Stage 15, Sunday, May 22, 2011, CONEGLIANO – GARDECCIA/VAL DI FASSA, 229 km
At 10:19 am 172 riders(not starting: Hunter) roll out for the stage in the Dolomites.
At km 10, Sella and Hoogerland break away. In their pursuit Aramendia, Kuschynski, Kaisen, Seeldrayers and Popovych.
At km 28: 7 escapees. At the beginning of the climb towards Piancavallo, Kaisen is dropped. 11 riders clear off the bunch: Garzelli, Tschopp, Pirazzi, Nieve, Sastre, Di Luca, Losada, Pasamontes, Petrov, Weening and Deignan. Average speed after one hour: 34.800 kph.
King of the Mountain – 1st category, Piancavallo (PN) [m 1.290]: Sella 1st at KOM, with Hoogerland, Popovych and the other three members of the break. The 11 chasers come over the climb 18” behind . The field is at 3’30” and Baakelandtss anticipates it. The latter catches the 11 riders and together they join the leaders.
At km 62: 18-man break. Average speed after two hours: 34.400 kph.
At km 72: 8’24”.
150 km to go: 9’20”. Average speed after three hours: 34.600 kph.
King of the Mountain – 2nd category, Forcella Cibiana (BL) [m 1.530]: Garzelli, Sella, Hoogerland and the other 15. The bunch is 9’05” behind paced by the Liquigas – Cannondale riders.
100 km to go, the bunch is 8’30” behind. In Cortina d’Ampezzo, where the ascent towards the Passo Giau begins, the 18-man breakaway have a 10’10” lead. On the uphill Hoogerland jumps out and gains some terrain. The chasing group string out. Garzelli and Nieve in pursuit of Hoogerland. The rest of the group does not keep up the pace. Garzelli catches and passes Hoogerland.
King of the Mountain – Cima Coppi, Passo Giau (BL) [m 2.236]: Garzelli is 42” ahead of Nieve, and 2’15” ahead of Hoogerland. The rest of the chasing group, paced by Di Luca, reaches the top 1’43” behind. The bunch, led by Rodriguez, Arroyo, Contado, Rujano and Nibali, has a 9’35” delay. On the downhill, Nibali accelerates with Contador and Arroyo chaing him.
Intermediate Sprint, Rocca Pietore (BL): Garzelli first with 1’16” over Baakelandts and Nieve. Seeldrayers 2’05” behind. At 2’20” Sella and Di Luca. At 2’40” Petrov; at 3’ Pirazzi; at 3’12” Weening, Degnani and Hoogerland. At 3’50” Sastre and Tschopp; at 5’15” Pasamontes; at 6’05” Popovych. Nibali is now 8’25” down on Garzelli. The Pink-Jersey group is 8’53” behind.
Uphill again: on the ramps of the Fedaia Pass, Nibali sits up and is back in the Contador group. Arroyo pulls away from this group and gains a few seconds. Contador takes off, Rujano and Kruijswijk go with him. Nibali is in difficulty.
King of the Mountain – 1st category, Passo Fedaia (BL) [m 2.057]: A lone Garzelli with a 40” lead over Nieve and 3’10” over Bakelandts. Sella is 4’22” back, Seeldrayers 6’. The Pink Jersey group (with Gadret, Rujano, Menchov, Rodriguez, Scarponi, Arroyo, Kreuziger) is 6’35” behind. Nibali comes over the climb 7’35”. The Liquigas rider catches the Pink Jersey group at the very end of the downhill.
With 10 km to go: Garzelli, Nieve 20” and Bakelandts 3’25” back. Sella 5’48”. The Pink Jersey group is t 6’35”.
7 km to go, Nieve catches and passes Garzelli at the start of the final ascent. Contador attacks and gains some terrain. At his chase: Scarponi and Gadret.
Last km: Nieve has 1’ lead over Garzelli.
FINISH – KOM 1st category. Rifugio Gardeccia (TN) [m 1.948]: Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Euskaltel - Euskadi) wins this stage ahead of Stefano Garzelli at 1’41”. Contador in third at 1’51” and Scarponi in fourth at 1’57”; Scarponi moves into 2nd place ahead of Nibali at 4’20”.
Time of the winner: 7h 27’ 14”, at an average speed of 30.722 kph.
Contador: "It was a hard day, really hard. I think it was the hardest stage of my career. We've suffered a lot in the last few days."
Scarponi: "I'm satisfied, this was a good day for me. I think that this was a very tough stage but I faced it pedaling with regularity and this was the best choice that allowed me to be competitive in each moment of the race. Now I'm second in the overall standing, but I know that there will be a last week of Giro that will be tough. I'm sorry that my team mate Marzano had to quit the race because of temperature (fever): he was very important for me and I want to thank him for what he has done until now".
Top 10 GC:
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 62:14:42
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:04:20
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:05:11
4 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:08
5 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:07:03
6 José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli 0:08:39
7 Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC 0:08:46
8 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:08:58
9 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:09:20
10 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:30
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosa Estathé.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosso Passione Gruppo Saint-Gobain.
Roman Kreuziger (Pro Team Astana) is the Maglia Bianca Adecco.
Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) is the Maglia Verde Banca Mediolanum.
Monday is a rest day.
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