Quintana Wins Stage 16 of Giro d'Italia, Leads Race
On a cold, snowy day in the Italian Alps, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) blew the Giro d’Italia apart.
dropped from sixth at 2:42 to seventh at 3:49, while Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Linksys) fell from seventh at 3:04 to eighth at 4:06. Robert Kiserlovski (Trek) dropped from ninth at 5:44 to 10 th at 8:02, while Rolland jumped from eighth at 4:47 to fourth at 3:26 and Hesjedal vaulted from 11 th at 6:44 to ninth at 4:16.
Quintana received flak for attacking while the descent was thought to be neutralized, but the Colombian steadfastly denied this. “The peloton was compact until the ascent of the Stelvio,” the Movistar man said. “Then the attacks started. There was a rider with Team Colombia, two riders from Ag2r, one from Sky. They started to descend fast. I just stayed on a teammate’s wheel. I didn’t hear anything about the descent being neutralized. Nor did my teammates. We were just glad to cover up well for the descent. We came down at some speed, and at the foot of the descent I realized that there were six of us in a group behind the breakaway. In any case, the time I gained on my rivals was mostly made on the final climb. I don’t see any grounds for controversy.”
In the overall, Quintana leads Uran by 1:41 and Evans by 3:21. Stage 17 will be a transitional stage that should not change the standings. The rolling, 174-km run from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto will feature three Category 4 climbs—nothing that a sprinter cannot handle. This stage will be the last chance for the sprinters to shine until the Stage 21 cavalry charge in Trieste. Will Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) add another stage to his collection? Will Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) or Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) foil the Frenchman? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!