Victor Campenaerts has won Stage 15, Egan Bernal keeps the Maglia Rosa
Victor Campenaerts claimed his first Grand Tour stage victory as he overhauled Oscar Riesebeek in Gorizia in a spectacular finale shaped by heavy rain and the enormous motivation of the two protagonists for the stage win. The duo emerged from a 15-man breakaway to battle it out on the line.
On the finish line, the Belgian rider recalled the special purpose of his team: to provide bicycles in Africa for better education and better lives.
Egan Bernal arrived safely in the main peloton after Stage 15’s visit to Slovenia. The Colombian remains in the lead of the overall classification ahead of the much awaited Dolomite stage to Cortina d’Ampezzo that includes the Passo Fedaia, the Passo Giau and the Pordoi.
1 – Victor Campenaerts (Team Qhubeka Assos) – 147km in 3h25’25”, average speed 42.937km/h
2 – Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix) s.t.
3 – Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) at 7”
1 – Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)
2 – Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) at 1’33”
3 – Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) at 1’51”
Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers)
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo Zanetti – Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team)
Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Intimissimi Uomo – Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), worn by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana – Premier Tech)
Quotes from the Stage winner, Victor Campenaerts
First victory at the Giro d’Italia for Victor Campenaerts, who has finished second four times and third once in the past. He’s the second Belgian stage winner this year after Tim Merlier on Stage 2 to Novara.
Campenaerts’ last victory was a stage of the Tour of Belgium on 15 June 2019. One month earlier (April 16), he set a new world hour record (55.089km/h) in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
First podium at the Giro for Oscar Riesebeek, who is taking part in his first Grand Tour at the age of 28.
Speaking at the press conference, the stage winner Victor Campenaerts said: “The finale was crazy but for me the start of the race was more important. We already had a super atmosphere in the team with two stage victories but we remained dedicated to make something beautiful out of the rest of the race. We split the bunch from the start. Our team had the most riders in the breakaway and they had faith in me so I was happy to finish it off. Three victories is a really great achievement. Before this season, I already explained my different approach as a road cyclist. It has become difficult for me to get results in time trials because of the performances of Filippo Ganna but also Remco [Evenepoel] and Wout [van Aert] who are both favourites for medals at the Olympics and I hope they’ll deliver for Belgium. This is my first Grand Tour stage win. It never worked out in time trials but I finally have it as a road rider. It’s not only my victory today though – it’s really a team effort and I hope it’ll help to attract sponsors because we need it to survive as a team that also rides for a great cause. We contribute towards making people’s lives better thanks to bikes.”
The Maglia Rosa Egan Bernal said: “I think it was an easy day for us behind. It was windy and also rainy in the finale but it was okay. I remained focused. Tomorrow it will for sure be a decisive stage. I heard it will be cold so I’ll use gloves and all the necessary clothes to be ready for the fight in the mountains. It’ll be a long stage and another hard one for my teammates but I think we’re ready for it, mentally as well as physically.”