Giro d'Italia: Campenaerts cobbles together stage win in Slovenia

By Sports Desk May 23, 2021

Victor Campenaerts got the better of Oscar Riesebeek to win stage 15 on what was a quiet day for the Giro d'Italia contenders.

Following a gruelling Saturday climb up Monte Zoncolan that saw leader Egan Bernal extend his advantage in the overall standings, Sunday's 147-kilometre journey from Grado to Gorizia came down to a two-man battle as the big names focused on preserving their energy.

With steady rain and a finish across cobbles adding a little extra drama to proceedings, Riesebeek made an early move in the sprint for the line.

However, his bold approach failed to pay off, Campenaerts clawing back the gap comfortably enough before slipping around his rival to triumph on Slovenian soil.

"It was just an amazing day with the team," the Belgian, who made it three wins in five days for the Qhubeka-Assos team, said in his post-stage interview.

"We don't have the guys in the team that will do the uphill finishes, and the coming days are extremely hard, so we decided to go all in today."

There had been an eventful start to the stage, with an early crash forcing the race to be neutralised. The collision forced four riders to end their involvement, too, including one high-profile casualty.

Emanuel Buchmann was sitting sixth in the general classification, two minutes and 36 seconds back, but his campaign is now over following the injuries he sustained. As well as the German, Jos van Emden, Natnael Berhane and – eventually – Ruben Guerreiro also withdrew.

Bernal had no such problems to retain possession of the maglia rosa, the Colombian coasting home with the peleton well after Campenaerts had sealed his moment of glory.


STAGE RESULT

1. Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos) 3:25:25
2. Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix)
3. Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) +00:07
4. Simone Consonni (Cofidis)
5. Quinten Hermans (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 62:13:33
2. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) +1:33
3. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +1:51

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 135
2. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 113
3. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (UAE Emirates) 110

King of the Mountains

1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 96
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 57
3. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 53

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