Pogacar Climbs to Victory in Stage 16 of Giro d’Italia

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05/21/2024| 0 comments
by Roadcycling.com
Tadej Pogacar wins stage 16 of Giro d'Italia 2024 and shows five fingers for his fifth stage win
Tadej Pogacar wins stage 16 of Giro d'Italia 2024 and shows five fingers for his fifth stage win RCS Sport - LaPresse

Pogacar Climbs to Victory in Stage 16 of Giro d’Italia

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) has won a shortened stage 16 at Giro d’Italia 2024 following weather conditions that were deemed too harsh for modern road cyclists; Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) remains General Classification leader ahead of Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe)

The route of stage 16 of Giro d’Italia 2024 was shortened by race organizer RCS Sport due to what they deemed to be adverse weather conditions. There was rain and some snow in the original stating location for the stage in Livigno in the mountains and it is in such weather conditions that truly memorable professional road cycling challenges can be created.

While spectators were not afraid to experience some bad weather to meet the professional cyclists, modern cyclists are apparently no longer able to find the courage to compete in mildly rough weather conditions as the true icons of road cycling did in the good old times. 

Professional road cyclists ought to step up to the challenge and show their courage – especially these days with Europe at war when role models are needed to instill some courage in our younger generations. It is disappointing that race organizer RCS Sport lets the less courageous riders dictate the terms of the Grand Tour.

Despite the cold weather conditions, teams and riders had promised race organizer RCS Sport to show up at the start in Livigno for some sort of ceremony before being transferred to a later starting point of the stage. Unfortunately, according to RCS Sport, the teams did not live up to their promise and the many spectators who had courageously found their way to the start zone we left disappointed by the modern stars of road cycling. Perhaps they ought to switch to track cycling if they are so afraid of poor weather conditions.

The modified and shortened route of stage 16 of Giro d’Italia 2024 was a short 118.7-kilometer ride from Laas to Santa Cristina Valgardena (Monte Pana). The stage passed through Bolzano, included a single Category One climb, before concluding on the Category Two climb of Monte Pana. The much anticipated and tough Hors Category (Outside Category) climb of Giogo di S. Maria/Umbrail (16.8 km; 7.2%) had been removed from the racing menu of the day and the original route length was 206 kilometers.

Italy’s Marco Frigo (Team PremierTech) bravely launched a solo attack shortly after the start of the stage. Finally true courage was seen in the professional peloton.

Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM-Firmenich) and Juan Pedro Lopez (Lidl-Trek) counterattacked, but all attackers were reeled in by the peloton that was riding at high speed – not least to get warm.

With 88 kilometers left of the stage a brave attack was launched by a four-man group, which featured Davide Ballerini (Team Astana), Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost), Mirco Maestri (Team Polti Kometa) and not least Frenchman and former World Champion Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) who had already won stage 12 of this year’s Giro. The racing conditions were rainy, but the front quartet relentlessly fought on, thereby showing their true grit.

The front quintet built a lead of more than two minutes over the chasing peloton, which was headed by riders from the Movistar team. It was rumored Nairo Quintana had set his sights on a stage win in today’s stage.

The rainy conditions carried on and so did the riders. With 40 kilometers left, the advantage of the front group had been reduced to 01:35 minutes.

Alaphilippe was the first rider to reach the Passo Pinei climb (Category One; 23.4 km; 4.8%). He was fighting for an additional stage win in this year’ Giro.

Maestri was chasing eight seconds behind, while Ballerini followed 15 seconds later. Thirty kilometers remained.

Geraint Thomas helper and teammate Magnus Sheffield (Ineos-Grenadiers) crashed thirtytwo kilometers from the finish.

Alaphilippe relentlessly fought his way to a lead of approximately 01:30 minutes on the Category One climb. The Frenchman was showing great initiative and was doing his best to make this shortened stage worth watching.

Ballerini and Andrea Pietrobon (Polti Kometa) had formed a chase duo behind Alaphilippe.

Maestri and Flippo Fiorelli were chasing five seconds further behind the chase duo, while the main peloton was 01:46 minutes behind the leader. Maestri and Fiorelli were later caught by the peloton on the climb. 

Movistar’s Pelayo Sanchez launched a solo attack from the main peloton in pursuit of Alaphilippe. Jan Tratnik (Team Visma – Lease a Bike) also broke away from the peloton. He was joined by Italian Filippo Fiorelli. The Tratnik and Fiorelli attack proved not to be durable as they were soon reeled in by the main peloton led by Nairo Quintana and other Movistar riders despite their temmate Sanchez being further up the road.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM-Firmenich; 7th GC) was surprisingly suffering in the peloton.

Ever courageous Alaphilippe was unfortunately unable to preserve his advantage on the Category One climb. 14 kilometers from the finish line his lead had been reduced to fifteen seconds over Ewen Costiou (Arkea – B&B Hotels), Christian Scaroni (Astana), and Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane).

Alaphilippe was the first rider to reach the top of the Passo Pinei climb. A dangerous and wet descent now awaited the riders. 


Alaphilippe increased his lead slightly over the first chase group on the wet and tricky descent.

Alaphillipe initiated his climb to the finish line in Monte Pana. He refused to give in on the Category Two climb – but it still had sections of up to 16% that awaited him.

Alaphilippe’s legs were clearly hurting and 5.2 kilometers from the finish he was caught by Costiou, Scaroni, and Pellizzari.

Twentytwo seconds further back, the main peloton was now headed by race leader Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates. 

Alaphilippe quit the front group with 2.2 kilometers left. His batteries were exhausted after a magnificent and admirable performance. His Soudal-QuickStep team should be proud of him.

Costiou attacked from the front group on the steep parts of the climb. Rafal Majka was leading the peloton for Pogacar.

Pellizzari caught Costiou. The talented young Italian is rumored to be about to sign a contract with Team Bora-Hansgrohe for next season.

Pogacar attacked in the final kilometers. The greedy and powerful Slovenian rider was chasing a fifth stage victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia. It might make the popular rider less popular with his competitors in the professional peloton.

Pogacar passed Pellizzari in the final kilometer.

Pogacar crossed the finish line in solo fashion as winner of the shortened stage 16 of Giro d’Italia 2024. It was his fifth stage victory in this year’ Giro d’Italia.

Pellizzari finished second, while Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe) completed the stage podium. Martinez lost additional time to Pogacar in the General Classification, but at the same time advanced to second place because Geraint Thomas unfortunately faltered in the final climb of the day.

UAE Team Emirates’ Tadej Pogacar remains General Classification leader ahead of Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Daniel Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe). Pogacar extended his lead even further in today’s stage 16 of Giro d’Italia 2024.

Tomorrow’s stage 17 of Giro d’Italia is an exciting mountain stage. Look for more attacks from “Pogacar the Canibal” and for exciting battles in the Italian mountains.

Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for complete race coverage from Giro d’Italia 2024.

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