Jon Izaguirre of Esuskaldel Euskadi attacked the fellow members of a ten man breakaway on the final climb of today's Stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia in Falzes to take his team's first victory of this year's race. Alessadro De Marchi of Androni-Giocattoli finished second, 14 seconds behind the Basque rider, with Rabobank's Stef Clement third. The group containing the riders who in the days ahead will battle it out for the overall win, including maglia rosa Joaquin Rodriguez, crossed the line some nine minutes later. The Katusha rider retains a 30-second lead in the GC over Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal.
Izaguirre had attacked with Mathias Frank of BMC Racing as the road headed uphill inside the closing four kilometres of today’s stage, which had no categorised climbs but featured that tough ascent before the road levelled out for the last two kilometres.
De Marchi tried to give chase but was unable to do so, and Izaguirre also dropped Frank on the climb as the 23-year-old, who placed 15th in this year’s Gent-Wevelgem, headed towards the biggest win of his career to date.
It wasn’t until more nearly 70 kilometres had been raced of today’s 173-kilometre stage that the group containing the men that contested the finish managed to get away, although there had been a series of earlier attacks that didn’t stick.
Also in the group, which quickly stretched its advantage out to more than 10 minutes, were Lars Bak of Lotto Belisol, Farnese Vini’s Luca Mazzanti, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Nikolas Maes, Jose Herrada of Movistar, the NetApp rider Matty Brandle and Saxo Bank’s Manuele Boaro.
With three tough mountain stages to come this week, as well as a potential sprint finish stage on Thursday that Mark Cavendish will be targeting as he chases the points classification, the peloton took things relatively easy today – until the final climb, at least, when they watched each other closely – and were happy to let the break go.
That means there’s no change in the classifications, with Katusha’s Rodriguez staying in the overall leader’s maglia rosa, Sunday’s stage winner Matteo Rabottini of Farnese Vini leading the mountains classification, and Team Sky’s Sergio Henao in the white jersey of best young rider.
Giro d’Italia Stage 16 result 1 IZAGUIRRE Jon EUS 4:02:00 2 DE MARCHI Alessandro AND 0:16 3 CLEMENT Stef RAB 4 FRANK Mathias BMC 0:19 5 HERRADA Jose' MOV 0:21 6 BOARO Manuele SAX 0:37 7 BRANDLE Matthias APP 0:43 8 MAES Nikolas OPQ 0:45 9 BAK Lars LTB 10 MAZZANTI Luca FAR 0:48 11 FLECHA Juan SKY 8:54 12 PIRAZZI Stefano COG 13 CASAR Sandy FDJ 8:57 14 HESJEDAL Ryder GRM 15 DE GENDT Thomas VCD 16 LAGUTIN Sergey VCD 17 SLAGTER Tom RAB 18 RODRIGUEZ Joaquin KAT 19 IMPEY Daryl OGE 20 CUNEGO Damiano LAM Overall Standings after Stage 16 1 RODRIGUEZ Joaquin KAT 69:22:04 2 HESJEDAL Ryder GRM 0:30 3 BASSO Ivan LIQ 1:22 4 TIRALONGO Paolo AST 1:26 5 KREUZIGER Roman AST 1:27 6 SCARPONI Michele LAM 1:36 7 INTXAUSTI Benat MOV 1:42 8 HENAO Sergio SKY 1:55 9 CATALDO Dario OPQ 2:12 10 CASAR Sandy FDJ 2:13
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.