The Giro reached the Aosta Valley and its great mountains on Sunday. In stage 15 that featured no less than 4000 meters of elevation gain, Giulio Ciccone took advantage of the breakaway to claim victory. While a few riders from the Groupama-FDJ cycling team did try to join the front group at the start of the day, all of them eventually got to the line much later, but without any issue, ahead of the last rest day.

In the aftermath of a crazy stage around Turin, the second week of the Giro was coming to an end on Sunday towards Cogne, through three major climbs and 177 kilometres of racing. However, the first half of the stage did not include any huge obstacles. “We knew that the first 90 flat kilometres were going to be very fast, and so they were”, explained Benoît Vaugrenard. “The breakaway only went after 80 kilometres. We would have liked to have Attila in there, because we knew the break could go very far and fight for the win. However, we told the guys that everyone could try and have fun before the rest day. Like Kono yesterday, they did not have to think too much, they could get in the mix in case of. It’s always better to fight up front than in the back. They all tried, in the likes of Arnaud, Clément, or Kono. Unfortunately, it did not prove successful. As for Attila, he was not in a good day…” Therefore, when the breakaway was finally able to be established after two hours of racing or so, it included twenty-eight riders but none from the Groupama-FDJ cycling team. Three long climbs later, Giulio Ciccone managed to get rid of his last opponents up front to claim victory.

“The rest day will do everyone good”, Benoît Vaugrenard

The pink jersey peloton crossed the line more than seven minutes later, while Tobias Ludvigsson and Miles Scotson, the first team’s riders, finished at around 27 minutes, ten minutes before the gruppetto including Arnaud Démare and the rest of his teammates. “Once the breakaway was gone, it was just a matter of managing the rest of the stage well for the sprinters group,” added Benoît. “The time limits were large enough, so there were no issues. We are just disappointed for Attila because he suffered a very bad day while it was a stage that suited him well on paper. We hope that the rest day will do him good and that he can finish this Giro well. Overall, the rest day will do everyone good, because this week was quite tiring. The heat especially made the race difficult. We are not too used to these temperatures on the Giro. They’ll need to recover well tomorrow, because a tough stage awaits them on Tuesday with the Mortirolo. We expect a big fight.” On Sunday, Arnaud Démare also concluded his tenth day of racing with the cyclamen jersey on his shoulders.

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