Taaramae wins the final mountain stage, Nibali claims maglia rosa

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) pulled off what seemed impossible just a few days ago and all but won the Giro d’Italia with a devastating performance on the final mountain stage.

The Italian started stage 20 to Sant’Anna di Vinadio 44 seconds down on maglia rosa Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) but made up the deficit on the penultimate climb with a long range attack after cracking all his major rivals, including the Colombian.

Nibali was confident in himself and didn’t care about the early breakaway and the bonus seconds. He sent Tanel Kangert on the attack and waited for the final big climb before he used Michele Scarponi to put everyone at his limit. When he made his first attack, Chaves and Alejandro Valverde could initially follow but very soon they had to let the Italian go and as the Colombian continued to lose ground, the outcome was never in doubt.

The other big GC winner was Valverde who joined forces with Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) and nearly made it back to Nibali on the final ramp to the finish. That was enough to move him back onto the podium, leapfrogging Kruijswijk who dropped to fourth overall.

The third winner was Rein Taaramae. Yesterday Katusha lost everything when Ilnur Zakarin crashed out of the race but today the lieutenant saved it all for the team. The Estonian joined the early break, refused to respond to the many attacks and constantly time trialed his way back to the leaders. Finally, he hit out close to the top of the Lombarda and then held off Darwin Atapuma (BMC) and Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale) to take the win.


Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 20 results (Guillestre – Sant’Anna di Vinadio):

1 Rein Taaramae (Katusha)


2 Darwin Atapuma (BMC)


3 Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale)


4 Mikel Nieve (Sky)


5 Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo)


6 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)


7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


8 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale)


9 Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)


10 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)



General classification after stage 20:

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)


2 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge)


3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


4 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)


5 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)


6 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)


7 Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale)


8 Andrey Amador (Movistar)


9 Darwin Atapuma (BMC) +14’09”
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data)