Giro Stage 16 Race Report: Jan Hirt and Thymen Arensman were the last men standing from the break of the day. On the final climb, what was left of the escape blew apart leaving Hirt to drop Arensman before the summit and solo to the finish. Richard Carapaz held the overall lead, but there are some changes in the top ten.

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Stage 16 final K

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Jan Hirt – A dream come true

Jan Hirt won the sixteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia. On the Santa Cristina, the last climb of the day, the Czech of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rode away from the Dutchman Thymen Arensman, both had been in the long break of the day. Hirt crossed the finish line after a solo of 7 kilometres.

The start from the shores of Lake Garda

The Route:
A queen stage across the Alps with over 5,000m vertical altitude gain. The stage begins in Valsabbia and takes in a long climb (nearly 30km in length) leading to the 2,000m Goletto di Cadino. The route drops into the Val Camonica (with a few level crossings along the way) and goes up again, reaching Edolo. Riders will then tackle the Passo del Mortirolo, coming from Monno. The road narrows and the gradients rise 3km before the summit. A technical descent, leading to Grosio, follows on a narrow road (quite steep at points). After a flat stretch, the route goes up again, heading for Teglio on narrow roadway, with gradients exceeding 15% at points. It then descends rapidly towards Tresenda, before the closing ascent up the Valico di Santa Cristina. Here the first part of the road is wide and well-paved, with two short tunnels along the way. It narrows as soon as it switches towards the summit. The route winds its way in hairpins through the woods, and with sharp gradients, dropping rapidly into the finish.


Final kilometres
The descent from the Valico di Santa Cristina to the 1,500m marker is highly technical, on narrow roads and with sharp gradients. In the closing stretch, the route rises steadily at around 3% all the way to the finish.

Carapaz in the pink jersey for the second day and the last man in pink López

The Giro continued without Jonathan Caicedo. The EF Education-EasyPost climber returned a positive covid test and had to be quarantined. Sonny Colbrelli was at the start. The 2021 Paris-Roubaix winner was sidelined due to a heart problem, but came to see the peloton at the start. There was a minute silence for Stefano Martolini, the sports director who tragically died during a U23 race last weekend. The battle for the escape of the day was not long in coming and the first attack came from Mathieu van der Poel.

Sonny Colbrelli at the start

Van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) took the lead with Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco). This group had a 1 minute lead, but Trek-Segafredo closed the gap before the start of the Goletto di Cadino. On the long climb, a large group of 24 riders eventually escaped. Van der Poel and De Gendt were missing as they couldn’t hang on up the first category climb.

The leader’s jerseys at the start

The big break:
Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious), Filippo Zana (Bardiani), Wilco Kelderman, Lennard Kämna (BORA), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Mattia Bais (Drone Hopper), Hugh Carthy (EF-EasyPost), Lorenzo Fortunato (EOLO), Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Jan Hirt, Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché), Koen Bouwman, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Simon Yates, Christopher Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco), Thymen Arensman, Chris Hamilton (DSM), Giulio Ciccone, Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo) and Davide Formolo (UAE).

A drink at the start

Only four teams were missing from the main group: INEOS Grenadiers, the team of pink jersey Richard Carapaz, Alpecin-Fenix, Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana Qazaqstan and Israel-Premier Tech. Martin was best rider overall at the front, in 10th place 8 minutes from the pink. The KOM Bouwman was also there. In the battle for the mountains classification, the blue jersey had an important opponent in Ciccone. The Italian beat the Dutchman on the first climb and scored 40 points. On the climb, the break of the day lost Peters, Valter, Eenkhoorn and Juul-Jensen.

The route followed the lake before it hit the climbs

Bais, due to a misjudged corner, and Kelderman, a puncture, fell behind, but were able to return. Due to a lack of cooperation, eight riders rode away and Poels, Kämna, Rota, Bouwman, Valverde, Arensman, Hamilton and Cataldo took a gap. Cataldo dropped back to the group with teammate Ciccone. The absence of the Italian was good news for Bouwman, who was able to start the climb of the Mortirolo with a good lead over his main competitor for the mountains classification.

The first break of the day including Mathieu Van Der Poel, Pascal Eenkhoorn and…. Mark Cavendish

Rota was dropped on the Mortirolo, leaving only six riders up front. Ciccone turned out not to be as good as on the first climb and had to let go. Carthy and Hirt, were able to make the jump on the famous mountain climb. Bouwman won the KOM, earning 40 more points for the blue jersey. Astana Qazaqstan took control ahead of INEOS Grenadiers on the climb. The Kazakh team was clearly up to something.

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Valverde not too happy about working in the break

Simon Yates made it into the break

Nibali dived down the descent of the Mortirolo, putting pressure on the opposition. Domenico Pozzovivo crashed on the winding roads, but the Italian was able to get back up quickly and continue. Nibali took a gap on the rest with his descending qualities, but it was still far to the finish. Lo Squalo dello Stretto slowed down in the last part of the descent and a small peloton with pink jersey Carapaz and the other GC riders caught him, but he had issued a warning.

INEOS Grenadiers controlled the peloton for Carapaz

It looked like rain on the Mortirolo, but it stayed dry until the finish

After the descent of the Mortirolo the situation had Poels, Kämna, Carthy, Hirt, Bouwman, Valverde and Arensman in the leading group, behind were a number of early breakaways, the peloton followed after 5 minutes. The road went up again, this time on the Teglio, a 5 kilometre climb at 8.7% that was non-categorised. Bouwman was dropped on this slope, leaving six at the front. On the descent of the Teglio, about 20 kilometres from the finish, Kämna broke away from the leading group and the winner of the Etna stage went solo.

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The break split with Chris Hamilton, KOM Koen Bouwman, Wout Poels and Valverde

Astana lifted the pace in the peloton for Nibali who rode away on the descent, but he was caught in the valley

Kämna started the Santa Cristina, the 13.5 kilometre long final climb of the day, with a 30 second lead. On the climb, Arensman chased him down. The Dutchman rode away from Carthy, Hirt and Valverde, while Poels had dropped back to help his leader Mikel Landa. In the group of the pink jersey, Bahrain-Victorious had taken matters into his own hands. After that, Hirt and later Carthy also left Valverde. Arensman approached Kämna slowly but surely and a little later was joined by Hirt, who had ridden his climb well. At 8 kilometres from the finish, Hirt and Arensman caught Kämna.

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Carapaz had to keep an eye on everyone

The Mortirolo from the ‘easy’ side

Arensman attacked, but had Hirt on his wheel, while Kämna had to pass. Hirt then tried to ride the Dutch attacker off, which he succeeded in doing. With a lead of about 15 seconds, the Czech started the descent to Aprica, which was on wet roads. Hirt struggled in the changed conditions and nearly lost it on a corner. He stayed up-right, but saw Arensman get closer. The winner of the Tour of Oman stayed out of trouble and was able to secure the victory. For his team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert it was the second victory of this Giro, after Biniam Girmay won the 10th stage.

The winner would come from this group

Behind Hirt and Arensman, Jai Hindley won the sprint for 3rd place, ahead of Richard Carapaz, Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa. After Bahrain-Victorious had broken up the elite group on the Santa Cristina, Landa attacked. Carapaz and Hindley were able to follow, while Vincenzo Nibali and João Almeida couldn’t. Hindley accelerated twice, preventing Nibali and Almeida from getting back. In the end, Carapaz, Landa and Hindley rode to the finish together with early breakaway Valverde. Hindley picked up 4 precious bonus seconds. Carapaz kept pink.

A seven kilometre solo to victory for Jan Hirt

Stage winner, Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’ve had a few problems during the stage. My chain dropped, I cramped… but I never gave up. I’m glad I managed to go solo. I always said that my biggest achievement would be to win a stage at the Giro d’Italia and I could stop after that but I won’t stop now.”

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Stage win and 9th overall for Jan Hirt

Maglia Rosa, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been a hard stage and at the end I’m happy. I thought I was going to win the sprint for third place. I eventually didn’t but it’s still a good day for me. I’ve lost a few seconds on Hindley but I gained more on Almeida so the balance is positive.”

The sprint between Hindley and Carapaz for 3rd place

# Keep it PEZ for everything pink. #

Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Result:
1. Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 5:40:45
2. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:07
3. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:24
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
7. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:38
8. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:06
10. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-EasyPost at 2:13.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 16:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 68:49:06
2. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
3. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:44
4. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:59
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan at 3:40
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 3:48
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 3:51
8. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 4:45
9. Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:42
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 9:04.

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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