On a day where little was as it we thought it might be in the final individual time trial, Alexander Foliforov of Gazprom-RusVelo took the stage win as Steven Kruijswijk cemented his status as the maglia rosa of the Giro d’Italia.

At just 10.8km in length stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia may have been very short, but it was to be a somewhere around half an hour of pure pain for all out on the course as the mountain time trial brought the GC battle to the fore once again.  The climb up the Alpe di Siusi would hit a maximum of 11% and was expected to suit Vincenzo Nibali.  The time trial bikes were put to one side today as the road bikes came out instead, with aerodynamics playing much less of a role in the very difficult pre-rest day stage.

Jack Bobridge of Trek-Segafredo, last on GC, got the stage underway.  He was quickly overtaken by Cheng Ji of GIANT-Alpecin who stopped the clock in 33.18mins, but that was expected to be bettered by quite a substantial amount during the course of the day.  The first major assault on the course came courtesy of Gazprom-RusVelo’s Artem Ovechkin who went some 1.40mins quicker than Ji.

Ian Boswell went very close to going sub-30 minutes with a time of 30.04mins.  He went 32 seconds faster than his nearest rival and bettered the likes of Tim Wellens of Lotto Soudal who just faded.  But Gazprom-RusVelo had a great stage as first Alexander Foliforov set a time that wouldn’t be beaten for the duration of the stage, 28.39mins would be one of only two times to go under 29 minutes.  Sergey Firsanov also really asserted himself at the front of the leaderboard.  His time of 29.09mins would be good enough for fourth place on the stage.

Sam Bewley will be on high alert for Orica GreenEDGE with Esteban Chaves now in second overall in the Giro d'Italia, photo Sirotti
Sam Bewley will be on high alert for Orica GreenEDGE with Esteban Chaves now in second overall in the Giro d’Italia, photo Sirotti

The theme of the day seemed to be fast starts.  A number of riders were starting well but fading radically as the day went on.  Rein Taaramae of Katusha was a case in point.  First by 17 seconds at the 4.3km time check, Taaramae crossed the line 1.17mins down.

A number of GC contenders were expected to do well, with Ilnur Zakarin of Katusha and Andrey Amador of Movistar both fancied to do well.  Zakarin posted a good time to go fastest at the first time check but he too faded.  Seventh place would go to the Russian, while Bob Jungels of Etixx-Quick Step did well to finish ninth and reassert himself as the best young rider.  Amador however started the stage behind and continued to fade to eventually finish 27th; losing significant ground in the GC battle.

Of the GC contenders Alejandro Valverde would post the second best time as he finished 23 seconds down on Foliforov.  Valverde’s result would be good enough for him to remain in 4th place overall; but with Esteban Chaves, Vincenzo Nibali and Steven Kruijswijk still to come.

Chaves started slowly, but built from there.  The Colombian stage winner of yesterday stopped the clock in 29.19mins, good enough for sixth on the stage at 40 seconds down on Foliforov.  Now it would be a case of watching the battle for pink between stage favourite Vincenzo Nibali and maglia rosa Steven Kruijswijk.

Astana’s Nibali started well, but it became clear very quickly that Kruijswijk was at a whole other level as he left the start house.  Before disaster struck for Nibali it was clear he had problems.  Kruijswijk gained and gained all the way up the clim, putting the best part of a minute into Nibali; and then to make matters worse the Italian’s derailleur fell off causing him to throw his bike to the ground in frustration and lose further time.  Kruijswijk though was on fire, riding with the confidence of a race leader, his upper body barely moving, his legs tapping out a powerful and consistent rhythm.

Steven Kruiswijk was tantalisingly close to the stage win as he further solidified his lead in the GC, photo Sirotti
Steven Kruiswijk was tantalisingly close to the stage win as he further solidified his lead in the GC, photo Sirotti

On the line it was tantalisingly close between Kruijswijk and Foliforov for the stage win but by less than a second the Russian had done it.  Foliforov took the biggest win of his career at 24 years of age.

Sam Bewley had little to worry about in stage 14, with his efforts soon be more priceless than ever on behalf of teammate Esteban Chaves who now sits in second place overall 2.12mins down on Kruijswijk.  The mountains could still throw up a few surprises in the final week of racing though and anything can happen with Nibali 2.51mins down and Valverde 3.29mins in arrears.

Stage results:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Alexander FOLIFOROV RUS GAZ 28:39
2 Steven KRUIJSWIJK NED TLJ +0
3 Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE ESP MOV +23
4 Sergey FIRSANOV RUS GAZ +30
5 Michele SCARPONI ITA AST +36
6 Johan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO COL OGE +40
7 Ilnur ZAKARIN RUS KAT +47
8 Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI USA CPT +52
9 Bob JUNGELS LUX EQS +1:04
10 Rafal MAJKA POL TNK +1:09
11 Diego ULISSI ITA LAM +1:12
12 Rein TAARAMAE EST KAT +1:17
13 Giovanni VISCONTI ITA MOV +1:21
14 Tanel KANGERT EST AST +1:21
15 Ian BOSWELL USA SKY +1:25
16 David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO ESP EQS +1:30
17 Tim WELLENS BEL LTS +1:36
18 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ COL SKY +1:36
19 David LOPEZ GARCIA ESP SKY +1:52
20 Simone PETILLI ITA LAM +1:55
21 Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE ESP SKY +1:57
22 Aleksey RYBALKIN RUS GAZ +1:57
23 Kanstantsin SIUTSOU BLR DDD +1:59
24 Giulio CICCONE ITA BAR +2:05
25 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA AST +2:10
26 Domenico POZZOVIVO ITA ALM +2:12
27 Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA CRC MOV +2:12
28 Hubert DUPONT FRA ALM +2:14
29 Jakob FUGLSANG DEN AST +2:17
30 Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO POR CPT +2:18
31 Daniel MARTÍNEZ COL WIL +2:20
32 Egor SILIN RUS KAT +2:21
33 Arnaud COURTEILLE FRA FDJ +2:25
34 Rory SUTHERLAND AUS MOV +2:40
35 Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA ESP EQS +2:40
36 Nicolas ROCHE IRL SKY +2:46
37 Riccardo ZOIDL AUT TFS +2:47
38 Andrey ZEITS KAZ AST +2:48
39 Valerio CONTI ITA LAM +2:55
40 Artem OVECHKIN RUS GAZ +2:57
41 Damiano CUNEGO ITA NIP +2:59
42 Ruben PLAZA MOLINA ESP OGE +2:59
43 Tobias LUDVIGSSON SWE TGA +3:02
44 Primož ROGLIC SLO TLJ +3:04
45 Moreno MOSER ITA CPT +3:08
46 Maxime MONFORT BEL LTS +3:08
47 Biel KADRI FRA ALM +3:15
48 Sonny COLBRELLI ITA BAR +3:16
49 Gianluca BRAMBILLA ITA EQS +3:17
50 Rigoberto URAN URAN COL CPT +3:18
51 Davide FORMOLO ITA CPT +3:18
52 Matteo MONTAGUTI ITA ALM +3:18
53 Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO COL BMC +3:18
54 Pawel POLJANSKI POL TNK +3:20
55 Georg PREIDLER AUT TGA +3:24
56 Ivan SAVITSKIY RUS GAZ +3:26
57 Vegard Stake LAENGEN NOR IAM +3:27
58 Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ COL MOV +3:27
59 Nathan BROWN USA CPT +3:31
60 Amets TXURRUKA ESP OGE +3:32
61 Stefano PIRAZZI ITA BAR +3:33
62 Alessandro DE MARCHI ITA BMC +3:37
63 Jaco VENTER RSA DDD +3:38
64 Cristian RODRIGUEZ MARTIN ESP WIL +3:43
65 Julen AMEZQUETA ESP WIL +3:44
66 Philip DEIGNAN IRL SKY +3:45
67 Pieter SERRY BEL EQS +3:49
68 Joseph ROSSKOPF USA BMC +3:53
69 Mirco MAESTRI ITA BAR +3:54
70 Nicola BOEM ITA BAR +3:55
71 Stefan KUENG SUI BMC +4:00
72 Alexander SEROV RUS GAZ +4:02
73 Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ ESP TNK +4:06
74 Albert TIMMER NED TGA +4:07
75 Pavel KOCHETKOV RUS KAT +4:09
76 Johann VAN ZYL RSA DDD +4:12
77 Manuele MORI ITA LAM +4:12
78 Eros CAPECCHI ITA AST +4:15
79 Sacha MODOLO ITA LAM +4:15
80 Lars Ytting BAK DEN LTS +4:19
81 Axel DOMONT FRA ALM +4:19
82 Nikias ARNDT GER TGA +4:20
83 Simone ANDREETTA ITA BAR +4:22
84 Manuele BOARO ITA TNK +4:28
85 Damien HOWSON AUS OGE +4:28
86 Gianfranco ZILIOLI ITA NIP +4:28
87 Alberto BETTIOL ITA CPT +4:29
88 Evgeny PETROV RUS TNK +4:32
89 Marcel WYSS SUI IAM +4:34
90 Cheng JI CHN TGA +4:34
91 Sean DE BIE BEL LTS +4:35
92 Benoît VAUGRENARD FRA FDJ +4:36
93 Jasha SÜTTERLIN GER MOV +4:36
94 Genki YAMAMOTO JPN NIP +4:37
95 José HERRADA LOPEZ ESP MOV +4:37
96 Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN ERI DDD +4:37
97 Ignatas KONOVALOVAS LTU FDJ +4:38
98 Francesco Manuel BONGIORNO ITA BAR +4:39
99 Stefan DENIFL AUT IAM +4:41
100 Adam HANSEN AUS LTS +4:41
101 Twan CASTELIJNS NED TLJ +4:45
102 Lukasz WISNIOWSKI POL EQS +4:46
103 Simon CLARKE AUS CPT +4:46
104 Christian KNEES GER SKY +4:50
105 Eduard Michael GROSU ROU NIP +4:56
106 Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV RUS GAZ +4:56
107 Maarten TJALLINGII NED TLJ +5:00
108 Rick ZABEL GER BMC +5:02
109 Ilia KOSHEVOY BLR LAM +5:03
110 Pavel BRUTT RUS TNK +5:03
111 Daniel OSS ITA BMC +5:03
112 Eugenio ALAFACI ITA TFS +5:04
113 Ivan ROVNY RUS TNK +5:05
114 Maxim BELKOV RUS KAT +5:05
115 Enrico BATTAGLIN ITA TLJ +5:08
116 Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA ALM +5:09
117 Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ +5:09
118 Chad HAGA USA TGA +5:12
119 Tom STAMSNIJDER NED TGA +5:13
120 Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ ESP DDD +5:14
121 Hugo HOULE CAN ALM +5:15
122 Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS LTU CPT +5:17
123 Michael HEPBURN AUS OGE +5:21
124 Davide MALACARNE ITA AST +5:22
125 Matteo TRENTIN ITA EQS +5:22
126 Anton VOROBYEV RUS KAT +5:22
127 Manuel BELLETTI ITA WIL +5:24
128 Laurent DIDIER LUX TFS +5:28
129 Eugert ZHUPA ALB WIL +5:32
130 Roberto FERRARI ITA LAM +5:36
131 Jos VAN EMDEN NED TLJ +5:40
132 Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL ESP MOV +5:41
133 Manuel QUINZIATO ITA BMC +5:41
134 Manuel SENNI ITA BMC +5:41
135 Heinrich HAUSSLER AUS IAM +5:44
136 Olivier LE GAC FRA FDJ +5:44
137 Jay Robert THOMSON RSA DDD +5:45
138 Paolo SIMION ITA BAR +5:49
139 Songezo JIM RSA DDD +5:49
140 Roger KLUGE GER IAM +5:49
141 Matteo TOSATTO ITA TNK +5:50
142 Kristian SBARAGLI ITA DDD +5:52
143 Jack BOBRIDGE AUS TFS +5:56
144 Matteo BUSATO ITA WIL +5:56
145 Mickael DELAGE FRA FDJ +5:59
146 Pim LIGTHART NED LTS +6:01
147 Matej MOHORIC SLO LAM +6:03
148 Viacheslav KUZNETSOV RUS KAT +6:04
149 Filippo POZZATO ITA WIL +6:05
150 Alessandro BISOLTI ITA NIP +6:05
151 Alexander KOLOBNEV RUS GAZ +6:08
152 Marco COLEDAN ITA TFS +6:10
153 Jelle VANENDERT BEL LTS +6:12
154 Bram TANKINK NED TLJ +6:15
155 Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV KAZ AST +6:25
156 Luka MEZGEC SLO OGE +6:25
157 Grega BOLE SLO NIP +6:25
158 Jay MCCARTHY AUS TNK +6:33
159 Sam BEWLEY NZL OGE +6:37
160 Murilo Antonio FISCHER BRA FDJ +6:37
161 Giacomo NIZZOLO ITA TFS +6:44
162 Svein TUFT CAN OGE +6:44
163 Riccardo STACCHIOTTI ITA NIP +7:06
164 Alexander PORSEV RUS KAT +7:17
165 Artur ERSHOV RUS GAZ +10:14
DNS Fabio SABATINI ITA EQS  
DNS Leigh HOWARD AUS IAM

 

General classification after stage 15:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Steven KRUIJSWIJK NED TLJ 60:41:22
2 Johan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO COL OGE +2:12
3 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA AST +2:51
4 Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE ESP MOV +3:29
5 Rafal MAJKA POL TNK +4:38
6 Ilnur ZAKARIN RUS KAT +4:40
7 Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA CRC MOV +5:27
8 Bob JUNGELS LUX EQS +7:14
9 Kanstantsin SIUTSOU BLR DDD +7:37
10 Jakob FUGLSANG DEN AST +7:55
11 Domenico POZZOVIVO ITA ALM +8:12
12 Rigoberto URAN URAN COL CPT +8:19
13 Giovanni VISCONTI ITA MOV +16:31
14 Stefano PIRAZZI ITA BAR +17:03
15 Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO COL BMC +17:21
16 Maxime MONFORT BEL LTS +17:37
17 Hubert DUPONT FRA ALM +18:47
18 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ COL SKY +18:48
19 Matteo MONTAGUTI ITA ALM +25:18
20 Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO POR CPT +26:02
21 Michele SCARPONI ITA AST +28:54
22 Tanel KANGERT EST AST +30:46
23 Georg PREIDLER AUT TGA +31:31
24 Davide FORMOLO ITA CPT +36:34
25 Diego ULISSI ITA LAM +37:13
26 Gianluca BRAMBILLA ITA EQS +37:29
27 Andrey ZEITS KAZ AST +37:41
28 Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ ESP DDD +39:30
29 Nicolas ROCHE IRL SKY +39:40
30 Pavel KOCHETKOV RUS KAT +40:54
31 Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE ESP SKY +49:18
32 Sergey FIRSANOV RUS GAZ +49:38
33 Enrico BATTAGLIN ITA TLJ +50:28
34 Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI USA CPT +54:45
35 Valerio CONTI ITA LAM +56:44
36 David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO ESP EQS +57:21
37 Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA ESP EQS +58:46
38 Ivan ROVNY RUS TNK +1:01:39
39 Damiano CUNEGO ITA NIP +1:02:17
40 Manuele BOARO ITA TNK +1:08:28
41 Rein TAARAMAE EST KAT +1:08:49
42 Davide MALACARNE ITA AST +1:09:11
43 Pawel POLJANSKI POL TNK +1:10:28
44 Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN ERI DDD +1:10:34
45 Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL ESP MOV +1:10:37
46 Moreno MOSER ITA CPT +1:11:03
47 Egor SILIN RUS KAT +1:15:00
48 Riccardo ZOIDL AUT TFS +1:17:34
49 Damien HOWSON AUS OGE +1:18:07
50 Marcel WYSS SUI IAM +1:18:18
51 Matteo BUSATO ITA WIL +1:24:45
52 Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ ESP TNK +1:28:58
53 Nathan BROWN USA CPT +1:30:05
54 Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA ALM +1:31:24
55 Tobias LUDVIGSSON SWE TGA +1:32:15
56 Alexander FOLIFOROV RUS GAZ +1:33:58
57 Giulio CICCONE ITA BAR +1:34:53
58 Bram TANKINK NED TLJ +1:35:15
59 Stefan DENIFL AUT IAM +1:39:13
60 Axel DOMONT FRA ALM +1:41:29
61 Amets TXURRUKA ESP OGE +1:42:13
62 Stefan KUENG SUI BMC +1:43:21
63 Manuel SENNI ITA BMC +1:46:50
64 Primož ROGLIC SLO TLJ +1:47:12
65 Ruben PLAZA MOLINA ESP OGE +1:48:34
66 Manuele MORI ITA LAM +1:48:40
67 Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ COL MOV +1:49:06
68 José HERRADA LOPEZ ESP MOV +1:52:54
69 Simone PETILLI ITA LAM +1:54:03
70 Laurent DIDIER LUX TFS +1:55:29
71 Pieter SERRY BEL EQS +1:56:44
72 Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV KAZ AST +2:00:21
73 Evgeny PETROV RUS TNK +2:03:50
74 Simon CLARKE AUS CPT +2:04:25
75 Tim WELLENS BEL LTS +2:04:38
76 Christian KNEES GER SKY +2:04:52
77 Johann VAN ZYL RSA DDD +2:05:14
78 Matteo TRENTIN ITA EQS +2:06:04
79 Alexander KOLOBNEV RUS GAZ +2:06:13
80 Kristian SBARAGLI ITA DDD +2:07:04
81 Alberto BETTIOL ITA CPT +2:07:13
82 Hugo HOULE CAN ALM +2:07:34
83 Chad HAGA USA TGA +2:08:20
84 David LOPEZ GARCIA ESP SKY +2:10:09
85 Lars Ytting BAK DEN LTS +2:10:13
86 Sonny COLBRELLI ITA BAR +2:10:22
87 Jaco VENTER RSA DDD +2:11:12
88 Jelle VANENDERT BEL LTS +2:12:46
89 Alessandro BISOLTI ITA NIP +2:14:50
90 Cristian RODRIGUEZ MARTIN ESP WIL +2:15:30
91 Ivan SAVITSKIY RUS GAZ +2:15:39
92 Sacha MODOLO ITA LAM +2:16:22
93 Adam HANSEN AUS LTS +2:16:39
94 Rory SUTHERLAND AUS MOV +2:16:50
95 Eugenio ALAFACI ITA TFS +2:17:58
96 Francesco Manuel BONGIORNO ITA BAR +2:18:37
97 Eros CAPECCHI ITA AST +2:19:42
98 Nikias ARNDT GER TGA +2:19:47
99 Daniel MARTÍNEZ COL WIL +2:19:47
100 Ian BOSWELL USA SKY +2:20:01
101 Alessandro DE MARCHI ITA BMC +2:20:10
102 Matteo TOSATTO ITA TNK +2:21:02
103 Sean DE BIE BEL LTS +2:21:08
104 Joseph ROSSKOPF USA BMC +2:21:52
105 Heinrich HAUSSLER AUS IAM +2:22:20
106 Manuel BELLETTI ITA WIL +2:23:16
107 Philip DEIGNAN IRL SKY +2:24:07
108 Matej MOHORIC SLO LAM +2:25:18
109 Giacomo NIZZOLO ITA TFS +2:26:12
110 Pavel BRUTT RUS TNK +2:27:22
111 Vegard Stake LAENGEN NOR IAM +2:27:44
112 Jay MCCARTHY AUS TNK +2:28:15
113 Twan CASTELIJNS NED TLJ +2:29:43
114 Maxim BELKOV RUS KAT +2:30:58
115 Filippo POZZATO ITA WIL +2:31:09
116 Manuel QUINZIATO ITA BMC +2:32:52
117 Anton VOROBYEV RUS KAT +2:33:31
118 Ilia KOSHEVOY BLR LAM +2:35:01
119 Mirco MAESTRI ITA BAR +2:35:41
120 Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ +2:35:42
121 Jos VAN EMDEN NED TLJ +2:37:28
122 Benoît VAUGRENARD FRA FDJ +2:39:01
123 Jasha SÜTTERLIN GER MOV +2:41:16
124 Eugert ZHUPA ALB WIL +2:43:41
125 Marco COLEDAN ITA TFS +2:43:44
126 Alexander SEROV RUS GAZ +2:43:52
127 Paolo SIMION ITA BAR +2:45:05
128 Maarten TJALLINGII NED TLJ +2:45:28
129 Daniel OSS ITA BMC +2:46:40
130 Roberto FERRARI ITA LAM +2:47:34
131 Pim LIGTHART NED LTS +2:47:35
132 Gianfranco ZILIOLI ITA NIP +2:48:10
133 Julen AMEZQUETA ESP WIL +2:48:31
134 Grega BOLE SLO NIP +2:50:58
135 Viacheslav KUZNETSOV RUS KAT +2:51:20
136 Arnaud COURTEILLE FRA FDJ +2:51:55
137 Ignatas KONOVALOVAS LTU FDJ +2:52:57
138 Aleksey RYBALKIN RUS GAZ +2:53:46
139 Sam BEWLEY NZL OGE +2:54:45
140 Simone ANDREETTA ITA BAR +2:55:19
141 Luka MEZGEC SLO OGE +2:55:21
142 Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV RUS GAZ +2:56:16
143 Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS LTU CPT +2:56:31
144 Nicola BOEM ITA BAR +2:56:39
145 Lukasz WISNIOWSKI POL EQS +2:56:47
146 Rick ZABEL GER BMC +2:57:50
147 Tom STAMSNIJDER NED TGA +2:58:46
148 Songezo JIM RSA DDD +2:58:48
149 Alexander PORSEV RUS KAT +3:03:09
150 Svein TUFT CAN OGE +3:03:45
151 Artem OVECHKIN RUS GAZ +3:04:53
152 Albert TIMMER NED TGA +3:05:13
153 Biel KADRI FRA ALM +3:06:03
154 Mickael DELAGE FRA FDJ +3:07:11
155 Michael HEPBURN AUS OGE +3:07:19
156 Jay Robert THOMSON RSA DDD +3:07:59
157 Olivier LE GAC FRA FDJ +3:08:39
158 Roger KLUGE GER IAM +3:09:26
159 Eduard Michael GROSU ROU NIP +3:10:22
160 Murilo Antonio FISCHER BRA FDJ +3:10:48
161 Genki YAMAMOTO JPN NIP +3:16:17
162 Cheng JI CHN TGA +3:25:07
163 Riccardo STACCHIOTTI ITA NIP +3:26:34
164 Jack BOBRIDGE AUS TFS +3:27:45

Photo: Sirotti

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