Ponte di Legno - Italy's
Giulio Ciccone won the rain-lashed 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on
Tuesday as race favourite Primoz Roglic lost 1:20 to his main
rivals in pink jersey-wearer Richard Carapaz and two-time winner
The veteran Italian Nibali sparked a highly aggressive day of racing
when attacking from distance and while he was unable to drop Ecuador's
Carapaz, Roglic, isolated from his team-mates, was no match for the
attack even if Roglic wouldn't admit it.
"This Giro isn't over yet, anything can happen," he warned.
The 2013 and 2016 Giro winner Nibali launched his assault on the
day's final challenging climb, some 8km from the summit, which he
crossed around 90 seconds ahead of the flailing former ski-jumper Roglic.
Overall leader Carapaz, aided by his powerful Movistar team captain
Mikel Landa, caught Nibali before the summit and formed the group that
powered over the final rolling kilometres in blustery rain.
"To beat Carapaz I'll have to work out a new plan," Nibali said afterwards.
"Today we worked together to take out Roglic."
Carapaz said he was feeling relaxed, now that Roglic had finally let go after a long struggle.
"This was a perfect day for us, we did very well and we can relax a bit now," he said.
Ahead of them was the day's escaping pair of eventual winner Ciccone
and the man he beat to the line, the Czech Jan Hirt, who finished 1:41 ahead of Nibali's group.
Some three minutes off the pace were Britain's Simon Yates and Dutch
outside hope Bauke Mollema who also lost ground on the mountainous run
as they crossed the line with Roglic.
Jumbo director Addy Engels admitted his rider Roglic had suffered on Tuesday.
"This time you saw a difference in level between Roglic and riders
like Nibali, Carapaz and Landa. When they went, he was unable to
follow," Engels admitted.
"And there's more climbing to come."
Nibali thereby moves up to second place 1:47 behind Carapaz
with Roglic at 2:09 in third and Landa fourth at 3:15.
Stage winner Ciccone was seen shivering after the race and had
stuffed newspapers into his shirt on the descent of the main climb.
"I couldn't put my top on at the Mortirolo. The sleeves were too
narrow, and my gloves were wet," said a smiling Ciccone, who is top of
the climb points standings for the blue jersey.
Wednesday's run offers relative respite to the peloton as there are
no real mountains to climb even if there is very little flat terrain on
the 181km run near the Austrian border that finishes in a 5km ascent.
Results after Tuesday's 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia from Lovere to Ponte di Legno:
1. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/Trek) 5hr 36min 24sec, 2. Jan Hirt (CZE/AST) same time, 3. Fausto Masnada (ITA/AND) at 1min 20sec, 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 1:41, 5. Hugh Carthy (GBR/EF1) 1:41, 6. Richard Carapaz (ECU/MOV) 1:41, 7. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 1:41, 8. Joe Dombrowski (USA/EF1) 1:41, 9. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BAH) 1:49, 10. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA/AND) 2:03, 11. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 2:03, 12. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 3:03, 13. Mikel Nieve (ESP/MIT) 3:03, 14. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 3:03, 15. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) 3:03
1. Richard Carapaz (ECU/Movistar) 70hr 02min 05sec, 2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) at 1:47, 3. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) 2:09, 4. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) 3:15, 5. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) 5:00, 6. Rafal Majka (POL/BOR) 5:40, 7. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/AST) 6:17, 8. Simon Yates (GBR/MIT) 6:46, 9. Pavel Sivakov (RUS/INE) 7:51, 10. Jan Polanc (SLO/UAE) 8:06