Giro d'Italia: 200 kilometers of prelude, 20 kilometers of action. This is how the 15th stage can be briefly outlined. At Montecampione, the group of favorites stayed together for a long time, but picked up the rest of the group of the day on the way to the finish. In the end, Fabio Aru (Astana) came out on top.
Similar to yesterday, today's race events at the top were shaped by a leading group for a long time. Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Adam Hansen (Lotto Belisol), and Luca Paolini (Katusha) were certainly the most well-known.
The group maintained a lead of almost five minutes for a long time. At the beginning of the ascent to Montecampione, where 16 years ago Marco Pantani exchanged blows with Pavel Tonkov, it was Hansen who put his nose in the wind. He was later confronted by Cardoso, who finally abandoned him.
The first rider to make the leap to the falling lead group was Colombian Julian Arredondo (Trek), who wanted to defend his mountain jersey with his attack. With 11 kilometers to go, he caught up with Portuguese Cardoso (Garmin Sharp). However, neither of them had a big lead over the group of favorites around Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
In the group, Giorgio Brambilla was the first to set the pace. The Italian wanted to prevent uranium from getting into trouble like yesterday. This succeeded. Nine kilometers from the finish, the decimated group of favorites caught up with Arredondo and Cardoso. The Irishman Philip Deignan (Sky) used the moment and attacked. He quickly pulled out a lead of 15 seconds.
With six kilometers to go, it was Pierre Rolland (Europcar) who followed the Irishman. Uran followed him, as did Evans. After the 37-year-old Australian increased the pace, Rolland attacked again. With four kilometers to go it was Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who tried his luck, followed by Fabio Aru (Astana). However, neither could shake off the favourites. Anders Rolland, who caught up with Deignan with three and a half kilometers to go.
With three kilometers to go, Aru attacked again. Uranium followed on his rear wheel. Evans, meanwhile, couldn't hold the rear wheel. The same applied to Quintana, who was later able to catch up with Fabio Duarte (Colombia). The trio quickly reached Rolland. Just seconds after the merger, Aru attacked again. This time Quintana went after him. Together with Rolland he was able to distance Uran. Duarte initially stayed with his compatriot before catching on to Quintana and Rolland.
At the front, Aru vehemently defended himself against the strong emerging trio. In the end, the Italian celebrated his first victory of the day at the Giro d'Italia. 22 seconds behind, Duarte secured second place, with Quintana third. Uran lost 41 seconds to Aru, but separated Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) by more than ten and Evans by more than 30 seconds.