24/05/15 - 6:30 PM
Marostica - Madonna di Campiglio
Giro d'Italia • Stage15

Marostica - Madonna di Campiglio
Giro d'Italia - 24 May 2015

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 18:30 on 24 May 2015. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Confirmation that Contador extended his lead by seven - not five - seconds today. He now leads Aru by 2:35, with Amador in third at 4:19. Landa is up to fourth place after his stage win, at 4:46.


So, it's a victory of sorts for Astana, who take the stage win, but see their man Aru drop a further five seconds back thanks to those bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint and at the finish. Contador is already on the rollers warming down...


Mikel Landa (Astana) takes the victory. Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) is second, while Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) denies Fabio Aru (Astana) for third place, and some more bonus seconds.


Aru attacks from behind - there are bonus seconds, remember...


Now Landa goes! He catches and passes the Russian, as Contador and Aru shadow each other.


After all that work, you'd least expect Astana to try for the stage win... but Trofimov is looking set...


It's Contador who's in control of this three-man chasing group. There's a fair bit of chat. The Spaniard is under no pressure and does not need to attack...


Trofimov attacks just ahead of the 1-to-go banner. Will they let him go while they watch each other?


The road flattens out for a momentary respite and Aru is back with Landa and Contador. Trofimov may even return soon. Yes, here he is.


Aru's attack comes to nothing. Trofimov just fights back on when Landa has a dig, taking Contador with him. Trofimov has popped, and Aru is a few bike lengths back now.


Aru and Trofimov have managed to fight back - and now Aru puts in an attack on one of the steep segments of this finale.


With Landa looking back over his shoulder towards his team-mate Aru, Contador dances on the pedals and rides ahead. Landa follows.


The leading group enters the town of Madonna di Campiglio and they riding over a small cobbled section just as Kangert peels off and Landa ups the tempo. Contador can follow, but Aru is struggling to keep up, and rides in pursuit with Trofimov.


This is the only climb in the Dolomites in this year's Giro - although we revisit it at the start of Tuesday's stage 16, but from the reverse side. Two minutes for this eight-man maglia rosa group over Hesjedal. It's still all Astana, but they're not troubling Contador at all and so it's a bit of a stalemate. The order has stayed pretty fixed, with Kruijswijk rooted to the back.


Richie Porte is now more than nine minutes behind - which will put him the best part of 20 minutes down on GC this evening.


Hesjedal has joined Tiralongo as he continues his bid to return to the leading group. But it's way too big an ask for the Canadian former winner.


Kangert sets the pace for his man Aru, with Landa tucked in behind. Then we have Contador, Aru, Konig, Trofimov, Amador and Kruijswijk, with Geniez dropping back again. They have 1:30 over Hesjedal.


Nine riders in this group now. The pace is ferocious. In fact, the average speed for the first four hours today has been over 38kmph, which considering the kind of terrain they've gone over, is pretty frightning.


Tiralongo, a stage winner last week, is the latest Astana rider to drop back after some sterling pace-setting. Just Landa and Kangert for Aru now in this 10-man group. Monfort has been dropped and Geniez is fighting to hold Caruso's wheel on the back.


Three Astana riders lead the pack, with Contador and then Aru behind. Then we have Konig, Caruso, Trofimov, Amador, Kruijswijk, Monfort, Geniez and Visconti.


A few riders are struggling on the back of this leading group now, with Betancur dropped and both Visconti and Monfort in trouble. Further back, Hesjedal has caught Dupont, who himself was dropped by the group.


The fifth Astana rider is Zeits, not Cataldo, and he's just peeled off. Despite the numerical disadvantage, Contador looks just fine. And Astana will have to pull something out of the bag soon, or it will be all in vain.


This is very much a Marco Pantani mountain: the bald Italian won here on the race's only previous visit, back in 1999. A day later, he was kicked out of the race for high haematocrit levels.


The gap back to Hesjedal is one minute, with the other chasers a bit further back. Both Uran and Porte are not in that chasing group, as far as we're aware.


Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) has attacked the chasing group. Back with the leaders, Konig has now lost Siutsou, who was in the original break. Aru still has four Astana team-mates: Landa, Kangert, Tiralongo and Cataldo.


Dupont is about to be caught by the Astana-led pack. There's a large chasing group that includes Contador's team-mates Ivan Basso and Mick Rogers, as well as Belgian Jurgen van den Broeck, who was held up by that crash on the last descent. Hejedal is there too, and a couple of Sky riders.


We're onto the final Cat.1 climb to Madonna di Campiglio now. It has a 5.5% average with a maximim gradient of 12%.


Dupont is heading towards the second intermediate sprint at Pinzolo, just ahead of this final climb. He has 18 seconds over the pack. Interestingly, there are bonus seconds - 3/2/1 - available at the sprint. WIll it spark any movement behind. And it does! Contador catches the Astana train napping, and it's two seconds for the pink jersey. He now leads Aru by 2:30.


Siutsou and Visconti have been caught, so the Belorussian slips in alongside Sky team-mate Konig in the maglia rosa group. Just Dupont up the road now, with a 15 second gap. Monfort, Betancur, Trofimov are all here too...


Also in this 14-man maglia rosa group are the likes of Andre Amador, Steven Kruijswijk, Alexandre Geniez, Damiano Caruso and one Sky rider - perhaps Leopold Konig. Yes, it's Konig, because Porte was dropped (with Uran) on that last climb, as was Mikel Nieve near the top.


The pack have completed the descent - and while Astana have five riders on the front (including that man Aru), Contador, the maglia rosa, is the only representative from Tinkoff-Saxo. The Spaniard is isolated.


CRASH: Both Darwin Atapuma (BMC) and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) are down on this testing descent, which is highly technical.


And there goes Intxausti, sprinting clear of the pack to take fourth place 1:40 down on the three leaders. So he will extend his lead in the blue jersey standings after all. Meanwhile, Stefano Pirazzi of Bardiani-CSF has picked up a puncture near the summit.


Visconti jumps out of the saddle to take maximum points over the top of the Passo Daone ahead of Siutsou and Dupond. The Spaniard did this to protect the blue jersey lead of his team-mate Intxausti, who was in the earlier 10-man break before slipping back.


Bookwalter has been caught by the Astana train, who have reduced this pack to about 20 riders. A reminder that neither Uran nor Porte are in this main pack with Contador and Aru. No sight of third-place Amador for now - although we've been assured that the Costa Rican is there.


The peloton is getting thinner and thinner, with Damiano Cunego currently struggling on the back for Nippo-Vini Fantini. Bookwalter is 1:30 down on the three leaders, with the pack another 15 seconds back.


Zardini has been caught by the pack now. It's still Tiralongo ahead of Rogers and Contador, who has Aru on his back wheel, plus four other Astana riders.


Siutsou, Visconti and Dupont still have two minutes over the pack, despite this infernal pace being set by Astana. There's six of them, including Aru and the pace-setter, Paolo Tiralongo. The only Sky rider near the front seems to be Leopold Konig, who is their GC man now Porte has popped.


Rigoberto Uran - fourth on GC - has been dropped by the pack. He has two Etixx-QuickStep riders with him, but it doesn't look good for the Colombian.


Astana are setting the pace with five riders - including the white jersey Fabio Aru. Contador is on the wheel of Mick Rogers in third place - but the Australian is the only other Tinkoff-Saxo rider with the pink jersey, who is isolated early on.


Richie Porte among the riders dropped early on this climb. I really doubt we'll see much more of the Australian in this year's Giro...


With Gavazzi almost swept up by the pack, Eduardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) takes off from the pack. He catches his countryman on a steep 11% segment of this climb, which had a much harder first half than the second part.


BMC's Bookwalter is the first to be dropped from the leading group.


The four leaders have 1:25 on Gavazzi and 2:10 on the pack.


The leaders are approaching the start of the Cat.1 Passo Daone (8.4km at 9.2% and maximum gradient of 14%). It's a very hard, narrow and tight left-hand turn onto the climb - and will be a real battle when the peloton comes up here...


So, just the four leaders now: Kanstantin Siutsou (Team Sky), Hubert Dupont (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). They have 3:15 over the peloton, with Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast) riding in between. The Italian missed the move, but clearly refused to sit up alongside the other chasing riders. He's 52 down on the leaders.


The four leaders are combining well - in stark contrast with the chasing six, who seem utterly disinterested and are about to be caught by the peloton. Very peculiar, indeed.


Bookwalter and Dupont have joined Siutsou and Visconti so we have four riders out ahead and five chasing behind. Although they're not so much chasing as cruising along in disaccord. No one looks too bothered at all. As for Gavazzi - he's disappeared completely.


Siutsou and Visconti have edged ahead of the other escapees, clearly uphappy with the current pace. The main object of their ire is that man Paulinho, of Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team, who is refusing to work. The Portuguese veteran has already been the target of some chit chat from Astana's Rosa.


Before the Passo Daone we have the intermediate sprint at Ponte Arche - athough the break will mop up all the poiints ahead of any sprinters who may still be kicking around in the main pack. The gap is up to 3:05.


The riders are passing the Lake of Toblino as they continue the undulating run towards the two Cat.1 climbs that crown this stage. The 10 leaders now have 3:30 over the peloton, which is being led by Chris Juul-Jensen of Tinkoff-Saxo.


Brent Bookwalter takes on a can of coke in the break, while Kevin Reza answers a call of nature on the side of the road back with the break. For some reason, the helicopter camera man lingers for quite some time with his zoom lens...


It's lunch time for the peloton, who are busy taking on musettes and discarding empty bidons and gel wrappers. The gap is 2:55 now. On the front we have Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo - the two most prominant teams of this year's Giro.


It's Intxausti's team-mate Visconti who is the best placed rider on GC in this group. The Spaniard is 6:04 down on pink jersey Alberto Contador, who now leads Astana's Fabio Aru by 2:28 and surprise package Andre Amador, another Movistar rider, by 3:36. Yesterday's long time trial - won by Sky's Vasil Kiryienka - really blew apart the GC and gave Contador quite a cushion at the top of the standings.


There are 39 KOM points up for grabs today - hence the presence of Intxausti, who is currently leading the blue jersey standings with 61 points to Simon Geschke's 53. The Spaniard took the points on the first climb, La Fricca, but this break did not form in full until the descent.


An interesting break, this. It includes two stage winners in Zakarin and Intxausti, two riders apiece from Movistar and Ag2R-La Mondiale, and individual riders from the 'Big Three' teams in Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana.


After another fast and furious start to the stage - with an average of 45kmph for the first two hours, on a mountain stage! - things have finally settled. The gap for the 10 leaders is up to 2:28 now on this rise to the feed zone. Then we have a false flat ahead of the final two back-to-back Cat.1 climbs - including that summit finish at Madonna di Campiglio, which has not featured in the Giro since 1999 when Marco Pantani won before being kicked out of the race.


The leaders are: Ilnur Zacharin (Katusha), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Benat Intxausti (Movistar), Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff-Saxo), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky), Hubert Dupont (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Diego Rosa (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC).


We join the race with 80km remaining and the first climb - the Cat.2 ascent to La Fricca - completed. We have a group of eight riders with a slender gap of one minute over the peloton.


The big news at the start today was that Team Sky's Richie Porte would continue the Giro, despite lying almost nine minutes down on general classification following his latest set-back yesterday, in the individual time trial. 177 riders started the stage, with only Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing) and Oscar Gatto (Androni Sidermec) calling it a day overnight.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia - the first Alpine stage of the race, a 165km slog from Marostica to Madonna di Campiglio.