Roglič loses time
With 18km remaining in the race Primož Roglič had a mechanical, and with a Jumbo-Visma team car not readily available he was forced to jump on team-mate Antwan Tolhoek’s bike.
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Just as the Slovenian was rejoining the GC group, the man who trails him in the overall classification, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), attacked.
Trying to make up time on a descent riding a team-mate’s bike is a precarious position to be in, and Roglič came off round a corner, crashing into a guard rail.
Unhurt, the 29-year-old tried his best to chase down his rivals who at this point were speeding towards the finish, but had lost 40 seconds by the time he crossed the finish line.
Roglič will need to maintain his composure and hope for luckier days than stage 15 if he is to take home his first Grand Tour victory when the race finishes in Verona on June 2.
Nibali ready and ruthless
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) showed he is ready to do everything he can to overhaul Primož Roglič, who he currently trails by a minute, after clawing back 40 seconds on stage 15.
Today, Nibali found a willing accomplice in Richard Carapaz (Movistar), the Italian attacking just as Roglič got back on the GC group after suffering a mechanical.
The Slovenian was forced to chase on the descent, and Nibali will have to continue attacking and taking every chance he gets to not only catch Roglič on GC but also put time into him before the time trial on the final stage.
Yates not going down without a fight
Simon Yates has had a torrid time so far in the Giro d’Italia 2019, despite proclamations of superiority before a kilometre had been raced raced, losing time in both time trials and on inclines.
However, after clawing back 30 seconds on stage 14, the Brit attacked on three occasions during stage 15 as he attempted to take back more seconds and make his way up the GC.
Finishing in the Nibali group alongside Carapaz and Hugh Carthy (EF Education First), Yates took back time on Roglič, Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe). Chipping away at his rivals before we get to the big mountains in week three could prove vital when the peloton arrives in Verona, with Yates looking to turn around a poor two weeks by finishing strong.
Richard Carapaz extends pink jersey lead
No-one had mentioned Richard Carapaz (Movistar) until he stormed to victory on stage 14, taking the pink jersey, but now he finds himself very much in the picture to potentially take the overall classification.
Starting stage 15 with only a seven second advantage over Roglič, Carapaz’s time in pink was expected to be short-lived. However, after Roglič’s mishaps, Carapaz now finds himself with a 47 second lead.
Of course, Carapaz has a few huge days in the mountains left, where he will have to defend against the Slovenian as well as the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, but with a team-mate of the calibre of Mikel Landa, does he have enough to potentially go the distance?
No easy days for the GC
Today was expected to be a day for the breakaway, which it was as Dario Cataldo (Astana) rode 200km off the front with Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermic) before winning the sprint finish to claim his first Giro d’Italia stage victory.
Unexpectedly, though, it was not a large bunch that stole a march on the peloton during the stage, and an intriguing GC battle also opened up as two races developed on the road.
Week three contains six days of racing. Four mountain days, one day for the sprinters and the final time trial in Verona. There will be no days off for the GC contenders, and as we saw with Roglič today, within a moment the race can turn on its head.