Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.
Hello I didn't see you come in... welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage from stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia. It's mountain time trial day and another chance to see the GC stars of the race go head-to-head in the mountains.
We're already up and running, Jack Bobridge last on GC have started his effort roughly 10 minutes ago. Here's a run down of all the start times today. As per usual, the big guns later in the day but we've a few tasty climbers sprinkled in early on too. Start times, here.
Before we look at the course - it's pretty simple in one sense - lets have a gander at the top ten in the overall after yesterday's gripping stage in the Dolomites:
1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 60:12:43
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:41
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:01:32
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:06
5 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:03:15
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:03:29
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:03:53
8 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:05:01
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:05:38
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
It's huge day for all of the top ten contenders for a number of different reasons. The Movistar pair of Valverde and Amador have to stem the bleeding after haemorrhaging three minutes to some of their rivals yesterday. According the team, Amador has a cold and Valverde doesn't like riding at altitude.
“It wasn’t the day we wanted,” Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue said after yesterday's stage, with considerable understatement. “Andrey has had a cold for the last two days. He was going well, but he felt a bit blocked all day.
“Alejandro was very good all day, but then on the last climb, the change of pace – unexpectedly and strangely – didn’t suit him. Nothing before that last climb indicated that was going to happen.”
Full story on that, is here.
So the route...
According to the race guide, after a first false-flat drag (1,800m), the route climbs steadily over the next 9km, with an average 8.3 per cent gradient. The road is wide and well paved. Straight stretches alternate with hairpins that feature a high bend radius. Split time is taken at km 4.4.
The final kilometres run entirely uphill, with constant slopes (an average gradient of 8 per cent, and a maximum gradient of 11 per cent), and on wide, well-paved roads. The route takes in a series of hairpins in the stage finale. The finish line lies at the end of a 180m long, 6m wide asphalt home straight.
We've been to this climb before.
In 2009 Alpe di Siusi was the final climb on stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia. The stage was one by Dennis Menchov, Di Luca took the lead but the Russian won the overall. I do remember that climb come to think of it, Menchov went up it like he wasn't even breathing. Neat trick, that.
We're about 10 riders into the stage, but no one has set the world alight just yet. Bobridge is yet to finish the stage, and is still out there climbing.
The climb itself is just a steady slog. No TT bikes today, just your standard road bikes but maybe a few different wheel options as riders look to save weight. The lower pitches are pretty shallow and steady before we hit the 8 per cent sections but from there it's just a constant effort with no let up. There is a slight dip in the incline near the top but then it kicks up once more.
Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo was the fastest at the first time check at 4.4km. He's well over a minute up on the likes of Bobrdige.
That's Bobridge there starting his TT effort. A good little TT rider but this course is not one for him. Still, he's hanging in there with just over a week of racing to go. Trek lost their GC hope yesterday though when Ryder Hesjedal went home with a bad stomach.
The UCI are here testing out for mechanical doping. They've conducted hundreds of tests at this year's Giro and really trying to make a stand on the issue.
Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-Alpecin goes a minute quicker than Bobridge at the finish, and leads with a time of 33'13. A long, long way to go today.
We've men on the mountain interviewing bikes like there's no tomorrow. That's Steven Kruijswijk rather lush Bianchi, with a couple of modifications made for the TT. The touches of pink are in there too.
Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 31'36 and leads by several minutes. He blasted his way up that climb, catching several riders.
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:22:20
New leader and it's Aleksey Rybalkin who goes fastest by over a minute .Gazprom are taking on the TT with real intent today. They've hardly featured in the race so far so they do need to justify their wild card selection.
Navardauskas is off next and he might provide an indication for later in the stage. He's a big lad but a powerful too. If he takes the TT at full gas his times will be filtered back to Uran at the bottom of the mountain for the Cannondale boffins to analyse.
@HenryDarling3 Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:25:16
Deignan and Boswell are both on the road for Team Sky. Another two riders who have the potential to pop up with a result in the top 20-30 today. They're also riders to watch out for in the breaks in the final week.
Aleksey Rybalkin still leads and for now no other rider has gone under 31 minutes.
@TeamSky Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:34:03
Nibali had an interesting day yesterday, putting significant time into Valverde but losing time to Kruijswijk and Chaves in GC. His pride will hurt and he'll be looking to bounce back. Today might come too soon as he still hasn't reached his best form but the Astana rider certainly cant' afford to lose much more time.
Boswell has gone fastest at the first time check, going under 10 minutes after 4.4km. Now, though, he has the hardest part of the climb to come.
De Marchi and Boswell both on the climb and you can see the intent from both men as they churn their way up the climb. Boswell shifts around on the saddle but looks pretty smooth. He was a second fastest at the first time check.
Boswell looks on course to set a new fastest time as pulls himself out of the saddle in order to generate some more speed. The American is riding his second grand tour, having made his debut in the Vuelta a Espana last year. Could he be in with a shot of doing the Tour?
@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:47:43
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:41:53
Aleksey Rybalkin still the only rider, who for now can go under 31 minutes.
Wellens, so keen, is on the TT bars and thrashing his way up the climb. Can't knock it though as that's how he rode when he won a stage in the first week.
No change at the moment, in that a number of men have gone through the first check, and the finish and Boswell still leads at 4.4km and Aleksey Rybalkin still leads at the finish.
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 12:59:02
@giroditalia Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:00:37
Boswell is over the line and he sets the fastest time of 30'04.
Boswell was fastest by 32 seconds. That should stand for a while but we can expect the top ten on GC to really dominate. Wouldn't bet against Scarponi doing well either actually. He was really strong yesterday.
Tim Wellens 9'50 at the first time check and goes fastest. The Lotto rider wasn't holding back at all on the lower slopes of the climb but he has the hardest sections ahead of him.
@BMCProTeam Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:06:18
That's Chaves ride for the day.
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:06:24
Betancur is five minutes into his ride. He's been fairly poor in the race so far but you really never know with him. If he had a good night's rest then he could be flying today. There very little middle ground with the Movistar man though.
Bongiorno comes over the line well down but given his recent crashes, you can't really blame him. He offers out a few high-fives to members of the crowd so his spirit is still there.
Primoz Roglic is now on the course. He could set a strong time and he's set up correctly, hand on the top of the bars, using those phantom TT bars. Now he's out of the saddle and climbing.
Lopez in the break yesterday and today he's riding well too, going second at the finish behind his young teammate Boswell, who still leads.
While you can also find yesterday's stage video highlights, right here.
One rider who has slipped off the radar in the last couple of days is Bob Jungels. He is in for a battle with Henao for the white jersey with the Team Sky rider gaining time in the last two days. Here's what Jungels had to say after yesterday's stage.
And Wellens is second fastest at the finish by 11 seconds, so Boswell holds on for now.
Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo is going like a train on the climb, it will be interesting to see what time he comes over the line in. He's fastest at the first time check. Betancur though isn't on the pace at the moment and is well down at the first time check.
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:35:33
Cunego in blue and starts his TT. He's not the best TT rider and he's gathered points by going on the attack early. There's no opportunity to do that today so he'll be lucky to gather much. Anything he takes will be a bonus.
Moser is now riding his TT. The Italian has made it into a few breaks during the Giro but is still looking for a stage win. Out of contract this year so it's important that he picks up a few decent results over the next few months. Today isn't for him but he'll have more chances in the final week of the Giro. Cannondale, on the whole, can be happy with their race so far. Uran's first TT aside, they've been in the action.
Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha is 17 seconds fastest at the first time check. That's a good indication of what some of the GC guys are going to post later in the day. The Katusha rider can go up hill with the best of them when he's on a good day.
@ONEProCycling Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:43:36
Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo is coming up to the line and he could be about to post the fastest time. He was fastest at the first time check earlier on the climb and he's motoring along. 28'39. 1'25 faster that Boswell.
Apologies it's Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo who has posted the fastest time. His teammate Sergey Firsanov is further down the climb.
Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling is out on the climb too. The American has ridden well so far in the race and he cost post a respectable time. He's 5th at the first time check.
All eyes on Rein Taaramae though who still holds the fastest time at the first time check and is working is way up the 10km climb. He's on course to post the new best time.
Sergey Firsanov is now fastest at the first time check. Ulissi is on the road though and it will be interesting to see how he goes today.
Rein Taaramae looks to be slowing as he arches over the drops and tries to keep the momentum going.
@Ride_Argyle Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:59:17
Ulissi is fourth at the first time check at 4.4km
@PelotonWatch Sun, 22nd May 2016 13:53:45
Rein Taaramae second but 1'17 down. He lost close to 90 seconds in the second half of the time trial.
Scarponi less than 10 seconds down at the first time check. He should, in theory, improve as the climb goes on and we hit the steeper seconds of the climb.
Cunego, meanwhile is coming to the line in 15th place. No KOM points for the Little Prince.
Joe Dombrowski is coming to the line and he takes second on the stage for now, 52 seconds off the lead.
Sergey Firsanov crosses the line and takes second so his teammate Foliforov still leads.
So it's a Gaprom 1-2 in the standings as we see Jungels on the TT course. He should feature with the best today, and should certainly do well at the first time check.
@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 22nd May 2016 14:15:22
Ulissi fourth at the finish. Respectable time from the Italian but we have the GC guys on the course now. Fuglsang has just started his TT.
Coming up we have:
159 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 16:22:00
160 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 16:25:00
161 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 16:28:00
162 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 16:31:00
163 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 16:34:00
164 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 16:37:00
165 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 16:40:00
166 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 16:43:00
167 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 16:46:00
Jungels, on a standard road rig, no TT bars, and in all white. He looks fairly good as he approaches the first time check. His main threat for the day is Henao, his closest rival in the competition for the white jersey. Jungels is first, by less than a second, at the first time check.
Scarponi comes to the line in third, 36 seconds off the lead.
Fuglsang off the pace and 21st at the first time check. Henao goes well though and is 10th at the finish for Team Sky. He should claw back even more time on Jungels.
1 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 28:39:00
2 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 29:09:00
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 29:15:00
4 Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 29:31:00
5 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 29:51:00
6 Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha 29:56:00
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 30:00:00
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 30:00:00
9 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 30:04:00
10 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 30:09:00
Visconti coming to the line with a very impressive ride. The Movistar man is 7th, 1'21 off the race lead. Foliforov still leads.
Amador is now out on the climb. Lets see how he has recovered. Zakarin is also on the climb too. A huge day for the Russian and his GC aspirations. He needs a good performance if he is to rekindle his podium hopes. Same for Majka who is also climbing too.
Zakarin out of the saddle, then back on the drops and pushing up the climb. His style oozes energy with the fast cadence and the rocking shoulders. Out of the saddle goes the Katusha man once more. Back in the start house and now Valverde is off!
Zakarin is on it today. He's fastest at the first time check, in 9'16, 12 seconds faster than Jungels.
Majka was 4th at the first time check, 13 seconds down on Zakarin.
And now Chaves starts. He looked so focused on the start ramp. This is the biggest time trial of his career so far. Huge even.
@giroditalia Sun, 22nd May 2016 14:40:31
Chaves will look to hold it together on the first section and then hit the steeper slopes at full tilt. Jungels crosses the line in 5th. He puts time into Henao and extend his lead in the white jersey.
Nibali starts his time trial. Just man left in the start house and that's the maglia rosa.
Amador has lost 38 seconds to Zakarin at the first time check. That's not a great start, at all, for the Movistar man and former leader of the race.
Kruijswijk starts his time trial. In all pink.
Nibali is five minutes into this TT, while Kruijswijk has just started. Up the road we have Valverde, Zakarin, Majka, Chaves and Majka all doing battle.
1 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:28:39
2 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:29:09
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:29:15
4 Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:29:31
5 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:29:43
6 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:29:51
7 Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha 0:29:56
8 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:30:00
9 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:30:00
10 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky 0:30:04
Chaves is losing time here. He's 34 seconds down at the first time check.
Zakarin is really hunched over his bike now as he looks for more and more power. He was fastest at the first time check at 4.4km.
@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 22nd May 2016 14:52:39
Valverde was second at the first time check, 3 seconds off Zakarin.
And Nibali is 9th 21 seconds off the lead. He's putting time into Chaves but the hardest sections of the climb are still to come.
Valverde will be very pleased with his TT effort so far. Only three seconds off the lead and ahead of Nibali and Chaves as we see Zakarin close in on the top of the climb.
Kruijswijk just looks so calm and collected as he time trials up the climb. He's so composed as he hits the first time check. He's fastest 9 seconds up on Zakarin. That's huge.
Nibali is already 30 seconds down on Kruijswijk.
Uran comes to the line. He has had another shocker. 41st. 3'18 down.
Zakarin almost catches up but he's lost time too. 4th at 47 seconds.
All eyes on Nibali now. The Italian has to respond because he's losing more and more time to the maglia rosa. The gap is now 57 seconds and Nibali is losing touch with the Giro.
Majka comes to the line. He wont challenge the simply incredible times from the Gazprom riders, and will lose time on Zakarin too. The Tinkoff rider is 7th 1'09 down on the stage leader.
Nibali with a faster cadence than Kruijswijk but the Dutch rider is doing all the damage at the moment.
Nibali gaining some time, the gap is 46 seconds but he's still got a long way to go.
A fan gets a little to close to Nibali who appears to have a mechanical. He's lost over a minute. He dropped his chain and was forced to change bike.
Valverde second at the finish. Zakarin and Chaves both in the top ten too. Nibali is coming up to the finish now but he's going to lose some serious time today.
Nibali isn't even going to finish in the top 12 today.
Each second passes and Nibali still hasn't crossed the line. He's outside of the top ten.
1 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:28:39
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:29:02
3 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:29:09
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:29:15
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:29:19
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:29:26
7 Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:29:31
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:29:43
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:29:48
10 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:29:51
Disaster for Nibali. 2'14 down on the climb at the finish.
Here comes the maglia rosa. It's going to be so close for the stage.
He misses it. Foliforov takes a surprise stage win.
1 Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:28:39
2 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:00
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:23
4 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:00:30
5 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:36
6 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:40
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:47
8 Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:52
9 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:04
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:01:09
General classification after stage 15
1 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 60:41:22
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 0:02:12
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:51
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:29
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:04:38
6 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:40
7 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:05:27
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:07:14
9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data 0:07:37
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:07:55
A hugely significant day at the Giro then. Nibali must take the rest day to reassess his GC plans. The win is still the target but it looks a long way off at this point. He's almost three minutes down on the maglia rosa with a week to go.
Kruijswijk may have missed out on the stage win but overall he has to be extremely happy with his ride. In 10km he put time into everyone, two minutes into Nibali. 23 seconds into Valverde, and 40 into Chaves.
Mechanical aside Nibali was already over 30 seconds down on Kruijswijk before he dropped his chain and then had to change bikes. Kruijswijk just goes from strength to strength.
Foliforov: "This is unbelievable. It's like a dream to win this stage. I came to the Giro well prepared for this stage in particular because uphill time trials have always been my forte. I did my best but I didn't expect to win. However, this is not going to be my last victory".
Kruijswijk: "I really wanted to win the stage as well. I finished second yesterday as well. I heard towards the end that I was close to the victory but most importantly I gained time over my rivals on GC. I did everything for that and I'm confident that I'll be able to defend the Maglia Rosa during the last week".
Looking down the results, Uran 3'18 and now down to 12th on GC. His time trial has really taken a hit in the last twelve months.
Here's how GC looks from 11-20
11 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:08:12
12 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:08:19
13 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:16:31
14 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:17:03
15 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:17:21
16 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:17:37
17 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:18:47
18 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky 0:18:48
19 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:25:18
20 Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:26:02
You can find our video highlights from the stage, right here.
Alexander Vinokourov (Astana manager)
"I haven't seen Vincenzo [Nibali] yet, but he had a very difficult day. He had a problem with the mechanical. It's not great for the morale, and not a good day for him altogether. We lost a lot today, but I don't think it's won yet for Kruijswijk. We'll keep working on our strategy and see what we can do. We have a good team, we're strong, we showed today that we are all here for Vincenzo. The stage yesterday was hard and he had to fight hard, and he had to fight today. It's not over until Turin, we'll see what happens."
“I suffered a lot but we’ve worked hard for this.
“After three big mountain stages things are looking good for me, for the team and so we’re very happy. This is the first time Orica-GreenEdge has really targeted a Grand Tour victory and for thing are going really well. We’ll keep our feet on the ground though and stay focused because we know it won’t be easy.
I’m going to enjoy tomorrow’s rest day and then see what happens in the final week."
That's about it from us today. We'll be back later today with live coverage from the Tour of California. The final stage of the race.
For now, enjoy our report, results, photos, and video highlights from stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.
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