Giro d'Italia: Stage 16 as it happened

Benat Intxausti wins stage 16 after nearly six hours but Vincenzo Nibali retains his overall lead with another determined ride.

21 May 2013 Last updated at 18:45

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As it happened

  1. 1634: 

    Right, time for me to sign off. You can read the report about what happened in today's stage here, and more reaction and analysis will be added there later.

    I'll be back with you on Wednesday when the 180 remaining riders tackle a 203km hop from Carvaggio to Vicenza. It's largely flat, save for a bump at Crosara near the end which might do for Mark Cavendish's chances of a fifth stage win of this year's race. We shalll see...

  2. 1627: 

    The big winner from today? Well, Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran is now looking a good deal more secure in third place, with five stages remaining. He has got an advantage of more than a minute on Michele Scarponi.

  3. 1622: 
    Results of stage 16

    1. Benat Intxausti (Spain / Movistar) 5:52:48

    2. Tanel Kangert (Estonia / Astana) +0

    3. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland / Lampre-Merida) +0

    4. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania / Garmin-Sharp) +13

    5. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) +13

  4.  
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    I got this text earlier. Sorry Philip. I'm afraid it's not looking so good for your bet now...

    Philip Cernik: Put £15 each way on Santambrogio after Tirreno at 301-1. Can he podium on Sunday?

  5. 1615:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    So, here's how things are looking at the top of the general classification after stage 16. As discussed, it was Mauro Santambrogi who was the big loser today. He started it a second behind Rigoberto Uran in fourth. But the Italian is now two minutes and 11 seconds off a podium place.

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) 67:55:36"

    2. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) +1:26"

    3. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Team Sky) +2:46"

    4. Michele Scarponi (Italy / Lampre) +3:53"

    5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland / Lampre) +4:13"

    6. Mauro Santambrogio (Italy / Vini Fantini) +4:57"

  6. 1610: 
    Mark Cavendish

    So Nibali stays in pink, and Mark Cavendish remains in red. The birthday boy blew out his candles earlier today and, despite spending most of the afternoon off the pace as he struggled up Andrate, is still top of the Giro's points category.

  7. 1605: 

    But Mauro Santambrogio, who was a second off the podium at the start of the day, has lost more than two minutes on the other riders at the top of the general classification.

  8. 1604: 

    Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran came home only 13 seconds back...

  9. 1603: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT- Benat Intxausti wins stage 16

    It is Benat Intxausti who takes it... he timed his finish well and, more importantly, he had the legs at the end.

  10. 1602: 

    It's the sprint for the line... Benat Intxausti is the third rider and looking strong.

  11.  

    Estonia's Tanel Kangert is also up there. Robert Gesink isn't, he has had a puncture.

  12. 1601: 

    Przemyslaw Niemiec is at the front now, in what appears to be a three-man fight for the stage win. Mauro Santambrogio is going to be today's big loser.

  13. 1600: 

    The riders are in the outskirts of Ivrea with 2km to go. They are about to hit some cobbles, which will be fun for them.

  14. 1559: 

    Here comes Stefano Pirazzi again! I think he has borrowed somebody else's legs for this final section.

  15. 1558: 

    Just 3km to go. There are small gaps between the big hitters, Uran, Evans and Nibali, but nothing major. More and more attacks keep coming though...

  16. 1558: 

    Michele Scarponi's turn to attack. Vincenzo Nibali is sitting pretty in the group behind him, about five or six bike lengths back. These riders are still going for it.

  17. 1556: 

    Cadel Evans and Sam Sanchez are also up there too, with 5km to go. If Evans takes any points at the finish, then Mark Cavendish could lose the red jersey, and on his birthday too.

  18. 1555: 

    Dutch rider Robert Gesink is up there with Rigoberto Uran too and there is some serious racing going on at the front now. Mauro Santambrogio is not involved, though, because he is more than two minutes back.

  19. 1552: 

    We are inside the last 9km and it is Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran on the attack.

  20.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "It was a thrilling descent down a real corkscrew of bends. The good news for Rigoberto Uran is that his nearest rival for third place, Mauro Santambrogio, has missed this break."

  21. 1550: 

    Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran has caught the Nibali group... and so has Cadel Evans. There are seven riders at the front of the race, zipping down this hill, with 11.5km to go.

  22. 1549: 

    Nibali is still pushing it. Only Michele Scarponi has gone with him of his main rivals in the top five. They are closing in on Betancur and Sanchez.

  23. 1548: 

    That has not put him off, though... Nibali has gone on the attack!

  24. 1547: 

    Talk about tricky - Vincenzo Nibali almost rode into a wall after taking one of those bends too fast.

  25.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "They have just gone through one of the wet sections, where the water washes off the fields and on to the road. It is a very tricky descent."

  26. 1546: 

    It was steep on the way up Andrate... and it is steep on the way down too. Carlos Betancur has been joined by Samuel Sanchez, who is flying down this hill, hairpin bends and all.

  27. 1544: 

    Some consolation for Italy's Stefano Pirazzi is that he did pick up five mountain points to strengthen his lead in that category.

  28. 1542: 

    Pirazzi is using his last ounces of strength to get these mountain points... but to no avail. Colombia's Carlos Betancur, wearing the white jersey of the best young rider, breezes past him - and he is trying to stay clear too.

  29. 1541: 

    Here come the maglia rosa group - Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans, Rigoberto Uran, Michele Scarponi and Mauro Santambrogio are all up there. They have passed Pirazzi and Duarte... but here comes Pirazzi again!

  30. 1539: 

    Here goes Stefano Pirazzi again. As Rob Hayles has just said on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, this is his fifth attack of this climb... and this one has not worked either. Fabio Duarte is still with him... but they can feel the breath of the peloton on the back of their necks.

  31. 1538: 

    Stefano Pirazzi is determined to get some mountain points here but it is going to be close. He and Fabio Duarte are still clear of the bunch, desperate to hang on.

  32. 1536: 

    Colombia's Fabio Duarte climbed away from the peloton at the start of this climb and he is now at the front of the race. Stefano Pirazzi, the king of the mountains leader, is still up there too... but the peloton is poised to gobble all the escapees up any time now - the gap is down to nine seconds.

  33. 1535: 
    Mark Cavendish

    No wonder Mark Cavendish is struggling up this hill if he ate his birthday cake on his own earlier...

  34. 1533: 

    At the front of the peloton, Michele Scarponi is leading the way, bringing a reaction out of race leader Vincenzo Nibali. Scarponi is fifth overall, and needs something special if he is to get on the podium. They are are closing fast on the riders in front of them - Team Sky's Danny Pate, for one, is toast.

  35. 1531: 

    At the back of the peloton is the man wearing the red jersey, birthday boy Mark Cavendish. It always looked a big ask for him to get over the top of Andrate and be in contention at the finish line.

  36. 1528: 

    Another attack at the front of that breakaway group and Stefano Pirazzi has been left behind. Emanuele Sella of Androni and Jose Herrada of Movistar have left riders scattered on the hill behind them.

  37. 1524: 

    Stefano Pirazzi and the rest of the escapees continue to climb, followed on the side of the road by fans dressed as what Rob Hayles describes as 'boob-tube bumblebees'. They were male specators, I should add.

  38. 1521: 

    That lead group of three has now become eight, as the road begins to rise up Andrate. Stefano Pirazzi, leader of the mountains section, is leading them up the hill - on the lookout for more points, no doubt.

  39. 1517: 

    The stragglers from that 22-man breakaway are being reeled in. Wilco Kelderman, Emanuele Sella and Danny Pate have got a 16-second lead on the next group of escapees.

    The peloton are another one minute and 10 seconds behind. with about 26km to go, some of it uphill.

  40. 1515: 

    Rob Hayles drove up the ascent to Andrate (and down the other side too) earlier and says, although today is a fine dry day, there is a lot of water running down the roads, especially on the switchback bends, which could make them tricky to negotiate. We shall see...

  41. 1513:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "It is nice to see the sun out today. The weather has played a massive part in this race. It has been horrific at times and it really has been a war of attrition over the past couple of weeks."

    You can listen to Rob Hayles and Simon Brotherton on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra now.

  42. 1509: 

    The riders at the front of the race will hit the slopes of Andrate with about 24km to go. As I said earlier, it is short... but steep.

  43. 1504: 

    Wilco Kelderman of Blanco and Emanuele Sella of Androni are the other two men involved. They have a 21 second gap on the other escapees. We are into the final 40km of racing.

  44. 1502:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Another attack at the front of the break... Team Sky's Danny Pate is trying to get across to join a two-man escape attempt.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentary is now under way with Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles. The link will appear on the right-hand side of this page or on the cycling index.

  45. 1457: 

    By the way, the big hitters at the top of the general classification, Vincenzo Nibali, Cadel Evans and Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran, are all safely in the peloton that is motoring towards Ivrea and looks set to sweep up the breakway bunch. The gap is down to one minute and 40 seconds, with 43.65km to go.

  46. 1454: 

    Pate, Sutherland and Meier have been caught by the rest of the escapees, and have stayed caught despite another attack.

    Danilo Di Luca has also had a pop. No joy for him either. Meanwhile, the peloton continue to close the gap. There are 47km to go.

  47. 1451: 

    Australian rider Rory Sutherland of the Saxo-Tinkoff team has also gone with Pate and Meier.

    Behind them, the Astana team of race leader Vincenzo Nibali are setting a furious pace at the front of the peloton. Katusha and RadioShack are still supporting them.

  48. 1449: 

    A reaction from the breakaway bunch... Team Sky's Danny Pate goes on the attack. He is joined by Christian Meier of Orica.

  49. 1446: 

    To be fair to Taylor, I think we can be certain that his saddle sores can be filed under the "severe" category. He is probably sitting on a rubber ring as I write.

  50.  
    GET INVOLVED

    From Stephen Rush: "Taylor Phinney has called it quits because of saddle sores". In other news I've given up on my spreadsheet because my eyes hurt a bit. Am sure my boss will understand.

  51. 1442: 

    Make that just a two-minute lead for the 22 escapees. Their lead is evaporating quickly - I was about to list them in full... not sure it is worth it now.

  52.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator
    BBC Radio 5 live's commentary position

    On Twitter: "We really must tidy up our commentary position."

  53.  
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    Steph, Caerphilly: My son will be thrilled to hear he shares a birthday with Cav when he gets home from school. Excited for September when Tour of Britain returns to Caerphilly.

  54. 1433: 

    The peloton have upped the pace of late and that gap has tumbled to three-and-a-half minutes with 62km to go. It took a few people in the pack by surprise and a few riders have fallen off the back.

  55.  
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    Coy: 22 in the breakaway should be enough if they are willing to work together. Won't be much action in the GC today.

    Elliott Sweeney: Optimistically hoping for a Cav special later, but don't really see it happening.

  56. 1422: 

    Chris, I think we will find out soon enough if Cav fancies a birthday stage victory, and what would be his fifth win of this year's race. His Omega Pharma Quickstep team-mates will take up the chase near the end if that is the case. At the moment it is Katusha and Radioshack helping Astana out.

    By the way, that sunshine graphic in my last entry wasn't a mistake... it is a gorgeous day in Piedmont.

  57.  
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    Chris in Oxford: Thanks for the great coverage on the BBC. Is there any realistic chance of Mark Cavendish making it over that last hill with the peloton?

  58. 1417: 

    The gap has gone past the five-minute mark, with 75km to go. The best-placed rider of the 22 escapees is Italy's Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), who is nine minutes and 57 seconds down. That's the reason Astana won't let their lead drift out too much further.

  59. 1412: 

    Tastily titled American rider Danny Pate of Team Sky is in this 22-man break, which has spread its lead to four minutes and 55 seconds. Also there are usual suspects like Pieter Weening (Orica), Danilo Di Luca (Fantani), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani) and... Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Colombia). Yes RECG is involved AGAIN.

    The Astana team of Vincenzo Nibali are setting the pace at the front of the peloton to try to keep the escape under control.

  60. 1407: 
    Denis Menchov

    Speaking of riders to call it quits, Russia's Denis Menchov has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 35.

    Menchov, nicknamed 'The Silent Assassin' or 'The Pope', won the Giro in 2009 and was a two-time winner of the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) in 2005 and 2007. He missed this year's Giro with a knee injury.

  61. 1402: 
    OUCH!

    News of another rider to pull out of this year's race. American time-trial specialist Taylor Phinney has called it quits, because of saddle sores.

  62.  
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    Decal Dungeon: Hoping a breakaway succeeds & takes the points to protect Cav's points jersey lead which seems doable if he wins the last stage.

  63. 1358:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Rob Hayles and his BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentary partner Simon Brotherton are now in their commentary box at the finish line in Ivrea and will be providing live commentary from 15:00 BST to the end of the day's racing, which will also be available on this very page and the cycling index.

    I need you to keep me company until then. Tweet me your thoughts on the state of play in the Giro using the hashtag #bbccycling and text me on 81111. Put your names on those texts, though, otherwise you don't get a slice of Cav's birthday cake later.

  64.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    On Twitter: Just driven last 25k of 2days stage. Oh dear! Hard climb, even harder technical road down off it till 5k flat run into finish.

  65. 1352: 

    That 22-man breakaway group has got a lead of about four minutes on the chasing pack, with 90km to go. The escapees got clear on the slopes of Mont Cenis and have got themselves organised on the flat.

  66. 1345:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader
    Giro d'Italia race leader Vincenzo Nibalu

    This is how things stand at the top of the general classification, with six of the Giro's 21 stages remaining (including this one). We are into the final week of the race and Vincenzo Nibali can probably smell victory - he has been in the pink jersey since stage eight on 11 May and only has to get over the Dolomites safely to secure his second Grand Tour win after the 2010 Vuelta a Espana. Easier said than done... ?

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy/Astana) 62:02:34"

    2. Cadel Evans (Australia/BMC Racing) +1:26"

    3. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia/Team Sky) +2:46"

    4. Mauro Santambrogio (Italy/Vini Fantini) +2:47"

    5. Michele Scarponi (Italy/Lampre) +3:53"

  67.  

    Mark Cavendish's fiancee Peta Todd on Twitter: Wishing a huge amount of love to @MarkCavendish today on his birthday. Didn't want to leave you this morning. X

  68.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    On Twitter: I can think of no better way of spending a birthday.. Honest! Oh well, have fun @MarkCavendish . Cake at the feed? #giro #238km

  69. 1334: 
    Italy up

    To be honest, the worst is already over for Cav today... well, mostly.

    Stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia started in France this morning with a descent of Col du Telegraphe (which he struggled up on Sunday) and then returned to go over Col du Mont Cenis, which was also part of Sunday's stage but saw the riders crawl to the summit en-masse because of safety concerns.

    We have had an early, and large breakaway, of 22 riders and they and the peloton are now on a largely flat section before they hit a steep but short category three bump in the shape of Andrate, 30km from the finish, back in Italy, in Ivrea.

  70. 1330: 
    Mark Cavendish

    Happy birthday Mark Cavendish. The fastest man on two wheels is 28 today. His birthday treat? A day of cycling in the Alps. At least it's not snowing Cav...

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