Roglic Cracks on the Mighty Mortirolo as Giulio Ciccone Victorious

Mortirolo didn't disappoint as rivals put time into Roglic. Italian Giulio Ciccone Trek-Segafredo won the stage, while Carapaz holds onto Pink

Dramatic scenes have culminated in a must watch stage 16. The stage saw the Passo Gavia cut due to snow, the re-routed stage still contained over 5,000m of climbing.

It all came down to the final climb of the Mortirolo, a break of 21 riders went up the road and built up a lead of over 5 minutes.

As the breakaway reached the last 50 kms it hit the steep slopes of one of the hardest climbs in professional cycling, the feared Passo del Martirolo, 1868m, 11.9km at an average gradient of 11%.

Movistar and Bahrain Merida came to the front of the peloton as they hit the lower slopes, Roglic is isolated with no teammates.

Movistar and Bahrain Merida put the hurt on and slowly and surely the main peloton was thinned down to just a dozen riders.

Up front, Giulio Ciccone of Trek Segafredo attacked out of the breakway and  Jan Hirt followed.

In the peloton, Nibali attacked and only Hugh Carthy could counter, while Pedrero, Landa and Roglic with Carapaz couldn't respond.

Lopez attacked the pink jersey group and Roglic cracked and was dropped.

Nibali quickly opened up a minute gap on Roglic.

With 2 km till the top of Mortirolo for Ciccone, Hirt and Caruso, and Lopez flied passed Movistar and Nibali, bringing back Landa and Carapaz back. Nibali was caught. 

The descent was treacherous, the rain pouring down, luckily no one crashed.

With 13 kms to go Ciccone, Hirt hit the flatter slopes on the run into the finish. Ciccone started yelling at Hirt, who was ordered to sit up by Team Astana, behind Caruso joined Nibali and Lopez who pushed hard again as it was revealed that Roglic had pulled back some time on the descent, a minute behind.

The Nibali group worked together and opened up the gap on Roglic to 1m 30s, Roglic was joined by Yates and Mollema who were looking to limit their loses.

Up front Hirt's orders chaged and he started to ride, in the finale, Ciccone outpsrinted Hirt to the dleight of the Italian Tifosi.

The Nibali group containing Caruso, Carapaz, Lopez and Carthy crossed the line, behind Yates, Mollema, Roglic and Nieve lost 1m 23s.

VIDEO: 2019 Giro d'Italia Stage 16 Highlights

“For sure this is one of the best moments of my career,” said Ciccone when asked how he feels. “This is my second victory in the Giro, and the first was, of course, very good, but this stage for me was my dream. With the Mortirolo and the Aprica…this is an incredible moment for me.”

Ciccone has been content with the Maglia Azzurra, holding the blue jersey since the first day and only ceding it to teammate Gianluca Brambilla for one stage, but wouldn’t be satisfied with his Giro without a victory. He had red-circled stage 16, and when he pulled off the unbelievable win, his emotions erupted over the finish line.

“This stage was my favorite stage in this Giro with Mortirolo. When I knew I had won I yelled because I felt finally free of two years of frustrations since winning my first stage at the Giro and because there was a bit of everything today – the hills, rain, cold… And yes, because it was a bit nervous the finish. If you arrive with two riders, it’s always uncertain. I was nervous when Hirt was not working, as I didn’t know the distance to the others behind. But the day finished the best way possible. In the end, it’s okay like this,” smiled Ciccone.

Ciccone gained the maximum points on offer over the three categorized climbs in stage 16 and holds a lofty lead in the mountains classification, however, it was never his goal when he joined the 21-rider move:

“I also gained all the points in the mountains, and I have a good advantage in the classification, but I am very happy for the stage because it was the first goal for the team and me in this Giro. Now I also have this jersey, and for sure we will try to keep it.”

2019 Giro d'Italia Stage 16 Top 10

1 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 5:36:24
2 Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team
3 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:01:20
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:41
5 Hugh John Carthy (GBr) EF Education First
6 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
7 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:49
10 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:02:03

General classification after stage 16

1 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 70:02:05
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:47
3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:02:09
4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:15
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:00
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:05:40
7 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:06:17
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:06:46
9 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos 0:07:51
10 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:06

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