The Giro’s 15th stage brought us yet another win for the breakaway. Victor Campenaerts notched up another win for Team Qhubeka ASSOS, pipping Oscar Riesebeek of Alpecin Fenix at the line. Nikias Arndt of Team DSM finished off the podium. It was as you were for the GC guys, apart from Bora’s Emanuel Buchmann who had to call it quits after a huge crash just after the start of the stage.
How it went down
There’s no other way to describe this stage other than “bog-standard” for this Giro. The breakaway won for the 8th time in 15 stages. The weather was awful at times and peloton rolled in over 17 minutes after Victor the victor.
But this is VeloVoices. Bog standard won’t cut it here. There got to be something to admire about the stage right?
Let’s hear it for Victor Campernaerts. He’s been in super-attack mode all year, never mind all Giro. At the spring classics, the sight of Belgium’s most aerodynamic man breaking off into the distance was a regular delight. None of his moves came off but… man… he tried hard.
He’s been no different at this Giro, powering off day after day to make the breakaway. If there was a classification for giving a shake and seeing what happens, Victor would be in contention.
Today he had to fight three times to go off the front. Once at the very start of the race, once after the race had been stopped due to a crashm and then a final time to get himself clear of his frankly unambitious breakaway companions. Each time, you could see the power he was putting down and the effort he was making to give himself the best possible chance of his first grand tour win.
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 23, 2021
The final time Campenaerts pushed off, he took Alpecin’s Oscar Riesebeek and Movistar’s Albert Torres with him. Torres was easily disposed of but Riesebeek stuck with him all the way to the finish line. Campernaerts and Riesebeek had a few spats in the closing kilometres but it came down to a two-up sprint. After a little cat’n’mousing Campenaerts used his power advantage to give Qhubeka-ASSOS their third stage win in the past five stages of this year’s Giro.
— Seán Marum (@SeanMarum) May 23, 2021
— Lois Horwitz (@LoisHorwitz) May 23, 2021
This Giro makes dreams come true:
Tim Merlier, Taco van der Hoorn, Andrea Vendrame, Gino Mäder, Mauro Schmid, Victor Lafay, Giacomo Nizzolo, Joe Dombrowski, Lorenzo Fortunato, Victor Campenaerts and yes also Egan Bernal all netted their 1st GTstage win this Giro
— José Been (@TourDeJose) May 23, 2021
I could write down what Victor had to say about his win but he lays down the emotion when he talks in much the same way as he lays down the power when he rides… press play on this…
🎙️ @VCampenaerts: " We rode as one: ubuntu – 'I am because we are'. We gave everything from the first few kilometers, what a fantastic day. We did a great job and I am so happy I could finish it off."
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 23, 2021
He went on to promote the Qhubeka ethos of #BicyclesChangeLives and how he’s committed to helping them change the world through cycling. Chapeau.
Did anything else happen?
Yes and no.
Almost as soon as the race started there was a huge crash on a narrow road over a lagoon (which other sport would make you write such a sentence?). Several riders had to abandon, too injured to continue. The most notable was Emanuel Buchmann of Bora, who was sitting 6th of CG this morning.
The other main players on GC took it easy. Which is kind of expected coming a day after the Zoncolan and the day before the Queen stage. Don’t be too harsh on them for serving up a Sunday snoozefest… look what’s coming their way tomorrow.
– Over 5000 metres of climbing
– 2 degrees on top of Giau
— La Flamme Rouge (@laflammerouge16) May 23, 2021
Stage 15 Top 5
1 Victor Campenaerts (Team Qhubeka ASSOS) 3:25:25
2 Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) same time
3 Nikias Arndt (Team BDSM) +0:07
4 Simone Consonni (Cofidis-dis-dis) same time
5 Quinten Hermans (Intermarche-Wanty-et al) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 62:13:33
2 Simon Yates (BikeExchange) +1:33
3 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +1:51
4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +1:57
5 Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) +2:11
6 Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +3:03
7 Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +3:52
8 Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) +3:54
9 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +4:31
10 Tobias Floss (Jumbo-Visma) +5:37
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)
Points jersey Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)
King of the Mountains Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r Citroen)
Best Young Rider Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)
For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.
Official race website: Giro d’Italia