The Tifosi had an Italian winner to celebrate for the third day in a row, as Fabio Aru (Astana) won stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday with a devastating attack on the final climb.
With a parcours featuring just the one climb – the 20 kilometre ride up the Montecampione to the finish – the stage was predictably quiet to begin, with all hell breaking loose at the finale.
Aru made his move within the final three kilometres, with only Uran able to stay with him. The pair caught Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Fabio Duarte (Colombia) – who had attacked the bunch earlier up the climb – after which Aru attacked again, with no-one matching his pace. He held on until the finish, showing the kind of form that suggests the 23-year old could with the Giro, let alone the young riders classification.
Behind him, Nairo Quintana recovered to catch the Uran-Rolland-Duarte group. Uran was then dropped, but managed to limit his loses to just twenty seconds.
Further down the climb, Majka lost ten seconds to the pink jersey, while Evans and Domenico Pozzovivo – who had looked the strongest climber yesterday – both lost 31 seconds.
On the lower slopes of the climb, Irishman Phillip Deignan (Sky) put in a brave move with a solo attack, and managed to build a lead of around 30 seconds, but was swallowed up once the favourites started attacking. Julian Arredondo (Trek) had also attacked earlier on with Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF), but couldn’t open a substantial gap.
The break of the day was never given a chance to stay out by the peloton, with the Neri Sottoli team – evidently erked by failing to put any riders in it – setting a fast pace at the front of the bunch for much of the day.
The mountains action will recommence on Tuesday, following tomorrow’s rest day.
Giro d’Italia 2014, stage 15: Valdengo-Montecampione, 217km
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana in 5-33-06
2. Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia at 0-21
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0-22
4. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at st
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 0-42
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0-52
7. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 1-08
8. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha at st
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 1-13
10. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at st
Overall Classification after stage 15
1. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 63-26-39
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1-03
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1-50
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2-24
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2-40
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 2-42
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 3-04
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 4-47
9. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek at 5-44
10. Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 6-32
Close second place for Dario Cataldo on stage 14 as he is passed by Enrico Bataglin in final metres