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Giro d'Italia 2019: Nibali takes bite from Roglic as Cataldo wins Stage 15

Joe Robinson
26 May 2019

Roglic loses time following crash while Nibali makes first move as the Giro heads into its final rest day

Vincenzo Nibali took advantage of a technical descent into Como to gain time on all his General Classification rivals except Maglia Rosa Richard Carapaz and Simon Yates while Astana's Dario Cataldo won Stage 15 from the day's two-man breakaway.

Nibali made a strong move towards the summit of the Civiglio before providing his usual descending masterclass on the run to the line. The only riders who could match the Italian were Carapaz, Yates and Hugh Carthy who all crossed the line together around 40 seconds clear of Primoz Roglic.

Roglic proved the biggest loser conceding time after crashing into a set of barriers on the final descent. This was after he was forced into riding the last 20km on the bike of teammate Antwan Toelhoek after an untimely mechanical

As for the stage, Cataldo took the victory from Matteo Cattaneo of Androni Giocatoli-Sidermec. 

The duo of Cattaneo and Cataldo were the only two brave enough to take on the duty of riding in the day's break. It shouldn't have succeeded but tired legs in the peloton and plenty of will from the Italian pair meant that this unlikely yet popular stage victory happened.

Tomorrow, the Giro d'Italia heads into its final rest day, a much needed day considering the race is thrusted straight back into the mountains and an ascent of the Mortirolo on Stage 16 this Tuesday.

The roads of autumn, in spring

The Giro d'Italia General Classification was finally beginning to take shape. The top 10 was dominated by the men expected to jostle for victory while Movistar's Richard Carapaz rode an almost perfect Stage 14 to secure a second stage of the race and also the pink jersey by seven seconds over Primoz Roglic.

Stage 15, today's round, was the last stage before the final rest day of the race. At 232km long, it took the peloton from Ivera northeast into some of Italy's most beautiful terrain finishing in on the banks of Lake Como.

Lombardy was the canvas for the day's riding and the final part of the day would be recognisable to both fans and riders alike.

With climbs of the Madonna del Ghisallo, Colma di Sormano and Civiglio, the final 50km or so was a carbon copy of Il Lombardia, the tough autumn classic.

15 days into the race and it was obvious the race was tired. So much so that only two riders decided to attack at the gun and form the day's breakaway. Those were Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocatoli-Sidermec). 

The peloton allowed the attacking duo plenty of slack with their gap weaving its way above the 15-minute mark. After a while, Mitchelton-Scott then took over the duties as chasers all for team leader Simon Yates.

Plugging away with their rouleurs, they slashed the gap to under 10 minutes with 70km left to ride and the three major peaks still to climb. 

The gap began to full further by the time of the Ghisallo. Hitting the base hard, the peloton was immediately strung out with the bigger riders finding themselves dropped immediately. Mitchelton-Scott was still at the head of affairs but the likes of Bahrain-Merida and Movistar were also making their presence felt.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, Jan Bakelandts then attacked from the peloton halfway up the climb. Seven minutes down on the lead duo, it was designed to fail yet his team needed something. Team Sunweb had been decimated by injury so far this Giro and was desperate for some salvation. However, this attack was not going to be it.

All quiet then bang. The slopes of the Surmano caused Yates to attack first with Mikel Landa and Carapaz first to respond. Behind, the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic started to respond. 

There was still 45km left to race but a select group of GC favourites had formed, of which Yates attacked from again, thinning the group down even further. It also drew Lopez to roll the dice, increasing the pace further making the main group ever smaller.

All the attacking did little to bring back the leading duo, which was nice. They were both brave enough to take on the day's break so were fully deserving of contesting the race win. Their glory was all but guaranteed but the intrigue was with the GC men behind and who would take a chance on the final climb.