PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : Giro’15 St.15: Landa Lands The Big One!

Giro d'Italia
Giro’15 St.15: Landa Lands The Big One!
Race Report: The cream came to the top of the Giro milk today as the leading group was slimmed down to eight riders and then just four to fight for the win. Mikel Landa won for Astana, but Aru lost time on Contador.

Astana tried to wear down Alberto Contador and his Tinkoff-Saxo team, they succeeded to rid the front group of any of Contador’s team, but they could not break the team leader. In the end the Kazakh team took the stage, but Aru lost some time and looked a little out-classed by the man from Pinto.

The course
After Saturday’s time trial there will be some sore legs and so the GC men will probably keep their powder dry until the last climb of the day; the Madonna di Campiglio (Cat 1). The stage starts in Marostica and works its way towards Trento climbing La Fricca (Cat 2) on the way. From there the road undulates before the Passo Daone (Cat 1), which starts after 126 kilometers. The race drops from there, into the valley, before hitting the finalé of the day with 15.5 kilometers to ride to the summit finish with an average gradient of 5.9% and a maximum slope of 12%. The Madonna di Campiglio. If the name Madonna di Campiglio sounds familiar, it should do. This is where everything started to go wrong for Marco Pantani, he was leading the 1999 Giro d’Italia and was bound to win, but he failed a hemocrit test and was disqualified.


The start
The riders were greeted with some cloud, but (at the moment) not the heavy rain that they have had to endure the last few days. Two non-starters; Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek) and Oscar Gatto (Androni-Giocattoli).

giro15st15-start-marosticaNice weather for a hard day

Loads of early attacks, but the peloton was not keen to let anyone go and they were all together at the start of the first climb of the day; La Fricca. On the climb, the first proper split occurred under the pressure of Giovanni Visconti of Movistar, he was joined by Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) and stage 11 winner, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha). Chaves was soon dropped and replaced by the KOM leader; Beñat Intxausti also Movistar.

Tinkoff-Saxo took control of the peloton with four riders protecting Alberto Contador, Astana had six men just behind them, including the white jersey of Fabio Aru. Between the leaders and the bunch there was a group of five, but by the summit they had not caught them and Intxausti added more points to his KOM blue jersey.

At the top, the Intxausti group had 36 seconds on the chasers and 46 on the bunch.

100 K’s to go
On the descent Intxausti and Zakarin tried to hold the wheel of Visconti, but he was dropping like a stone, while behind, Katsantin Siutsou (Sky) attempted to join the front-runners, but Sergio Paulinho of Tinkoff-Saxo replaces him in the chase. Paulinho maked contact with the Intxausti group and then we had four riders out front. Behind them there were four more riders trying to cross, it included: Siutsou, Hubert Dupont & Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Diego Rosa (Astana) with Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast) a bit further back. Eventually they all get together for a lead group of ten.

Into the last 80 kilometers and they had 1:20. By the feed zone in Vigolo Baselga with 75 kilometers still to race. They had over 3 minutes.

As they started one of the unclassified climbs of the day, the escape fell apart due to Paulinho not working. In the end Visconti and Siutsou rode off and was joined by Dupont and Bookwalter, leaving the others to drop back to the bunch. Big loser was Intxausti who would have liked to pick up more KOM points.

Into the last 50
The break were not being allowed much advantage as Tinkoff-Saxo had lifted the pace and the lead came down to under 3 minutes as they headed towards the Passo Daone. Gavazzi was still in between at 1:22.


The Passo Daone
Bookwalter was dropped at the base of the climb as the other three pushed on. Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana had the control of the peloton as Richie Porte (Sky) went off the back. Next it was Rigoberto Urán (Etixx – Quick-Step) in trouble and Astana lifted the speed to make sure the Colombian was lost.

Astana had six riders with Aru as Contador only had Rogers for company. Basso and Kreuziger were trying to hang on at the back and failing.

At the top of the Passo Daone, with 31 kilometers to go, Visconti was first ahead of Siutsou and Dupont. Intxausti took the point from the chase group.

On the descent Atapuma and Kreuziger crashed, but both remounted.

The chase group of Aru and Contador was down to around 14 riders. Contador had two teammates, but Aru still had four. The three leaders went under the 20 kilometer to go banner with 25 seconds in hand, but Siutsou and Visconti sat up and waited for the Contador group leaving Dupont to push on by himself and take the intermediate sprint in Pinzolo, but he only had 17 seconds on Contador who wanted the 2 bonus seconds for 2nd.

The Madonna di Campiglio
2 kilometers into the climb and the chase could see Dupont only meters ahead of them and eventually he was caught with 13.3 left to climb. Behind the Contador/Aru group, the next group included Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) and Jurgen Van den Brouke (Lotto Soudal), but they were at over 1 minute.

In the group with Aru and Contador were Andrey Amador (Movistar), Leopold Konig (Sky), Carlos Betancur (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) although Betancur soon lost contact.

Astana kept the speed high going under the 10 to go banner and the lead group was down to ten riders.

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 15Yury Trofimov (Katusha) came so close to the stage win

5 to go
Contador, Konig, Kruijswijk, Amador and Trofimov were sat on the wheels of Landa and Kangert working hard for Fabio Aru.

3 kilometers to go and Landa pushed past Kangert with Contador on his wheel and the pink jersey saw his chance and went to the front to put Aru in trouble. Aru so slowly pulled back up to the front with Trofimov on his wheel. As soon as he caught up, he jumped again, but his teammate Landa put in another attack and again it was Contador who went with him and Aru again lost contact.

Aru got back, without Trofimov, and Contador moved through. Trofimov came from nowhere and passed the three in a crazy do or die attempt.

Contador looked at the Astana men to chase, but they just stare back. Landa attacks and passes Trofimov as Contador marks Aru. Landa has the gap he needs for the win with 300 meters to the line and with a beat of the chest takes stage 15.

giro15st15-landa-win-620Stage win for Mikel Landa, but time loss for Fabio Aru

Trofimov holds on for second, Contador third, Aru in fourth and Kruijswijk in fifth.

Stage winner Mikel Landa (Astana) said after the win: "It's an important win for me and the team, because when you work the way we have today, a win like this belongs to everyone. There were three of us, we had numerical superiority, and we couldn't let the stage win get away. Our objective is to put Aru in the best possible position in GC. We want first place with him, but we know it is difficult. 2nd place looks fairly safe, and we'll try to win this Giro using our superiority in numbers."

Overall leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo): "Am I the patron the Giro? I don't know. You are the ones saying so. I can only dedicate myself to giving the best of myself. Astana were very strong today: it was like a team time trial with me on their wheel. But my legs were good today and I would have liked to win the stage, thinking of Pantani, who was an inspiration for me, but there were lots of attacks and counterattacks and it was impossible to control all of them. I didn't speak to Landa, but there was no need to. He's a great rider, he's riding a great race, and I'm very happy for him."

giro15st15-contador-podiumWill Alberto Contador be on the podium every day for the next week?

Astana took the stage win, but Aru lost a little time to the ever-strong Contador. Rigoberto Urán lost over 8 minutes and Richie Porte is said to finish soon! (27 minutes down)

Keep it PEZ for all the Giro news in the final week of excitement.

Giro d’Italia Stage 15 Result:
1. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana in 4:22:35
2. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha at 0:02
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:05
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:06
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:38
6. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:42
7. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky at 1:00
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 1:10
9. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) at 1:49
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 2:13
11. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:18
12. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin at 3:11
13. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 3:48
14. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 3:50
15. Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:46
16. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling at 5:05
17. Sylwester Szmyd (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 5:10
18. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 5:11
19. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC at 5:14
20. Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar
21. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar
22. Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Southeast at 5:20
23. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 5:33
24. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 5:47
25. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 6:17.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 15:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 60:01:34
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:35
3. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 4:19
4. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana at 4:46
5. Leopold Konig (Cze) Sky at 6:36
6. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha at 6:58
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 7:10
8. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 8:20
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 9:53
10. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) at 10:03
11. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 10:05
12. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 10:31
13. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin at 11:17
14. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 11:42
15. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step at 12:15
16. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 14:10
17. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 15:48
18. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC at 16:07
19. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 16:33
20. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana at 17:01
21. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin at 17:06
22. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 18:53
23. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC at 19:41
24. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 23:56
25. Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R-La Mondiale at 29:48.


Related Stories