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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Giro d'Italia Stage 16 team reports

We posted the reort from second-place Thymen Arensman's Team DSM with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Jan Hirt's Team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert:

The Giro d’Italia of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was further embellished this Tuesday thanks to a victory of Jan Hirt in the sixteenth stage between Salo and Aprica, exactly one week after the success of Biniam Girmay in Jesi.

Jan Hirt wins stage 16. Sirotti photo

With over 5000 meters of climbing, it was one of the important stages of this 105th edition with notably the Passo del Mortirolo, one of the mythical climbs of the event.

The winner of the Tour of Oman joined a breakaway of 22 riders together with Lorenzo Rota and fought for a long time to increase its advantage. The gap grew over 4 minutes under the impetus of Lorenzo Rota in the downhill of Goletto di Cadino (19km at 6.2%).

Halfway through the 202 kilometer stage, the Passo del Mortirolo (12.7km at 7.7%) caused a lot of damage in both the breakaway and the peloton. While Jan Hirt crossed the top in the lead of the race with six other riders, Rein Taaramäe and Domenico Pozzovivo followed the maglia rosa group.

The seven leaders maintained their advantage, enabling them to fight for the stage win on the final climb Valico di Santa Cristina (12.7km at 8.1%). Jan Hirt left his competitors behind on the steepest part of the climb and crossed the top with an advantage of 15 seconds on his first chaser.

The Czech rider resisted to his chasers during the 8 kilometer downhill on wet roads and crossed the line as the winner, taking the ninth victory of the season for the Belgian team.

Thanks to his first Grand Tour stage win, Hirt climbs to ninth place in the provisional classification. Despite a crash in the downhill of the Mortirolo, Domenico Pozzovivo bravely fought until the line to stay in the top six of the provisional classification.

“I was looking forward to do something nice in this stage, because the Mortirolo has a special meaning for me. In 2019 I finished second in the queen stage which also passed the Mortirolo and in Aprica. I wanted to repeat this performance and it all started well as I managed to anticipate by joining the breakaway. However, not everything went according to plan. First, I had to close a gap on the Mortirolo because of the bad cooperation in the breakaway before the climb. When I was again in the lead of the race I planned to attack on the steepest part of the final climb Santa Christina. But meanwhile, Lennard Kämna already gained an important advantage before the foot of the climb. In the end, waiting for the highest climbing percentages was the best strategy for me. I had to dig really deep, bot uphill and downhill. I overcame several hurdles and felt pain everywhere, but my desire to win this stage was so strong. I fought until the finish line and I won! A stage victory in the Giro d’Italia was my ultimate goal before today… But now I’m here on the podium I’m convinced that my career is unfinished business!” - Jan Hirt

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Here's the report from GC leader Richard Carapaz's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Richard Carapaz sprinted to fourth place to retain the maglia rosa after a hard-fought GC battle on a gruelling stage 16.

Richard Carapaz remains the GC leader Sirotti photo

Carapaz was part of a three-up sprint on the 202km stage and was edged out of third place on the line by second placed Jai Hindley (Bora Hansgrohe).

This earned Hindley a four-second bonus to reduce Carapaz's lead overall, but the INEOS Grenadier gained time on a host of rivals, including third-placed Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates).

The INEOS Grenadiers pulled together in the opening climbs to maintain control of the race. Ben Swift, Ben Tulett and Jhonatan Narvaez combined well on the Goletto di Cadino to keep the break close and ensure no general classification threats escaped.

They then had some help from Astana on the Passo del Mortirolo, with Vincenzo Nibali's team setting the pace to setup an attack.

The Italian did accelerate, but Pavel Sivakov was able to catch up to him on the descent to setup a GC battle on the final climb.

The top three on GC, Carapaz, Hindley and Mikel Landa escaped the others in the closing kilometres, and while Jan Hirt won the stage from the break, the trio sprinted for third place and four bonus seconds, with Hindley narrowly edging Carapaz into fourth.

Richard Carapaz:
"It was a tough stage and in the end I have to say I am happy. I thought I would win the sprint for third place and take the bonus. Even if I didn’t manage it this is still a good day for me. True, I lost a few seconds to Hindley but I gained more on Almeida so the balance is positive“.

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Here's the report from GC second-place Jai Hindley's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

A 202 km long monster stage with 5,250 metres of elevation gain and a technical descent to the finish line awaited the peloton after the final rest day. From Saló on the western shore of Lake Garda, the 16th stage went over three first category climbs, up to the winter sports resort of Aprica in the Alps.

The first five riders in the GC were rather close together and it was quite possible that there would be major shifts in the GC at the day's end. On the first climb, a successful breakaway including Wilco Kelderman and Lennard Kämna formed. Before the ascent of the Mortirolo, Lenni managed to break free with a small group. Behind, the chasing group with Wilco was caught up by the peloton before the last climb.

At the end of the descent of the Teglio, Lenni was able to attack from the leading group and gain a lead of about one minute over his fomer breakaway companions. About 14 km before the finish, Emanuel fell back from the group of favourites and a little later Lenni was overtaken by fellow breakaway riders Hirt and Arensman. Landa, Hindley and Carapaz broke then away from the group of favourites to overtake Lenni. Hirt, the solo leader on the road, crossed the top of the final climb first and went on to take the day's win ahead of Arensman. Jai won the sprint from the 4-man GC group for third place and thanks to the four bonus seconds, the Australian is now only three seconds behind overall leader Carapaz, while Emanuel dropped to 8th overall.

Jai Hindley just beats Richard Carapaz for third place and those valuable four bonus seconds. Sirotti photo

"Today was definitely a very good day. I felt good, tried everything and I don't think I made any huge mistakes. And if other riders are stronger, then one shouldn't feel bad. On the whole, it was once again a super day for the team and from that point of view, I’m also very satisfied." - Lennard Kämna

"In the beginning, Emu and I rode relatively conservatively in the peloton and tried to stay out of trouble. On the second to last climb Bahrain Victorious took control in the reduced peloton and the pace became faster and faster, especially over the last kilometres of the climb. I felt really good at that point and tried to launch a few attacks, but in the end it wasn’t possible to shake off Carapaz and Landa. Overall it was a good day, I gained four bonus seconds and now I'm only three seconds behind Carapaz in the GC. So like I said, a really good day." - Jai Hindley

"The guys did a good job preventing any dangerous riders from getting into the break. Lenni and Wilco were also able to get into that group. The race back in the peloton went as we expected, namely Ineos controlled everything and our riders rode safely behind them in the peloton. We could see today how active Bahrain Victorious was in the finale, and I think they may also have something in mind for the next days, so we have to be very attentive to that. Regarding Jai's performance today, we can only be satisfied. He was able to counter all the important attacks from the GC group, even made some moves himself, and also picked up four bonus seconds. So we’re getting closer and closer to the pink jersey." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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And here's the Giro report from the young rider classification leader Joao Almeida's UAE Team Emirates:

Joao Almeida continued his strong run at the Giro, fighting his way to 8th place on Stage 16 from Salo to Aprica (202km).

Joao Almeida is third in the GC. Sirotti photo

Almeida became distanced on the last climb of the day inside -8km to go, but paced his efforts well to limit his losses to the Maglia Rosa group of race leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos-Grenadiers).

The day saw many riders suffer on a parlours which featured over 5200 metres of climbing. Up front the stage was won by Jan Hirt (Wanty-Intermarche) as Almeida fought to defend his podium spot which he continues to hold at just 41’’ behind with five stages remaining.

Almeida: “It was a really hard day out there. To be honest I was surprised with my myself, since the start it was full gas the whole day and I didn’t really have any chance to pause and breath a little bit.I’m really happy with my performance and with the result and I’m ready to keep fighting to the end. We are still up there within a minute of the lead so I’m really happy where I am and looking forward to the next days.”

The race continues tomorrow on Stage 17 with another mountainous day from Ponte de Legno to Lavarone (168km).

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