Two parts characterize this stage: the first 150km, from the start until Zogno, are flat, then the route becomes demanding and fairly hard in the last 40km with the Il Lombardia 2016 finale and the Miragolo San Salvatore and Selvino climbs leading into Bergamo Alta and into the finish in Bergamo.
Jungels wins Giro's 15th stage, Dumoulin retains pink
BERGAMO, Italy (AFP) — Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels, of Quick-Step Floors, sprinted to victory in the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday as race leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) retained the pink jersey.
Jungels, who wore the pink jersey earlier in the 100th edition of the race, finished the 199 km ride from Valdengo to Bergamo six seconds ahead of Colombia’s race favourite Nairo Quintana.
With a host of fellow all-rounders and climbers for company, the Quick-Step all-rounder took his chance 100 meters before the finish to claim his maiden win on the three-week Italian race.
“This is my first sprint victory. To do it at the Giro in front of these guys is wonderful. It’s not easy to realize but I’m super happy with this victory,” said Jungels, who finished sixth overall on his debut last year.
“I knew I had good legs today as I felt good in the climbs. I tried my luck in the final climb but it was a bit longer than I expected.
“In the downhill I was in a perfect position, on the wheel of [Domenico] Pozzovivo for sprinting.”
Stage 15 results, top 10
- 1. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, in 4:16:51
- 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR, at :00
- 3. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at :00
- 4. Adam YATES, ORICA-SCOTT, at :00
- 5. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :00
- 6. Patrick KONRAD, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :00
- 7. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at :00
- 8. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, at :00
- 9. Ilnur ZAKARIN, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at :00
- 10. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :00
General classification, top 10
- 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 63:48:08
- 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR, at 2:41
- 3. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 3:21
- 4. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 3:40
- 5. Ilnur ZAKARIN, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 4:24
- 6. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 4:32
- 7. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:59
- 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 5:18
- 9. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR, at 6:01
- 10. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 7:03
Sunweb team leader Dumoulin and the chasing peloton crossed the line a handful of seconds later to allow the big Dutchman to maintain an overall lead of more than two and a half minutes on Movistar rival Quintana before the race’s third and final rest day Monday.
“Today was a good day, but it was nervous in the end,” said Dumoulin, who has already won two stages in the last week. “The team did a good job protecting me. The third week is very hard. We have to stay concentrated. Nothing is over yet.”
Dumoulin has been in the race lead since crushing the field to win the 10th stage time trial last Tuesday in Montefalcone, a win that pushed Quintana into second overall at nearly three minutes behind.
Before the crucial third week takes the peloton into the high mountains, where Quintana is expected to come into his own, the Colombian climbing specialist has been trying to chip away at his lead.
A day after countering Quintana when he attacked on the climb to Oropa, where the Dutchman won his second stage of this edition to tighten his grip on the pink jersey, his Sunweb team were on tenterhooks all day.
“It was a hard day at a very high average speed. There were a lot of breakaways but always some teams weren’t happy with it,” said Dumoulin.
“Eventually after 110km, a group went. Then it was a very hard finale with a lot of favorites attacking. But we stayed calm and it was a good day for us.”
The race resumes Tuesday with a 222km 16th stage from Rovetta to Bormio which features two ascents of the Stelvio climb.
After climbing 1,854 meters to crest the Mortirolo, the peloton tackles the Stelvio from the Italian alps side to crest at 2,758 meters, and then climb back up the Swiss side of the mountain for the first time before a long descent into Bormio.