The breakaway was smaller than expected on stage 15 with just two riders going clear after another fast start to the 232-kilometer long race saw the riders cover almost 45 kilometers in the opening hour of racing.
After the leading duo’s advantage extended out to more than 15 minutes in the first half of the day, the peloton started to pick up the pace approaching the 100-kilometer to go mark and the first of three categorized climbs.
The added impetus at the front of the bunch saw the main bunch reduce in size on the Madonna del Ghisallo climb but de la Parte still had two teammates with him at this point and was able to stick with the pace of the General Classification contenders.
On the Colma do Sormano, the gap to the front of the race continued to fall and as the attacks began to fly off the the front of the reduced Maglia Rosa group it looked like the breakaway might be caught.
For a moment, de la Parte lost contact with the first chasing group but he was able to regain contact before the fireworks started again on the final climb, the 4.2-kilometer ascent to Civiglio which had an average gradient of 9.6%.
In the end, Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) and Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) were able to hold on to take first and second respectively while behind, the Maglia Rosa group had exploded across the road.
De la Parte remained focused, however, and once again showed his determination by riding his own pace to the finish line, crossing in 25th place and subsequently moving up into 17th place on the General Classification behind current race leader Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team).
Quotes From the Finish Line
Víctor de la Parte:
“Today was a really long day. At the start, I thought that it was going to be a big group that would go clear and form the breakaway so I was there at the front ready. It was good for me to be there but finally, only a small group went away and I stayed with the bunch and GC guys. As a team, were stayed up near the front all together for as long as possible before the GC teams started to pull really hard. I could feel that guys are getting tired but the pace was still really fast. I was able stay there with the favorites for most of the stage so I am happy and I think my performance has been better over the last two days. Now, we’re going into the final rest day so I will try to recover as best as possible and see what I can do in the last week.”
Stage 15: Ivrea > Como (232km)
Top 3: 1. Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) 2. Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) 3. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
CCC Team Top 3: 25. Víctor de la Parte 51. Łukasz Owsian 66. Francisco Ventoso