The Sardinian youngster Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team), 23 years old, attacked just over 3km from the finish on Sunday and rode alone to victory in stage 15 of the Giro d’italia.
Behind him, the Colombians Fabio Duarte (Colombia) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) finished 2nd and 3rd, 21 and 22 seconds after Aru respectively.
The Maglia Rosa, Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), finished 5th in the stage and extended his lead over the 2nd and 3rd-placed riders in the General Classification, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Rafał Majka (TInkoff Saxo).
Maglia Rosa – Balocco: Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
Maglia Rossa – Algida: Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.FR)
Maglia Bianca – F.lli Orsero: Rafał Majka (TInkoff Saxo)
Maglia Azzurra – Banca Mediolanum: Julián Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing)
WHAT THEY SAID
Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team)
New sensations? “Today I didn’t know how I’d be on the final climb. When I attacked, I didn’t know how much energy I had left. I can’t explain how it felt. It felt great to be climbing with riders like Quintana and Urán. When I was alongside them on the climb, my hairs stood on end. Then, in the final kilometres, it was incredible. I felt new sensations today, ones which I have never felt before as professional rider.”
One step at a time? “I just think of taking it from day to day, not just in the Giro but in the the coming months and years. I try to take one step after another, and to keep on improving. It is fantastic to see a team like Astana, with veterans like Scarponi and Tiralongo, put themselves at my disposal, even if I’m only 23. I can only thank them. The pressure pushes me to achieve every greater things.”
Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
Sunday’s ride: show of strength, improved form, or relieving team? “All of the above! I was expecting an attack from Pozzovivo, not Aru. I stayed with him a while, but I didn’t have to legs. I saw Aru at last year’s Giro: he surprised me in the last week because he was strong. He’s a young climber with a big future.”
More relaxed than Saturday? “[Laughs] I’m happy because today’s Sunday, so I can go out on my bike instead of working! I didn’t have a bad day yesterday, but it wasn’t a super day for me. I was probably paying for the energy I expended in the time trial - it’s normal. Today I was better. I was good on the climbs. I like climbs like this.”
Seconds lost on some, gained on others? “You’re beginning to understood! I’ve done 4 Giros, I have some experience. I tried to stay with Aru, but he was strong, so I preferred to ride at my rhythm. Then Quintana set a fast rhythm, and I said to myself, again: “Ride at your own rhythm.” I lost a few seconds to Aru and Quintana, but it’s not a problem. Quintana was strong too today, and I expect him to be even stronger next week.”
Quintana getting better: “I’m glad that Quintana’s getting better. We’re friends. We shared a house together in Pamplona 3 years ago, and sometimes we talked about what it would be like racing against each other in stage races.”