Basso Wins Stage 15 of Giro
Ivan Basso (Liquigas) has won Stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.
Ivan Basso (Liquigas) has won Stage 15 of the Giro. The winner of the 2006 Giro surged away from Cadel Evans (BMC) in the last four km to win the mountainous, 222-km ride from Mestre to Monte Zoncolan in 6:21:58. Evans finished second at 1:19, and Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) took third at 1:30. David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) remains the maglia rosa.
Warm sunshine greeted the riders at the start. At 18km, Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r), Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli), Guillaume Le Floch (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis), Jerome Pineau and Francesco Reda (both from Quick Step) sallied away from the field. Their lead ballooned to 14:20 before the road turned skyward and the chase began.
Liquigas paced the peloton. The pace that the Italian squad set over the day's first two climbs, the Sella Chianzutanis and the Passo Duran, split the field. The lead group, which contained the maglia rosa and all of the heads of state, trailed the five remaining members of the break (Reda had been dropped) by 3:20 at the base of the Zoncolan.
Le Floch was dropped. Behind, Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) accelerated, and Basso countered. Only Scarponi, Evans, and Marco Pinotti (Columbia) could stay with the Liquigas man. Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) was dropped, and Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Alexander Efimkin (Ag2r), and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) fell back as well. Maglia rosa Arroyo was even further back and would finish 11th at 3:50.
With six km left, Basso attacked, and Scarponi was dropped. Basso and Evans caught and dropped Turpin, the last member of the break. The Italian attacked repeatedly, and the Australian responded. With 3.7 km to go, however, the rubber band snapped. The Liquigas man soloed away from his BMC rival.
In the overall, Arroyo leads Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) by 2:35 and Basso by 3:33. Tomorrow will be the 2010 Giro's second rest day, and on Tuesday, the riders will contest a 12.9-km mountain time trial from San Vigilio di Marebbe to Plan de Corones Kronoplatz. Look for Basso to draw closer to the maglia rosa, and look for Evans and Nibali to make up time on Arroyo without necessarily making up time on Basso. Check in at www.roadcycling.com and see how things turn out.