The Giro d’italaia was full of surprises as it gave Giovanni Visconti his first win at any grand tour stage. He held up the pack that chased him till Les Granges du Galibier to ensure he can come out with flying colors at the 16th stage of the race. The enthusiastic 30 year old racer was ahead of Carlos Betancur by 42 seconds when he finished the race. Niemec from Poland came fourth while another Polish rider Rafal Majka came fifth. Visconti was the Italian National Champion for three times and this win at the 15th stage of Giro means really a lot to him. It is a great confidence booster ahead of the second season. The organizers decision to reduce the distance of the stage by approximately 4 km also played instrumental in his victory.
Earlier Mauro Santambrogio of Italy left Vincenzo Nibali behind to win the 14th stage as the overall leader Nibali had to settle with the second position. In that stage Giro organizers had removed the Sestriere climb citing safety reasons. The riders had to combat snow, rain, fog and fluctuating weather conditions. But Visconti’s victory in the grueling tour is really a showcase of skill and experience. He not only reached the snowy peak as a winner but also wonderfully fought with the difficult conditions of one of the most difficult stages of Giro. His win was also regarded as a tribute to the late famous Italian cyclist Marco Pantani with whom he shares his birthday.
The spectators surely had a visual treat when they watched the peloton ascent the Galibier and cover the path full of snow that have been ploughed recently for the 15th stage. The final climb was definitely very thrilling for the riders as well as for the spectators. The fluctuations in the weather on both Saturday and Sunday made the situation a bit chaotic initially but later everything was settled.