Giro d’Italia: Gutsy ride from Vansevenant
Nobody had it on their bingo card, but that didn’t stop Mark Cavendish from going in the breakaway on the tough stage 16, which kicked off the third and last week of the race. The Manxman, a 16-time stage winner at the race, was part of a prominent seven-man group that rode the first hour at a furious pace, staying off the front until close to the first climb, Goletto di Cadino.
Despite the breakaway not being a threat, the peloton wasn’t happy to let them go and caught the seven before finally allowing a larger group to go clear, as soon as the road went up. Mauri Vansevenant, a top 5 finisher on Etna in the first week of the Giro, was quick to book a place in the newly-formed group, where he rode admirably, unfazed by the stinging gradients.
Even on the Mortirolo, the infamous ascent first used in 1990, Mauri showed a lot of determination, leaving everything on the double-digit ramps despite being distanced when the attacks began coming from the group, around six kilometers from the top.
Not surprisingly, the 22-year-old finished this gruelling stage – won by Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) – as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s highest-ranked rider, and will now prepare for another tough test, on the roads to Lavarone.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images