5/25/2014 - NEWS!
Giro d'Italia stage 15: Aru wins atop Montecampione
May 25, Stage 15: Valdengo - Montecampione 225km
Thanks to a sensational solo victory at Plan de Montecampione, Astana's Fabio Aru pitched himself right into the battle for the Giro d'Italia crown. The young Sardinian waited until the final three kilometres of the iconic climb before making his move, attacking from the maglia rosa group and taking race leader Rigoberto Urán. The pair quickly got across to the two leaders on the road, Fabio Duarte and Pierre Rolland, with 2.3km remaining. Aru hardly paused before accelerating once again, and this time no one went with him.
Although Nairo Quintana came up to the group behind Aru and produced a couple of brief digs in the final kilometre, the Astana rider kept increasing his advantage all the way to the line, where he finished 21 seconds ahead of Duarte. His victory pushed him up to fourth place overall, 2.24 behind maglia rosa Urán, who fell back from Quintana, Rolland and Duarte in the final kilometre, but still managed to push his lead over second-placed Cadel Evans to just over a minute.
Fabio Aru could hardly have picked a better moment to clinch the first victory of his professional career. The 23-year-old Astana rider gave a majestic performance on the iconic climb up to Plan de Montecampione, producing a series of accelerations that left him left him 21 seconds clear of Fabio Duarte (Team Colombia) at the line. The Colombian led in Pierre Rolland (Europcar) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar), with race leader Rigoberto Urán another 21 seconds back in fifth place.
Aru had already made one thwarted effort to escape from the maglia rosa group when, with 3km remaining, he pressed hard once again. Urán managed to get on his wheel, but second-placed Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) failed to bridge the gap. Urán was happy to let Aru set the pace as they closed in on Rolland, Duarte and Sky’s Philip Deignan at the head of the race.
As Deignan fell back after making a great effort to thwart the GC contenders, the two chasers made it across to Rolland and Duarte with 2.2km to the line. Rather than hesitating, Aru accelerated hard again, and this time no one went with him.
Although Quintana came up to the group behind Aru and produced a couple of brief digs in the final kilometre, the Astana rider kept increasing his advantage all the way to the line. His victory pushed him up to fourth place overall, 2-24 behind maglia rosa Urán, who could not stay with Quintana, Rolland and Duarte in the final kilometre, but still managed to push his lead over second-placed Evans to a minute and three seconds, with Tinkoff-Saxo’s Rafal Majka now 1-50 down in third place.
Aru’s victory pitched him right into the battle for the overall title. “I am very happy and can hardly believe it yet,” said the tearful Sardinian at the finish. “I must say thanks to the team, who stayed close to me all day. My team-mates were really exceptional. I’m really happy, but I’m not going to get ahead of myself. I’ve still got a lot to learn, and from tomorrow everything will be just as it was before.”
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