Gian Mattia D'Alberto/Lapresse Champagne showers: Giulio Ciccone celebrates.
Mixed Bag

Ciccone wins wet stage 16, Roglic loses more ground and Carapaz extends overall Giro lead

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar and Conor Dunne are flying the flag, with the former 22nd overall.

ITALY’S GIULIO CICCONE won the rain-lashed 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday as race favourite Primoz Roglic lost one minute and 20 seconds to his main rivals in pink jersey-wearer Richard Carapaz and two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali.

Veteran Italian Nibali sparked a highly aggressive day of racing when attacking from distance and while he was unable to drop Ecuador’s Carapaz, Roglic, isolated from his team-mates, was no match for the attack.

The 2013 and 2016 Giro winner launched his assault on the day’s final challenging climb, some 8km from the summit, which he crossed around 90sec ahead of the Slovenian flailing former ski-jumper Roglic.

Overall leader Carapaz, aided by his powerful Movistar team captain Mikel Landa, caught Nibali before the summit and formed the group that powered over the final rolling kilometres in blustery rain.

Carapaz said he was feeling relaxed, now that Roglic had finally let go after a long struggle.

“This was a perfect day for us, we did very well and we can relax a bit now,” he said.

Ahead of them was the day’s escape of eventual winner Ciccone and the man he beat to the line, the Czech Jan Hirt, who finished 1min 41sec ahead of Nibali’s group.

Some three minutes and three seconds off the pace, Britain’s Simon Yates and Dutch outside hope Bauke Mollema also lost ground on the mountainous run as they crossed the line with Roglic.

Jumbo director Addy Engels admitted his rider Roglic had suffered Tuesday.

“This time you saw a difference in level between Roglic and riders like Nibali, Carapaz and Landa. When they went, he was unable to follow,” Engels admitted. “And there’s more climbing to come.”

Nibali thereby moves up to second place one minute and 47 seconds behind Carapaz with Roglic at two minutes and nine seconds in third and Landa fourth at three minutes and 15 seconds.

Stage winner Ciccone was seen shivering after the race and had stuffed newspapers into his shirt on the descent of the main climb.

“I couldn’t put my top on at the Mortirolo. The sleeves were too narrow, and my gloves were wet,” said a smiling Ciccone, who is top of the climb points standings for the blue jersey.

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar crossed in 42nd (5:47.09) and now sits 22nd overall for Team Ineos while Conor Dunne finished 139th on stage 16 (6:18.14) and is 137th in the general classification for Israel Cycling Academy. 

Wednesday’s run offers relative respite to the peloton as there are no real mountains to climb even if there is very little flat terrain on the 181km run near the Austrian border that finishes in a 5km ascent.

The stage and general classifications can be found here.

© — AFP 2019

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

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