Giro d'Italia 2015: Mikel Landa wins stage 15

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Giro d’Italia 2015: Mikel Landa wins stage 15 atop Madonna di Campiglio

Alberto Contador claims bonus seconds to extend overall lead ahead of final rest day

Mikel Landa (Astana) bagged victory on the Madonna di Campiglio after a well-timed late dig as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) extended his overall lead courtesy of bonus seconds.

Landa’s win was reward for Astana’s strength in numbers on the eagerly-awaited final climb, but it was not enough to rid Fabio Aru of Contador, with the Spaniard edging his GC rival to bonus seconds by claiming third on the day.

Landa, meanwhile, foiled a late attack from Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) in the elite front group of four riders to seal the Kazakh team’s second stage win of this year’s Giro D’italia race.

Mikel Landa took victory on stage 15, courtesy of perfectly timed late attack (pic: Sirotti)

The front group had formed on the Madonna di Campiglio, with Tanel Kangert having set the pace for Astana, before a big dig by Landa.

Initially Landa’s pace had distanced Aru, but not Contador, but after fighting back with Trofimov all four men attacked and were caught as an intriguing battle played out at the front.

Earlier Contador had also picked up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint, bursting off the front of the peloton after the day’s main break had broken up and been brought back.

Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky) had been in that move, and attacked their fellow escapees, before they sat up to provide their team-mates valuable support in the finale.

Visconti’s efforts ensured Andrey Amador held onto third overall, while Sky’s new leader – with Richie Porte suffering from very early on in the stage – Leopold Konig is up to fifth.

Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep) finished eight minutes down on the front group, however, as his overall challenge faded after a fortnight full of frustrations.

Alberto Contador enters the final rest day with a commanding overall lead (pic: Sirotti)

Despite Landa’s stage win, however, the big winner was once again Contador who refused to be bullied by Astana’s strength in numbers – he had even become isolated in the leading group when Roman Kreuziger lost contact on the descent of the Ponte Arche.

And instead of ceding time to Aru, Contador ensured he enters the second rest day with a commanding overall lead, as favourite to win the first Grand Tour of the season with one week remaining.

Giro d’Italia 2015: stage 15 – result

1) Mikel Landa (ESP) – Astana – 4.22.35hrs
2) Yuri Trofimov (RUS) – Katusha +2”
3) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff-Saxo +5”
4) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +6”
5) Steven Kruijswijk (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +38”
6) Andrey Amador (CRC) – Movistar +42”
7) Leopold Konig (CZE) – Team Sky +1.00
8) Tanel Kangert (EST) – Astana +1.10
9) Alexandre Geniez (FRA) – FDJ +1.49
10) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – BMC Racing +2.13

General classification

1) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff-Saxo – 60.01.34hrs
2) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +2.35
3) Andrey Amador (CRC) – Movistar +4.19
4) Mikel Landa (ESP) – Astana +4.46
5) Leopold Konig (CZE) – Team Sky +6.36
6) Yuri Trofimov (RUS) – Katusha +6.58
7) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – BMC Racing +7.10
8) Maxime Monfort (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal +8.20
9) Giovanni Visconti (ITA) – Movistar +9.53
10) Alexandre Geniez (FRA) – FDJ +10.03

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