Tinkoff team have moved up to join the maglia rosa at the front of the peloton but they've let a counter attack go up the road, and indication that the pace is steady rather than frantic. The idea being that they want to see Paulinho establish a decent lead before the final climb of the day. The riders in the counter attack are Dupont, Montaguti, Rosa, and Siutsou.

And on the descent the leading groups has merged with Paulinho just drifting to the pack and policing his escape companions.

A couple more riders have joined the break: Gavazzi and Bookwalter, according to race radio. Movistar in a strong position though with two men in the break as they look to secure the KOM jersey.

Visconti is the highest place rider on GC in the move, 6'04 down on Contador. Movistar's ambitions of a stage, the KOM and moving Visconti into the top ten can dovetail nicely with Contador's overall aim of winning the race, and both teams are wise to this scenario. The gap to the break has moved out to 1'20 with 78km to go.

Visconti looks to be letting his top ten ambitions go though because he's on the front and setting the pace for the break. His work takes the gap out to 1'54 as Tinkoff ease the pace slightly back in the bunch.

Here's where we were coming into the stage in terms of the KOM and with Intxausti the only rider in the top five to make the break, the blue jersey is finding a permanent home at Movistar.

Paulinho continues to just sit at the back of the break. Tosatto sets the pace and Contador pulls out of the line to just check on his gears.

The leaders would normally mind that Paulinho isn't working but there's an unspoken agreement  - it seems - that Tinkoff will let this move establish a lead if Paulinho's presence isn't questioned.

Rosa drifts back and seems to be trying to match Paulinho's tactic or is trying to encourage the Tinkoff rider to come through and work.

Visconti continues to pull the break on a gentle rising climb and the gap continues to go out, it's up to 2'41 now.

Matteo Tosatto continues to lead the peloton and he'll do that as they approach the second climb of the day, the Passo Daone.

The peloton now pass through the feedzone with 69km of racing remaining. Meanwhile the Tinkoff car reaches Paulinho and there's a brief discussion.

Uran is just off the back of the bunch at the moment and is being paced back to the main group. No crash, it looks like he just stopped for a comfort break after the feedzone.

105km remaining from 165km

We're closing in on the second climb of the day and we're happy to say that Bobby Julich will be joining us shortly for the rest of the stage.

Paulinho continues to anchor himself to the back of the lead break even though a few riders have drifted back and made their feelings known. At the back of the peloton a few riders are starting to suffer and gaps are opening up on the climb as Tosatto sets the pace.

And there are attacks from the break and Visconti and Siutsou have taken off.

CN: Bobby what did you make of yesterday's TT and the affect it had on the GC?

Well, everyone knew that it was coming and definitely caught out some of the GC favourites. Obviously Contador has to be happy with the time that he gained on the others after his crash the day before.

Dupont has made it three men at the front and it looks like the chasers are easing up slightly. Bookwalter makes it four leaders up the road.

CN: Is that what you'd do as  GC rider? Train on the TT bike one day and then back it up with a day in the mountains on your road bike?

Visconti pushes on, he clearly isn't too concerned about the KOM jersey and he's looking for a possible stage win. We're into the final 50km of racing today and the race is building up nicely.

Rosa, the KOM jersey, Rosa and the rest of the early break are about to be caught by the bunch so that leaves us with four riders up the road and the gap at 3'03.

Porte, meanwhile, is bringing Porte closer to the front of the peloton. The Team Sky rider just looking to get through the stage today and possibly go for a stage win next week. The last few days have been a huge disappointment for the Team Sky leader.

CN: Are you expecting another attack from Contador today and do you think he can put the race to bed?

Julich: The gaps between him and the others is getting bigger and Alberto has shown in the past that he recovers better than anyone in Grand Tours.

46km go to and the gap moves out to 3'21. Visconti moving into the top ten as things currently stand but there's still a long way to go. The Italian will be more concerned with the possible stage win but he'll want a much bigger gap before starting the final climb of the day.

The pace rises at the front of the peloton and Juul Jensen takes over.

CN: Bobby, what’s left for the others in the race? I mean can you see Aru still winning the race or his simply racing for second?

The four leaders start the Passo Daone with 2'37 on the peloton. It's a climb that's over 8km in length and it should see the peloton split to pieces because Tinkoff are setting a furious pace as they head to the lower slopes.

Julich: This is gut check time for Richie. This is his best chance in recent years to lead his team in a GT and he has to take advantage of it. With the season that he has had, it is a bit normal to struggle a bit, but he is a champion and part of that is showing the “grinta” that it takes to turn the tables when things are going your way. The look on his face and body language when he crossed the line after the crash compared to that of Alberto said a lot.

And we're down to just three men in the break as Bookwalter starts to struggle. Contador, meanwhile, looks good as he lets his team set the pace.

Visconti is determined to see this move at least take the climb, as he leads his two companions. Their gap is down to 2'12 though.

Julich: I expect there to be some action on the Passo Daone, but the real race will happen on the Madonna di Campiglio. A lot of climbing here in the last 40km!! So if you are struggling, you can easily bleed minutes.

Zardini has attacked from the peloton but with the Tinkoff pace setting the Bardiani rider is setting himself up for an almost impossible mission.

Julich: It is a very prestigious stage to win and doing it in the leaders jersey has to be in the back of Alberto's mind.

More and more riders are dropped from the peloton, Gilibert included in that set.

And Richie Porte is being dropped. 37km to go.

He's alone and climbing without any help from his team.

Astana have now taken up the pace setting with two men on the front of the vastly reduced peloton. The gap is at 1'55 to the four leaders but Porte will lose minutes today.

Julich: Richie has that same look on his face I mentioned before and looks like his Giro will soon be over one way or another. When you have a goal, you have a purpose and that makes all the pain and suffering worth it. When you lose that purpose you start to look towards the next goal and you can’t do that in a GT.

Contador is now down to just two men and now we see Uran suffering. The Etixx rider has been dropped and his losing time. His team are pacing him but this is a worrying sign from last year's runner-up.

Uran is tapping out a rhythm but he doesn't look at all comfortable as he continues to lose ground. Aru is just on Contador's wheel for now though as his team continue to set the pace on the climb. 36km left of the stage remaining.

Julich: Yes, many of the favourites loosing contact and the race hasn’t really even started yet. Just shows how tough this first two weeks has been on everyone.

We see Zardini caught by the peloton. He apparently had a fan club out on the road, hence his attack.

Rogers appears to be Contador's only teammate left already at this stage. No sign of Krueziger at this stage.

Basso and Kreuziger are just off the back of the maglia rosa group. They'll look to limit their loses and then chase back on the descent. It's important for them that Contador isn't totally isolated later in the stage.

Van den Broeck is there, Betancur, Kruijswijk and Konig.

Julich: Sure Alberto would like to have more riders with him for sure, but they have put in a massive effort the entire race. Question is what will Astana be able to do with the numbers against Alberto? You can sometimes turn the other teams riders into helpers for you.

Cunego is starting to struggle off the back of the maglia rosa group. Not a good sign for the 2004 race winner. The three man break now have 1'46 with 33km to go.

Tiralongo is on the front, Rogers, and then Contador and Aru.

Six riders from Astana left in the maglia rosa group.

Kruijswijk looks strong and is just to Contador's right as the maglia rosa group continues to shed riders.

Up ahead, the three leaders have 1'45 over the peloton. Cunego is losing more ground and is around 30m back on the Contador group. Cataldo has been dropped too.

Bookwalter is about to be caught by the Tiralongo express.

Julich: There is only Aru that is within 2.5min, the others are more around 5min. That is why the differences that Alberto made in the TT are so important. If they were all around 2-3min it would make things much more tactical.

Dupont is just hanging on a bit as we approach the top of the climb. Siutsou leads but Visconti jumps over the top and takes the maximum number of points available.

Intxausti has attacked from the peloton as he looks to consolidate his lead in the KOM. He comes over the top ahead of his main rivals for the jersey. The maglia rosa group is down to just the top riders, maybe 30 left.

26km remaining from 165km

No time gaps to either Porte or Uran but both were dropped on the last climb.

There's a crash and Atapuma and Kreuziger both down. The BMC riders is back on his bike and chasing on the descent.

Five Astana riders on the front and Astana have five men on the front and Contador is on his own. Amador is also in this group.

Konig is here, just between Aru and Contador. Caruso is also in the group too.

Rogers isn't there though so Contador is alone for all of the final climb.

Anton was in that crash and is back with the medial car. Rogers is in a second group on the road and he will not make contact with the leaders again today.

The maglia rosa group is down to less than 15 riders with 21km to go.


Suitsou has dropped back to the Aru/Contador group in order to pace Konig. The gap to the two leaders is down to just 14 seconds with 17km to go.

And Dupont is the lone leader as he approaches the final climb of the day to Madonna di Campiglio.

And Conador has just sprinted out and taken two seconds at the intermediate sprint. Astana have been pace setting for so long but the race leader is laying down an important sign for the climb. He wants every second and he's showing that he will not be controlled by Astana.

Onto the final climb now with Dupont just 13 seconds ahead of the maglia rosa group. Five Astana against Contador.

But Dupont is about to be caught with 14km to go .

Van den Broeck, Uran and Kreuziger are in the second group on the around at around 20-30 seconds.

Hesjedal is attacking from the chase group.

Contador is watching Aru like a hawk at the moment.

And we head into the final 12km of the stage.

Julich: Looking at the profile of this last climb, I think if Astana/Aru have to wait until the last 3km to light it up. That is 10km from now, so this is a perfect example of what I mentioned earlier about using the other team’s riders as your teammates.

Dupont is starting to struggle at the back of the maglia rosa group.

Aru looks comfortable at the moment as he sits behind his teammates as the gradient rises to 6.4 per cent.

Contador just has to wait for now and see who makes a move. He has a decent gap on GC and it's up to others to put him under pressure and to try and crack him.

And Tiralongo sets the pace and it lifts straight away.

Visconti is now at the back of the maglia rosa group, along with Monfort.

The maglia rosa group is down to around a dozen men at the moment with 10.7km to go. Contador now has Aru on his wheel.

It looks like Betancur has been dropped too.

Hesjedal continues his lone battle and comes by Dupont with 9.3km to go.

Aru is down to just three teammates as Tiralongo sets the pace for the dozen or so riders left in this group. Geniez is still in there. Porte though is at eight minutes at the moment.

Tiralongo has popped and now Aru is let with two men. 8.7km to go until the finish. Who will attack first, Aru or Contador?

One by one they're being distanced and Monfort is the next rider to lose contact.

Contador is third in wheel now, just behind Aru's two remaining men.

Julich: Everything still to play for here and interested who will be the first to test the waters…. Many of the guys look happy with the current pace, but it is hurting everyone.

The magalia rosa group down to nine, Geniez, Trofimov, Kruijswijk, Konig and Amador still there.

But now the FDJ rider is slipping back.


159km remaining from 165km

The gradient dips to 3.4 per cent.

Kangert leads Landa with Contador and Aru just a little further back. The rest of the riders are just looking to consolidate their places on GC for now.

Julich: Remember that they are getting quite high, and this is where the riders that spent time at altitude before the Giro will have an advantage. Pretty much sure that most if not all of the riders in the front group have prepared like this.

Into the final 5km to and we're about to hit a 12 per cent section. That's where the attacks will come.

Just 3km to go and the road is about to rise up once more.

Landa attacks and Contador responds.

Aru and Trofimov try and respond but Contador has attacked over the top with 2.7km to go.

Julich: That didn’t look like a race winning attack there from Alberto. He still has to be careful, but I would expect more to come soon.

Contador and Landa together with Aru struggling to come back into contention.

Aru and Trofimov have come back so we have four riders together.

Contador is just watching Aru, almost daring him to attack.

Julich : Looks like Astana/Landa are looking for the stage now and sure that Alberto will have something to say about that.

Aru attacks and Contador and Landa and then Trofimov match them.

Landa attacks

Contador is there but Aru can't follow.

Landa sits up, waiting for Aru.

1.5km to go. Contador, can he take the stage from here?

Aru makes it back but the Katusha climber has been dropped.

Contador is riding on the front, the two Astana men on his wheel. 1km to go.

Trofimov is back and he attacks straight away.

Contador is letting it go for now.

Julich: Astana needs to bring this back if they want to win the stage

And Contador is setting the pace once more.

Contador and Aru chat. Trofimov still leads.

Landa again.

Contador leads the chase and Landa goes by Trofimov and now leads the stage.

Contador only cares about Aru and tracks him.

Aru has attacked.

But Contador drops him and will take third.

Julich: think that everyone is happy with the outcome of today. The question is now what the top 10 will look like at the end of the stage. There was some major reshuffling today! Sure that everyone will be happy with the rest day coming up tomorrow.

Landa wins the stage, Trofimov second, Contador third and Aru fourth.

Riders are coming over the line in ones and twos now as we see them trickle in. No official time gaps but Contador has extended his lead on Aru by a few seconds after a long stage.

We see Hesjedal coming over the line around three minutes down.

There's still no sign of Uran at the moment and Porte, at the last time check was over eight minutes down.

Betancur comes over the line, having lost close to five minutes today. The time gaps are going to be huge.

Kreuziger loses 5'30 at the line.

And Uran is coming to the line. He'll finish over 7'30 down in a group containing Cunego.

Contador now leads Arub by 2'35. Uran is out of the top ten.

Aru's main attack never came today and Contador certainly probed for weakness but he also looked to struggle at one point. Landa comes away with the stage though after Astana did all that work on the final two climbs and Aru at least makes second place more secure with Amador losing time on the final ascent.

Here are the results for the stage:

And here's the standing on GC:

No news on Porte's time loss or if he's come over the line. We will have the complete results, photos and report right here shortly.

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