Despite the Passo Gavia climb being removed from Stage 16 due to avalanche risk, today’s stage at the 2019 Giro d’Italia still saw plenty of action. It was a miserable, rainy day of racing in northern Italy, but Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) rose to the challenge and took the stage win from the breakaway ahead of Jan Hirt (Astana).
Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic, however, had another poor day. After the potty break/mechanical fiasco on Stage 15, today he cracked on the Mortirolo climb, ultimately dropping from second to third overall.
“I’ve been waiting for this second stage win for two years now. So I yelled with joy on the finishing line because it’s been a complicated day with lots of rain and cold,” Ciccone said.
The stage not only leaves Richard Carapaz (Movistar) in the lead at the Giro, but he now enjoys a much larger advantage. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) now sits second, 1:47 down, with Roglic in third at 2:09 back.
Hirt and Ciccone were members of a large breakaway that got clear early in the soggy stage. The GC contenders were happy to let the break go over the early climbs, but both the breakaway and the GC leaders got a big shake up on the Mortirolo.
A small handful of riders in the breakaway group held on through the tough ascent, and then Hirt and Ciccone launched the attacks that dropped all the remaining survivors of the break. From there it was just them.
In the main group, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida upped the pace on the climb and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and others began to struggle. Even Nibali appeared to be in trouble. Despite Movistar’s attempt to chase, Roglic could not hold the pace. Mikel Landa and Carapaz joined Nibali and a few others in a small chase group as Roglic linked up with Yates and other stragglers further down the road.
The select Nibali group maintained its gap on the descent, while Ciccone and Hirt started their uphill grind to Ponte di Legno together. At the finish Ciccone topped Hirt in the final sprint.
Nibali, Carapaz, and Landa snatched a 1:22 from Roglic and Yates which allowed Nibali to leapfrog Roglic into second in the GC battle.