Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) out-sprinted Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli Sidermec) in a scintillating end to Giro d’Italia Stage 15 in Como as Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) stretched his lead in GC.
The duo spent most of the 232km-long stage, called by some a ‘mini-Lombardia’, out in front and enjoyed an advantage of 15 minutes at one point.
But with the climbs of Madonna del Ghisallo, Colma di Sormano and Civiglio coming near the end, the GC teams and riders were always going to have their say.
So it proved, as Mitchelton-SCOTT first took it up for their leader Simon Yates, upping the pace and starting to eat into the escapees’ lead.
Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) suffered a mechanical, then crashed on the final descent, with Vincenzo Nibali (Team Bahrain Merida) and Maglia Rosa Carapaz taking their opportunity to gain time in GC.
With the gap to the break falling all the time, Nibali gapped his rivals on the way down to Como, but they managed to catch him, and Yates won the sprint for third, just 11 seconds behind Cataldo.
Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) was fourth, and Carapaz and Nibali fifth and sixth respectively.
In GC, Carapaz stretches his lead over Roglic by 40” to 47”, while Nibali made up 40” on his Slovenian rival and is now a minute behind him, 1’47” behind Carapaz.
Monday brings a rest day before a typically brutal final week which promises some thrilling racing.
See all the VelonLive infographics from Stage 15: