Giulio Chicone won his third career victory in the Giro d’Italia stage at the finish on top of the Horse, and Richard Carapas retained the overall lead despite an early disaster.
Chicone (Trek-Segafredo) added a stage 15 victory to the Giro’s previous joy in 2016 and 2019. The Italian ran away from his comrades who broke away, Hugh Carty (EF Education-EasyPost) and Santiago Buitraga (Bahrain Victorious) to drive the last 18 km alone. Buitraga and Antonio Pedrera (Movistar) finished the podium, finishing 1 m 31 s and 2 m 19 s behind Chicone.
The eventual winner of the stage worked with Buytrag and Pedrera to cover an early break and a tense climb to Veran. Karti, Martian Tusveld (DSM Team) and Rui Costa (UAE Emirates Team) created a group chase 30 seconds behind, with the former catching up with the leaders by the time they reached the top, remaining 40km.
Chicone’s attack at the base of the final ascent broke Tusveld, Costa and Pedrera before another explosion of acceleration fell on Buitrag and Carty. He threw his sunglasses into the crowd before crossing the finish line, to the loud shouts of the spectators.
“This is my most beautiful victory,” he said later. “It’s better than the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, better than my first wins at the Giraud because I’ve been through tough times over the last two years, with accidents, illness and Covid.” Chiccone completed the 178 km stage in four hours and 37 minutes.
Karapaz, for the first time this year wearing a pink T-shirt take possession of it on Saturday, his powerful team of Ineos Grenadiers helped endure three long climbs a day after falling off a bike during a mass crash early Sunday.
Karapaz, the 2019 Giro champion and last year’s Olympic gold medalist, said there were “no consequences” after the crash. “I just needed to change bikes,” he said. “Then everything went smoothly. The race scenario was pretty good. The first part was difficult. Then we kept it under control. “
The Ecuadorian is seven seconds ahead of Jaya Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the general classification and 30 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida, who took third place, Joao Almeida (UAE Emirates Team). Almeida was unhappy after the race, believing that Karapaz’s teammate on Ineos, Pavel Sivakov, got up early to try to help the race leader get a couple of extra seconds.
“It was just a tactical thing. I was behind the wheel, and his teammate was slowing down, so I took a break, “- Almeida told Cyclingnews. “It was two seconds and it was something, but in the end there was nothing I could do about it. That’s what we have. ” Karapaz did not see the incident, but ultimately did not win at Almeida.
After Monday’s last race break, Gira is recovering with one of the toughest climbs on Martirola on the 202-kilometer stretch from Salo to Aprica. The race will end next Sunday in Verona.