The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 16

 Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

The Steps

1st – Rohan Dennis - 40:00

2nd – Tony Martin @ 0:14

3rd – Tom Dumoulin @ 0:22

The Parcours

A 34.2km TT was on the menu for the first day back after a rest day, and it was fairly straightforward. A flat opening 23km made for an easy start before a kilometre-long climb interrupted the ride. Averaging 3% on wide roads, it wasn’t particularly testing. A narrow descent on less than ideal tarmac took riders back down, and into a pretty flat finish with a nice little cobbled/marble corner in the last 500m.

The Jerseys

Simon Yates holds the Maglia Rosa on a day many expected him to lose it, retaining 56 second lead over Tom Dumoulin thanks to a superb TT. Yates is now an unbackable favorite for the overall, having been dominant in the mountains. No other jerseys changed hands, though M.A Lopez stretched his White Jersey lead out to 30 seconds from Carapaz.

 

 

The Winning ride

Rohan Dennis won the day with an ultra-consistent ride, setting the fastest times at every checkpoint. He was one of the last riders to go off, with Tony Martin setting the benchmark that sat for the majority of the day.

SSS contributor Ryan Mullen set an early benchmark, but a flurry of time trial specialists came across the line around the same time, with Jos Van Emden, Alex Dowsett, Victor Campenaerts, Vasil Kiryenka and Tony Martin all bettering it in a 15 minute patch. Martin’s time stood as the quickest for around an hour and a half until Dennis rolled in. The BMC man with a bulldog tattoo averaged over 51kph for the individual test to Rovereto.

 

The GC Movers and Shakers

For the main GC contenders, this was about as you’d expect – for the most part, the guys who took time were expected to take time, and the guys who lost time were expected to lose time. The gap between those two groups was probably a bit larger than expected though.

Pozzovivo lost 2 minutes, however with Pinot, Carapaz and Lopez all losing around 3 minutes, it was enough for Pozzovivo to jump into third. It also brought Froome back into the race for the podium. He’s now 33 seconds down on Pozzovivo, but his form is far from solid right now.

Tom Dumoulin rode a smidge poorer than you’d expect, losing 22 seconds to Dennis. That was doubly disappointing with Yates riding better than expected. Chris Froome finished 35 seconds back of Dennis, jumping up to fourth, while Rohan Dennis’ win propelled him to 6th on GC.

The surprise rider of the day was Simon Yates. Yes, he lost time to Dumoulin, but it was only a minute and change. He still holds an advantage of 0:56 over Dumoulin, having lost only 1:15 to the World TT Champ.

Two days ago, Fabio Aru lost 25 minutes on the road to Sappada. In this TT, he posted a time only two seconds slower than Froome and beating established TT specialists like Kiriyenka, Campenaerts and Dowsett. That’s a staggering turnaround in form, especially with his poor TT history– I’d sooner expect him to lose 25 minutes in a 35km TT than I would through the mountains.

 

The Aussies

1st – Rohan Dennis (6th on GC @ 5:04)

25th – Ben O’Connor @ 1:58 (12th on GC @ 7:33)

85th – Mitch Docker

96th – Jack Haig

101st – Adam Hansen

141st – Zak Dempster

151st – Chris Hamilton


Next

155 km from Riva Del Garda to Iseo on Stage 16. There are three long climbs on the day, though only one is categorised (the Cat 3 climb to Lodrino). All are 5-10km and around 5%, so they’re legitimate climbs. Only once have we seen the opportunists go to the finish in this Giro but this stage has breakaway all over it. With the sprinter's teams looking to nurse themselves through to Rome, there should be fireworks early doors for those looking for stage success.

The day finishes with a 12km loop around Iseo, so the riders will see the finish once before the end of the stage. The finish itself is tricky; in the final 400m, the course goes around a small chicane to the left, possibly making for a bit of chaos.

 

The Pick

In the case of a breakaway going to the line, expect riders such as Mohoric, Denz, L.L Sanchez, Lutsenko, Pedersen and no doubt a rider from the Pro-Conti teams to be there. In this scenario, we’ll go with Mohoric for the win. Assuming it’s a sprint, it’s hard to look past Viviani. We’ll do it though; the great man Sam Bennett sprints a bit better after a hard day, and that should also keep the points race interesting until Rome.

See you back at the social club

Josh