Giro d'Italia: Fabio Aru wins stage 15 summit finish as Rigoberto Uran extends race lead
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 27/05/14 10:44am
Italy’s Fabio Aru ignited his Giro d’Italia challenge by climbing to a superb solo win on stage 15 as Rigoberto Uran extended his overall lead of the race.
Astana rider Aru launched a pair of decisive attacks close to the summit finish at Plan di Montecampione, first 3.1km out to drop the likes of Cadel Evans and Domenico Pozzovivo, and then again 1km later to shed Uran and Nairo Quintana.
He went on to win by 21 seconds from runner-up Fabio Duarte, with Quintana and Pierre Rolland following one second later in third and fourth respectively.
Quintana was able to drop Uran with a counter-attack of his own just under 2km from the finish, but the maglia rosa maintained his calm and crossed the line in fifth, 20 seconds behind his fellow Colombian.
Evans and Pozzovivo suffer
The big losers of another pulsating day were Evans and Pozzovivo, each surrendering 31 seconds to Uran, who now sees his gap at the top of the general classification over Evans stretch to 1min 3secs.
Aru's brilliant performance sees him leap from seventh place to fourth, 2min 24sec adrift, while Quintana climbs one place to fifth and within striking distance of Uran ahead of a mountainous final week.
Aru, who is 24 in July and started the Giro as a support rider to the more senior Michele Scarponi, said afterwards: "At 3km to go, I looked around and saw I was a bit stronger than the others, so I attacked to see what I could do. There’s still a hard week of racing ahead of us. I take everything day by day right now, and we’ll see how it goes."
The 225km 15th stage was pan flat right up until the category-one ascent to Plan di Montecampione, but the day exploded into life as soon as the riders hit the first slopes.
Julian Arredondo attacked early in a bid to set up a solo victory, but although he successfully bridged across to the leaders on the road, breakaway riders Adam Hansen and Andre Cardoso, he soon ran out of energy and all three were swiftly overtaken when Team Sky's Philip Deignan attacked with 10km to go.
The Irishman held a lead of just over 20 seconds heading into the final 5km, but then Rolland surged clear of the chasing group of favourites and caught and passed him 1km later.
The Europcar rider opened up a healthy lead, but that quickly evaporated when Aru launched his brace of stage-winning attacks. Quintana tried to chase down the Italian in the closing stages but was unable to make inroads.
The riders will now enjoy a second the race's third rest day on Monday, before returning to action with another mountainous stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello on Tuesday.
Stage 15 result
1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, 5:33:06
2 Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia, +21secs
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +22
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, same time
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, +42
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +57
7 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, +1:08
8 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha, +1:08
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp, +1:13
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, st
1 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, 63:26:39
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +1:03
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:50
4 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +2:24
5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +2:40
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +2:42
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, +3:04
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +4:47
9 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing, +5:44
10 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, +6:32