Giro 2018 Stage 16: Rohan Dennis takes the win – Yates stays in pink

Rohan Dennis more than made up for his disappointment on stage one with a masterful display to take his first Giro victory and move to sixth overall. Fastest at every intermediate time check, BMC’s captain powered around the course 14 secs faster than long-time leader Tony Martin. However, all eyes were on the duel between the maglia rosa Simon Yates and a be-rainbowed Tom Dumoulin. The World champion finished 3rd on the day – one minute and 15secs faster than Mitchelton-Scott’s captain, but not fast enough to take the lead. Yates rode a blinder and goes into the mountains with nearly a minute in hand.

Rider of the race

I have to give a tip of the hat to Rohan Dennis for that performance. Yes, he is a TT specialist, but he hasn’t been saving himself only for this stage. He’s been riding for GC to see how he holds up – I’d say to pull out this sort of ride so deep into a Grand Tour bodes well for future 3 week tilt. I nearly invited the whole darn Katusha-Alpecin team to the podium for placing four riders in the top fifteen and to see TT Tony get his race of truth mojo on again.

However, my rider of the race award goes to a member of the Sunweb team. Not one wearing the rainbow stripes, but to a rider in the usual black and white kit – lets have a huge round of applause as we welcome Chad Haga to the VeloVoices top step.

He’s tickled us pink with his stage round up tweets and we’ve seen him working hard for the team day after day. Today was his territory. He was given the green light to ride for himself and he aced it. Clocking a time of 40 minutes and 47 seconds to bag his best ever finish in a grand tour stage- you can’t ask for any more.

His 9th was upgraded to 7th after UAE-Emirates duo Fabio Aru and Diego Ulissi received penalty seconds for drafting offences (see later).

But what would the King of the stage summary say?

 

The race jury speaks!

Several riders received time penalties for some blatant drafting behind various vehicles and other riders. UAE-Emirates were hardest hit with Diego Ulissi and Valerio Conti both receiving 2 minutes – sending the former from 8th to 45th on the stage results. Their captain Fabio Aru received 20 seconds after producing the TT ride of his career. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) and Quick-Step Floors Remi Cavagna all received 30 seconds. For those wondering how these decisions are arrived at, this time we got to hear from the Jury President. Their take is that it’s the riders who make the decision which path they will take and who they choose to follow. You have been warned!

Maglia rosa news

The podium trio remain in the same order. The maglia rosa speed suit looked a little wrinkled – word is Mitchelton-Scott had to carry out last minute needlework to get it to fit.

However, Yates held any nerves at bay and put in a great ride to give himself every chance of taking the pink to Rome.  We’ll be sad to see a more conservative style though. The Giro has been enlivened no end by his hunt for every second.

I’m really happy. It really changes my tactic for the coming days. I think unfortunately for the fans I can be a lot more defensive. We’ll see. I have a bigger gap to the guys behind him as well – it’s not only Tom. Tom’s only a minute (back) but the guys behind him are at quite a lot. It’s a good gap, I’ll see what I can do. – Simon Yates

Bahrain-Merida’s Domenico Pozzovivo also rode well to limit his losses against the stronger rouleurs.

Big Tom was disappointed that he could not take more time…

 I was aiming for the win or to take a lot of time back on Yates, which didn’t work out completely. Yates was incredible again and I couldn’t accelerate further during the TT. I gave my all and have to be satisfied with the result, although I am a bit disappointed with the outcome. It’s still a long way to Rome and being less than one minute to pink doesn’t rule me out of anything.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ) had a nightmare. The French hope started the day in 4th place just 9 seconds behind Pozzovivo and finished in 5th – behind Chris Froome (Sky) who jumped from 7th to 4th – and trailing the third step of the podium by over a minute. Both need to put together a consistent set of finishes in the mountains to make the podium. Aru’s astonishing ride on a flattish, technical TT course that no one predicted he would excel on, left him precisely where he started – in 22nd place. Twitter did enjoy Tony Martin’s hot seat reaction as he crossed the line…

Maglia bianca news

The competition for best young rider is an absolute firecracker. Only ten seconds separated Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Movistar’s Richard Carapaz on the time trial, giving a 30 second advantage to Astana’s diminutive Colombian. That is nothing for this duo of South American mountain goats, I can’t wait to see them attack every time the road slopes upwards.

Last word…

Stage results

1 Rohan Dennis (BMC) 40:00

2 Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:14

3 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:22

4 Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:27

5 Chris Froome (Sky) +0:35

GC Top 10

1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 66:39:14

2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:56

3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +3:11

4 Chris Froome (Sky)+3:50

5 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +4:19

6: Rohan Dennis (BMC) +5:04

7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +5:37

8 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +6:02

9 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +6:07

10 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +7:01

All the jerseys

Embed from Getty Images

Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)

KOM jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Best young rider: Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

Full stage report from Cycling News

Header Image: ©GETTY/AFP/Luk Benies 

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