Monday 24 May 2010 at 19h31

The day before the restday today, the leading group of the day was destined to be taken back with the climb of the Monte Zoncolan at the end of the stage. In this climb, Ivan Basso progressively gets rid of his competitors to win the stage in a solo race to the top, 1'19" ahead of Cadel Evans.

The Italian rider thus approaches the top of the general classification and looking on the last week's programme he seems to have some chancer of going up to the first place. But the other favourites are quite close as well in the general classification ...

The summary of the 15th stage Mestre > Monte Zoncolan

The sprinters Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) and Robbie McEwen (Katusha Team) didn't come to the start of the 222 kilometer long stage yesterday morning in Mestre. Manuel Belletti (Colnago - CSF Inox), winner of Friday's stage, gave up in the feeding zone yesterday, just like Guillaume Blot (Cofidis), Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto) and Paul Voss (Team Milram) did in the last climb of the day.

Like Saturday, the start of the stage was quite flat but yesterday there were 3 climbs before the final climb of the day, the Monte Zoncolan on top of which the finish line was drawn.

Nico SijmensAfter 18 kilometers 6 riders form the leading group of the day: Ludovic Turpin (AG2R La Mondiale), Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni), Guillaume Le Floch (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Nico Sijmens (photo, Cofidis), Jérôme Pineau and Francesco Reda (Quick Step). None of these riders is placed in the top of the general classification and they are thus allowed to create a quite impressive gap. Their gap is at its highest mid stage, 14'35"!

Ludovic TurpinOn the top of the first climb of the day, the Sella Chianzutan, Ludovic Turpin (photo) takes the points for the King of the Mountains jersey, ahead of Guillaume Le Floch and Nico Sijmens. The peloton led by the Liquigas-Doimo team passes on top of this climb 9'20" later.

The intermediate sprint in Paularo was won by Jérôme Pineau, ahead of Francesco Reda and Ludovic Turpin.

In the Passo Duron the leading group loses Francesco Reda and behind them this climb also allows to get a first selection because the speed the Liquigas-Doimo riders give to the group allows to reduce the purchasing group to only 25 riders approximately. On the top, the points are again for Turpin and this time he's followed by Pineau and Le Floch. The purchasing group follows at 4'48".
Turpin and Pineau again take the first two places on top of the Sella Valcalda, the third place on top is for Nico Sijmens. The peloton which has just taken back Francesco Reda is following 3'42" later.

Several riders manage to get back in the pink jersey group when approaching the final climb of the Monte Zoncolan. At the foot of this now mythical climb of the Giro d'Italia the group of about 40 riders is still running 2'34" behind the 5 leading riders. Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni) than decides to move up the speed at the front and is followed only by Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and the World Champion, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).

Ivan BassoBasso takes over from him at a bit more than 6 kilometers from the finish, first followed by Cadel Evans who however has to let him continue alone as well when the Italian rider is in the middle of the many fans on the sides of the Monte Zoncolan.
Finally Ivan Basso thus takes the third individual stage win in row in this Giro d'Italia 2010. On top of the Monte Zoncolan he finishes 1'19" ahead of Cadel Evans who's followed at 12 seconds by Michele Scarponi. The expected riders follow with the Italian Prince, Damiano Cunego 4th at 1'58", Alexandre Vinokourov 5th at 2'25" and the Spaniard Carlos Sastre 19 seconds behind the rider from Kazakhstan.
The pink jersey David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) finishes the stage 11th at 3'50" behind Basso. Not sure whether the Spanish rider will be able to keep his leader's jersey until the end of this Giro d'Italia 2010 when looking at the programme which awaits the riders for the last week of this Tour of Italy 2010 !


The reaction of the winner and the pink jersey

On the official website of the race Ivan Basso declared: This is the most beautiful day since my comeback. The team was perfect, they pulled me for over 100 km. Evans is a big champion, he finished second in this stage but he's still in the running for the general classification, just like me. This final climb is infernal, you must climb it in your own speed, otherwise you explode.

Concerning his chances in the general classification he said: Today I'm happy to have won this stage, but there's still a lot to do.

David Arroyo, still leading in the general classification declared: My goal is now to keep the first place. This stage was horrible. I will think about the individual climb time trial later..

The videos of the 15th stage Mestre > Monte Zoncolan

> Watch the summary of the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2010

> Watch the last kilometer of the Mestre > Monte Zoncolan stage of the Tour of Italy 2010

The programme for the last week of the Giro d'Italia 2010

After the rest day today, there's still quite a programme awaiting the riders of this Tour of Italy 2010!

Indeed, tomorrow they will climb towards Plan de Corones (Kronplatz) in an individual time trial, followed on Wednesday by a mountain top finish in Peio Terme. After a stage which could be seen as a transitional stage on Thursday, Friday's stage, with finish in Aprica at 1173 meters altitude, proposes in the final circuit around the finish city several climbs including the notorious Passo del Mortirolo (12.8 km for a 1317 meter height difference and an average slope of 10.3% with an 18% maximum).
On Saturday the riders will have to do a last high mountain stage from Bormio to Ponte di Legno - Tonale with for example the climbs of Forcola di Livigno and the Passo di Gavia, the rooftop of this Giro. On Sunday the Giro d'Italia 2010 will end with a final individual time trial in and around Verona with a short climb towards Torricelle.

>> Of course you can find all details of the route, the route- and time schedules and the stage profiles of the Tour of Italy 2010 in my article The Giro d'Italia 2010 route on Google Maps/Google Earth and the route and time schedule.

The classifications of the Giro d'Italia 2010 after the 15th stage

The result of the stage Mestre > Monte Zoncolan

In the top 10 of this stage the expected names appear but the 9th and 10th places of Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions) and John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) are worth to be mentioned:

1/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) - 6h21'58" (35,186 km/h)
2/ Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) - +1'19"
3/ Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni) - +1'30"
4/ Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - +1'58"
5/ Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) - +2'26"
6/ Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - +2'44"
7/ Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - +3'07"
8/ Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia) - +3'20"
9/ Daniel Martin (Garmin-Transitions) - +3'31"
10/ John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) - +3'46"

The general classification

David ArroyoThanks to the gap he managed to get on the current leader of the general classification, David Arroyo, and on the main favourites of this Giro and thanks to the bonus seconds for his stage win, Ivan Basso makes a jump in the general classification. From the 11th place at 7'43" from David Arroyo to the 3rd place at 3'33" (the 3'50" taken on Arroyo in today's stage plus 20 bonus seconds). The other favorites are well placed as well and behind the unexpected Arroyo and Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) we thus find Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).

Ivan Basso is now placed at 48 seconds ahead of Sastre, 1'10" ahead of Evans and 2'18" ahead of Vinokourov:

1/ David Arroyo (Caisse d'Epargne) - 67h48'42"
2/ Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) - +2'35"
3/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) - +3'33"
4/ Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - +4'21"
5/ Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) - +4'43"
6/ Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) - +5'51"
7/ Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - +6'08"
8/ Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni) - +6'34"
9/ Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) - +7'12"
10/ Robert Kiserlovski (Liquigas-Doimo) - +8'13"

Classification by points

Cadel EvansCadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) takes over the first place from Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) in the classification by points:

1/ Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) - 86 points
2/ Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) - 83 points
3/ Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) - 74 points
4/ Filippo Pozzato (Katusha Team) - 65 points
5/ Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - 64 points


King of the Mountains classification

Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) still has the lead in the King of the Mountains classification for the time being but he didn't take any additional points in the past few days. His leader's jersey is thus seriously threatened by Ivan Basso:

1/ Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - 29 points
2/ Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) - 25 points
3/ Ludovic Turpin (AG2R La Mondiale) - 20 points
4/ Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam) - 16 points
5/ Rubens Bertogliati (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni) - 16 points

Best young rider classification

Richie PorteRichie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) is more and more alone in the top of the best young rider classification of the Giro d'Italia 2010:

1/ Richie Porte (Team Saxo Bank) - 67h51'17"
2/ Robert Kiserlovski (Liquigas-Doimo) - +5'38"
3/ Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) - +12'00"
4/ Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) - +12'10"
5/ Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Doimo) - +21'07"

photo Ivan Basso illustrating this article and again shown in the summary of the stage: in the Tour of California 2009, taken by richardmasoner; these images are available under the Creative Commons license

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Giro d Italia | Giro d'Italia 2010


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