Vincenzo Nibali on course for a Giro podium
The BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM and its captain Vincenzo Nibali continue to show strong performances at this year’s Giro d’Italia: With a third place in the stage to Courmayeur and more strong riding Nibali has moved up to 3rd in the overall standings and solidified this position.
At the end of the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia Damiano Caruso missed out on a stage win narrowly by finishing in 2nd. At that moment nobody knew that this had only been the beginning of a series of strong performances from the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM. The 13th stage finished with a long climb to Lago Seru, cresting well over 2000 meters above sea level. At first a large lead group took charge of things, but on the final ascent this group shrank to half a dozen of riders. Domenico Pozzovivo dropped back from the group to support his captain. But then Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic as his main rival could not find any agreement, granting the stage win to the early attackers. Nibali crossed the finish line in 8th place, about one and a half minute behind the day’s winner.
After the 13th stage Vincenzo Nibali had some frank words for Roglic’s defensive riding. Nevertheless another stalemate between Nibali and Roglic developed the next day on the way up the Valle Aosta to Courmayeur. This time Damiano Caruso had dropped back from the early lead group to assist his captain. But this help was not enough to claw back Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz. Just like the day before Nibali and Roglic kept each other in constant check throughout the finale, causing the speed of the chase to drop repeatedly. As Simon Yates had also managed to get away with a late attack, the chasers only sprinted for 3rd place and the remaining four seconds of bonifications. At least Vincenzo Nibali won this sprint of the group of overall contenders, moving up to 3rd in the overall standings. At the same time the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM moved up to 3rd in team standings.
The 15th stage saw a relatively tame start, but the finale followed the tracks of the Lombardia classic, featuring the Madonna del Ghisallo, Sormano and Civiglio climb in succession. Vincenzo Nibali has already won this classic twice and, the «Shark of Messina» had worked out a plan for the finale. While the two early attackers went for the stage win, Vincenzo Nibali first countered a move by Simon Yates on the Sormano. This attack did not stick, but Nibali had another attack up his sleeve, accelerating on the upper slopes of the Civiglio. The only rider who could latch onto his wheel was overall leader Richard Carapaz. Nibali dropped him on the twisting descent from the Civiglio, but the Ecuadorian managed to get back with two more riders in tow on the way to the finish in Como. Still Nibali managed to put time into all other rivals in the overall standings - a promising sign for the third week of the Giro d’Italia that sets off on Tuesday after the second rest day.
102ND GIRO D’ITALIA, STAGE 14: SAINT VINCENT - COURMAYEUR, 131KM
1. Richard Carapaz, ECU, in 4:02.23 hours
2. Simon Yates, GBR, + 1.32
3. Vincenzo Nibali, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 1.54
OVERALL STANDINGS BEFORE THE SECOND REST DAY:
1. Richard Carapaz, ECU, in 64:24.00 hours
2. Primoz Roglic, SVN, + 0.47
3. Vincenzo Nibali, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 1.47