Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | Domenico Pozzovivo 4th in Sappada and still 3rd overall
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Domenico Pozzovivo 4th in Sappada and still 3rd overall

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Giro d’Italia – Amore infinito

Sappada, May 20th– Stage 15; Tolmezzo – Sappada – 176 km

After the hardest climb to Monte Zoncolan, the Giro101 went to another huge mountain challenge for riders and their teams. The 176km mountain stage 15 from Tolmezzo to Sappada faced four KOMs and the final ascent to Sappada. It was another extraordinary hard day in the Dolomites and another exciting day for Team BAHRAIN MERIDA and the leader Domenico Pozzovivo.

After 50 km, TBM riders Antonio Nibali, Giovanni Visconti and Niccolò Bonifazio were very active in the front of the bunch through Passo della Mauria (cat 3) towards Cortina d’Ampezzo and Passo Tre Croci (cat 2). Visconti finished his great work with around 30 km to go. “It was a very hard stage. The break has been always controlled by the peloton and we had to push on continuously” comments Giovanni after the finish “We can’t complain nothing neither today, as a team we did a good job once more. Domenico is super and we’re highly motivated”.

Then it was up to Pozzovivo trying to invent something in the final where he remained with the reduced group of the Maglia Rosa. But the attack of Simon Yates with 18km to go was the winning move. He went to take his third stage win, finishing solo in Sappada with an advantage of 41” on Lopez (second), Dumoulin (third) and Pozzovivo (fourth).

“It was a very tough day after the big stage with the Zoncolan yesterday due to the bad weather too. It was cold atop Tre Croci and I suffered in the descent. We kept a high pace all day long and in the final there were not very long climbs but steep, so it was difficult to stay in front” explains Team BAHRAIN MERIDA leader and adds “Too bad that there was a split before the Costalissoio climb and I was behind Froome. Then I had to work a lot to get back and I paid that effort when I tried to bridge the gap on Yates. We were closing on him, we tried to manage the gap, but then there wasn’t enough collaboration among us”

After today’s win Simon Yates extends overall lead. Domenico Pozzovivo is still third (+2’28”): “I believe in the final podium and if the Maglia Rosa will not be still so strong I can think to a stage win too. But now my head is on Tuesday’s time trial”.

Tomorrow will be the third rest day of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non-commercial use) – © Team Bahrain-Merida / @BettiniPhoto)