Giro d'Italia (st. 15)
Andrey Amador takes 6th in Madonna di Campiglio in strong defense of overall 3rd in Giro d'Italia; valiant Giovanni Visconti gets back into GC top-ten as Beñat Intxausti strengthens lead in KOM standings
Andrey Amador and the Movistar Team showed again that the only limit is one's dreams by defending bravely what they had achieved in the 2015 Giro d'Italia TT during the first day of really big mountains in the parcours.
The 165km stage fifteen from Marostica to the Cat-1 climb of Madonna di Campiglio -with La Fricca (Cat-2) and the Passo Daone (Cat-1) as serious difficulties prior to the final ascent- witnessed another hectic day, with more than fifty kilometers before the day's early break was established. Many of the Blues fought to make the moves, which ultimately two of them succeeded in keeping alive for longer.
After initial insistence from Rubén Fernández -many laudable efforts have been seen from the Spaniard in this year's 'Corsa Rosa'-, it was Giovanni Visconti and Beñat Intxausti who got into an 11-man escape. The group launched the Basque into a secure lead in the KOM standings -now 31 points ahead of Mikel Landa (AST), winner of Sunday's stage-, while the Italian digged deep to get back to a GC top-ten place he had lost after the TT, yet regained when he broke the escape into two and the Daone climb in front of Dupont (ALM) and Siutsou (SKY), 1'30" ahead of a favourites' group fearugin Amador, Ion Izagirre, Antón and Intxausti -caught, 4th across the top-.
A crash by Igor Antón -with some bruises in his left knee as only consequence- split the bunch and left only 11 riders ahead, Amador included. The Costa Rican rider, supported by Fernández and his other team-mates in the beginning, was protected by Visconti after the Italian got caught.
The final attacks tore the race apart with 3km to go, Andrey intelligent enough to stay on his own pace to reach the finish in 6th place. Amador remains in 3rd overall (27" ahead of Landa, fourth) as Visconti jumps back into 9th, 9'53" behind Contador (TCS). The Giro convoy will enjoy a well-deserved, second rest day on Monday.