Image 1 of 20Jan Hirt wins stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)Image 2 of 20Sprint for bonus seconds at the finish line between Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in maglia rosa and challenger Jai Hindley – Bora-Hansgrohe rider grabbing third place while Carapaz fourth (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)Image 3 of 20Thymen Arensman of Team DSM would finish second on stage 16 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 4 of 20Mikel Landa of Team Bahrain Victorious on stage 16 and made a move on final climb (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 5 of 20Scenery for spectators but punishing terrain for peloton on stage 16 (Image credit: Getty Images)Image 6 of 20Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) in chase mode on stage 16 in maglia rosa (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 7 of 20Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in lead group with 47km to go (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 8 of 20Rein Taaramäe helps Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) work his way back to peloton after crash on descent with less than 50km to go (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 9 of 20In breakaway group with under 50km to go are Lennard Kämna of Bora-Hansgrohe, Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, Koen Bouwman of Jumbo-Visma Team in Blue Mountain Jersey and Hugh Carthy of EF Education-EasyPost (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 10 of 20Lorenzo Fortunato of Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team was part of early breakaway (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 11 of 20Breakaway passing through the climb of the Teglio (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 12 of 20Scenery on stage 15 from Salò to Aprica (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 13 of 20Decorations on the route of stage 16 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 14 of 20Stage 16 is all about climbing for the Giro d’Italia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 15 of 20Bahrain Victorious sets the pace of the chasers in the final 20km (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 16 of 20 Joe Dombrowski of Astana-Qazaqstan competes on stage 16 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 17 of 20Jan Hirt on stage 16 in breakaway (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency)Image 18 of 20Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) wins stage 16 (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)Image 19 of 20Breakaway group before Jan Hirt (left) launched final attack with 7. 5km to go on stage 16 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)Image 20 of 20Lennard Kämna of Bora-Hansgrohe tried to elude his breakaway companions at the front but would fade (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images) Jan Hirt gave Intermarché-Wanty Gobert their second stage win of the Giro d’Italia on the mountainous stage to Aprica, just holding off the chase from breakaway companion Thymen Arensman (Team DSM). The maglia rosa group of Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) sprinted in for third, with Hindley edging out the race leader for the four-second time bonus.
That result reduces Hindley’s gap to Carapaz in the overall standings to just three seconds, with João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) putting in a dogged performance to hold onto third at 44 seconds. More to come. How it unfolded Despite a standing start at kilometre-zero, the race burst to life instantly and barely settled down thereafter.
The stage opened with 30km of false flat, followed by a short uncategorised climb ahead of the start of the Galetto di Cadino – the first of the three major cat-1 climbs – at kilometre 40. The first breakaway group contained an unusual figure in Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), who was simply looking to give himself some sliding room on a day when making the time cut was his only real ambition. He was joined by Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), and Chris Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco).
They opened a lead of a minute over the peloton, where attacks were followed by lulls. When they hit the uncategorised climb, however, the race really ignited. Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo) hit the front to help take Giulio Ciccone clear in a large group, and they rapidly caught the leaders as the peloton suddenly exploded.
For a brief period, Carapaz appeared short of teammates, with riders all over the place. The chaos continued onto the Galetto di Casino – 19. 9km at 6.
2% – with a host of big names springing from the disorganised bunch and over to the break. Others, meanwhile, such as Cavendish, Van der Poel and De Gendt, dropped back from it during a period of flux. In the original nine-man move with Ciccone (16th overall) and Cataldo were Alejandro Valverde (Movistar, 11th overall), Thymen Arensman (DSM, 15th overall), and Hugh Carthy (EF, 18th overall).
Among the riders to then bridge across on the lower slopes of the climb were Guillaume Martin (Cofidis, 10th overall), Jan Hirt (Intermarché, 12th overall), Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe, 13th overall), Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa, 19th overall), and Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco, 21st overall). That made it nine riders from positions 10-21 on GC. From a tactical perspective, it was interesting to note Bora-Hansgrohe not only putting Kelderman up there but also Kämna – riders who might be useful pawns for later on, while Ineos regained almost their whole squad and set about controlling the reduced peloton.
The full composition of the breakaway was as follows: Kelderman, Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Hirt, Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Arensman, Chris Hamilton (DSM), Ciccone, Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo), Yates, Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Koen Bouwman, Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Martin (Cofidis), Valverde (Movistar), Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost), Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Mauri Vansevenant (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF), Mattia Bais (Drone Hopper-Androni), Peters (AG2R Citroën)The gap went out to 90 seconds as things settled into more of a pattern on the first half of the climb. However, they lit up again when Cataldo accelerated once more a few kilometres from the summit. Peters, Juul-Jensen, Eenkhoorn, Bais, and Zana were dropped.
The remaining 18 continued to the top, where Ciccone launched a fierce sprint to get the better of blue jersey Bouwman and close the gap in the mountains classification. A technical and varied 20km descent followed. Zana got back in but Bais misjudged a corner in his slipstream and crashed, before being joined by Kelderman when the Dutchman suffered a mechanical.
The pair hit the valley with a deficit of one minute – a big blow to Bora’s carefully laid plans for the day. Behind, Ben Swift led Ineos down at 2:40. From there, it was a 30km false flat before the mighty Mortirolo.
Kelderman, with Bais largely in his slipstream, dragged his way back on after 15km in the valley, making it 20 in the break. However, they didn’t make it to the Mortirolo together, as disorganisation led to a key split. Up front were Arensman, Hamilton, Valverde, Bouwman, Cataldo, Rota, Kamna, Poels, and they opened a lead of a minute as arms we waved behind.
Bouwman was first at the intermediate sprint at Edolo with 90km to go and a few kilometres to the start of the climb, with Cataldo then dropping back to give one final effort for Ciccone. That made it 45 seconds between the two groups as the 12. 6km climb began, with the peloton at 4:45 after a slow-down for a Carapaz stop.
Mortirolo On the Passo del Mortirolo (12. 6km at 7. 2%), the breakaway started to reshuffle once more.
Rota was dropped from the lead group, while Ciccone attacked behind with Carthy, and Hirt. Martin and Kelderman fought behind them, followed by Fortunato and Yates, and then Vansevenant. The rest of the break were effectively ridden out of the game.
Hamilton continued to sacrifice himself for Arensman and set the pace on the climb, but the chasers closed in. Carthy and Hirt made contact 4km from the summit but Ciccone was dropped and began to slip away. Arensman then finished his final turn and fell away, before Bouwman took it up in the final 2km before helping himself to the maximum haul of KOM points to reassert his dominance in the mountains classification.
Back in the peloton, the race came to life, with Astana taking it up in the peloton on the lower slopes. Nibali’s team put six riders on the front in usurping Ineos but didn’t look to be doing any real damage, either to the riders in the bunch of the breakaway’s advantage. However, 3km from the top, that all changed.
A big turn from David de la Cruz led to an even bigger one from Joe Dombrowsky, and suddenly the ‘bunch’ was down to 15 or so riders, with 40 seconds wiped off the gap to the break. There were worrying times for Carapaz, who was suddenly down to one teammate in Sivavov, with Porte puncturing near the top. When Nibali hit the front in the final few hundred metres, it was clear the stage was being set for a shark attack on the descent.
True enough, the Italian used his downhill skills to sail clear, forcing Carapaz into a panicked chase. With valley roads to follow, Nibali perhaps didn’t want to be alone but his forcing did put pressure on his rivals, and a mistake was forced out of fifth-placed Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché), who crashed out and had to descend alone. By the time the riders were spat out into the valley, only nine riders were left in the pink jersey group: Carapaz, Sivakov, Nibali, Hindley, Buchmann, Landa, Bilbao, Almeida, Formolo.
However, the group soon sat up, allowing plenty of riders back in. Among them were four Ineos riders, giving Carapaz five teammates who once again took control on the flatter terrain. There were 20km of valley roads before the uncategorised climb and intermediate sprint in Teglio.
Despite Carthy nursing his way down, the leading seven (Valverde, Arensman, Hirt, Carthy, Bouwman, Poels, Kamna) took it on with a lead of five minutes once more over the peloton. In between was an expanded group of seven breakaway remnants but they only drifted further back towards the bunch. Bouwman was dropped early on the uncategorised climb, which was still steep with plenty of double-digit gradients and an average of 8.
2% over 5. 6km. Bouwman was soon dropped as Carthy dictated the tempo, before Kamna led over the top with 30km to go to collect three bonus seconds ahead of Valverde and Arensman, who took two and one respectively.
Back in the bunch, Vadim Pronskiy reasserted Astana’s presence but then Bahrain Victorious took it up en masse and markedly lifted the pace. On the short descent to the foot of the final climb, where Kamna attacked and went clear, the gap had been reduced to just over three minutes. Results powered by FirstCycling.