The Giro d’Italia in pictures

A pictorial look back at the first Grand Tour of 2016, a dramatic edition of the Giro d’Italia.

All photos supplied by RCS, courtesy of ANSA, Claudio Peri, Alessandro Di Meo, Luca Zennaro and Matteo Bazzi.

The crowd during the presentation of Giro d'Italia 2016 at Alpedoorn, 5 May 2016. ANSA/MATTEO BAZZI
Big crowds welcomed the Giro d’Italia for the race presentation in Appeldoorn
Madrina Giorgia Palmas with Trofeo Senza Fine Award on the podium on occasion of the presentation of Giro d'Italia 2016 at Alpedoorn, 5 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Madrina of the Giro Giorgia Palmas poses with the Trofeo Senza Fine at the race presentation
A runner during the start of the TTT first stage Giro d’Italia cycling race in Apeldoorn, Nederland, 6 May 2016.ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
The start of three weeks of racing – a rider heads off on the opening time trial in Appeldoorn
Tom Dumoulin from the Netherlands of Team Giant Alpecin win the first stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016 at Apeldoorn, Netherlands, 06 May 2016, an individual time trial over 9.8km through Apeldoorn. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
Home favourite Tom Dumoulin won the time trial, taking the first pink jersey of the race
Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
A fan takes in the action on the second day of the race, from Arnhem to Nijmegen
GIRO ST2 KITTEL
Etixx-QuickStep’s Marcel Kittel was dominant in the sprint, easily winning in Nijmegen
Dutch rider Maarten Tjallingii of the team Lotto Nl Jumbo wears the overall Blu jersey as he celebrates with his son on the podium after the third stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 190km between Nijmegen and Arnhem, Netherlands, 08 May 2016. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
There was more home success on stage three as LottoNL-Jumbo’s Maarten Tjallingii took the blue mountain jersey after starring in the day’s breakaway
German rider Marcel Kittel (C) of the Etixx–Quick-Step team celebrates after winning the third stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 190km between Nijmegen and Arnhem, Netherlands, 08 May 2016 ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
While Marcel Kittel won once again in Arnhem, the third and final stage held in the Netherlands
Italian rider Diego Ussi (C) of the Lampre Merida team celebrates after crossing the finish line and win the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 200 km between Catanzaro and Praia a Mare, Italy 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Upon the race’s return to Italy in the coastal town of Praia a Mare, Lampre-Merida’s Diego Ulissi won his fifth stage of the Giro
The pack is on the way of the fifth stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Praia a Mare to Benevento, 11 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Schoolchildren cheer on the peloton on stage five
Arrivo quinta tappa  ANSA / MATTEO BAZZI
With Kittel gone, it was André Greipel’s turn to dominate, winning in Benevento on stage five
Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin of Team Giant wearing Pink Jersey in the pack on the way of the seventh stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Sulmona to Foligno, 13 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Pink jersey Dumoulin rides among the peloton
The pack is on the way of the seventh stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Sulmona to Foligno, 13 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
The peloton descending on the road to Foligno, stage seven
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team rides on the gravel on the way of the 8th stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Foligno to Arezzo, 14 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Stage eight’s strade bianche climb of Alpe di Poti. Here, Tom Dumoulin would lose the pink jersey to stage winner Gianluca Brambilla
Italian rider Gianluca Brambilla of the Etixx - Quick Step team, celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 8th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 186km from Foligno to Arezzo, Italy, 14 May 2016. Brambilla took the overall leader's pink jersey.   ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Brambilla soloed to victory in Arezzo, attacking from the breakaway
Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic of Lotto Jumbo on the way of the TTT 9th stage of Giro d’Italia cycling race from Radda in Chiantie to Greve in Chianti, 15 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Primož Roglič of LottoNL-Jumbo surprised everyone to win the wet Chianti time trial
Italian singer and songwriter, Francesco Guccini, looks the  10th stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Campi Bisenzio to Sestola, 17 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Italian singer Francesco Guccini greets the peloton on stage ten to Sestola
Italian rider Giulio Ciccone of the Bardiani CSF team jubilates with Mario Cipollini (L) after crossing the finish line to win the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 219km from Campi Bisenzio to Sestola, Italy, 17 May 2016.  ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Bardiani-CSF’s neo-pro Giulio Ciccone celebrates with Mario Cipollini after winning stage ten with a late attack
Luxembourg's rider Bob Jungels of the Etixx - Quick Step team, celebrates on the podium wearing the overall leader's pink jersey after the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 227 km from Modena to Asolo, Italy, 18 May 2016.  ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Bob Jungels became the first Luxembourgish rider to wear pink since Charly Gaul in 1959
Giro d’Italia 2016 - 99a Edizione - 12a tappa Noale - Bibione 182 km - 19/05/2016 -  - foto Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016
Trek-Segafredo riders pass a villa on the road to Bibione, stage twelve
Blue Jersey, Italian rider Damiano Cunego of Nippo Vini Fantini on the podium of the 12th stage of Giro d'Italia from Noale to Bibione, 19 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Damiano Cunego experienced a mini-renaissance during the Giro, leading the mountains classification for much of the race
The pack is on the way of te 13th stage of Giro d'Italia 2016 from Palmanova to Cividale del Friuli, 20 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
The peloton rides through an well-decorated town on stage thirteen to Cividale del Friuli
Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Mikel Nieve won the day while Movistar’s Andrey Amador became the first Costa Rican to ever wear pink
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team (L) and Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team on the way of the 14th stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Alpago to Corvara, 21 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali ride the mammoth Dolomite stage fourteen. Both would lose major time on the road to Corvara
The pack is on the way of the 14th stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Alpago to Corvara, 21 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
The peloton riding the high, scenic Dolomites
Colombian rider Esteban Chaves (R) of Orica Greenedge team, celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 210 km from Alpago to Corvara, Italy, 21 May 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Orica-GreenEdge’s Esteban Chaves won the day, after he and Steven Kruijswijk dropped Nibali on the Passo Valparola
Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk of  Team Lotto Jumbo, celebrates on the podium wearing the overall leader's pink jersey after the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 210 km from Alpago to Corvara, Italy, 21 May 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Meanwhile Kruijswijk took the pink jersey, and a 41 second lead over Nibali
Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team changes his bike on the way of the 15th stage of Giro dÕItalia cycling race from Castelrotto to Alpe di Siusi, 22 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Nibali was in more trouble on stage fifteen, changing his bike and losing minutes in the Alpe di Siusi mountain time trial
Russian rider Foliforov Alexander of Gazporm team celebrates on the podium after winnig the fifteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016, long individual time trial from Castelrotto to Alpe di Susi 10,8 km, Italy, 22 May 2016 ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
Gazprom-Rusvelo’s Alexander Foliforov was the surprise victor, edging out Kruijswijk by fractions of a second
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde of Moviestar team celebrates on the podium after winning the sixteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016, from Bressanone to Andalo 132 km, Italy, 24 May 2016 ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde won the next stage to Andalo, moving up to third overall at his first-ever Giro as Nibali floundered
German rider Roger Kluge of IAM Cycling team wins the seventeenth stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016, from Molveno to Cassano D'adda 196 km, Italy, 25 May 2016. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
Roger Kluge can’t believe his victory on stage seventeen, coming as it did two days after IAM announced the team would fold after 2016. The German held off the peloton with a late attack
Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk of Team Lotto Jumbo wearing Maglia Rosa (L), Italian rider Giovanni Visconti of Movistar Team, Russian rider Ilnur Zarkarin of Team Kastusha and Colombian rider Esteban Chaves of Orica GreenEdge during the 18th stage of Giro d'Italia 2016 from Muggi˜ to Pinerolo del Friuli, 26 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
The peloton struggle up the steep cobbled Via Principi d’Acaja in Pinerolo on stage eighteen
Italian rider Matteo Trentin (L) of Etixx Quick Step team, celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race over 240 km from Muggio' to Pinerolo, Italy, 26 May 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Meanwhile, Etixx-QuickStep continued their great race as Matteo Trentin came from behind to surprise Cannondale’s Moreno Moser
GIRO ST19 KRUIJSWIJK
Stage nineteen saw the race’s big turning point as Kruijwsijk crashed trying to follow Nibali down the Colle d’Agnello

 

 

Italian riderVincenzo Nibali of Astana team wins the ninethteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016, from Pinerolo to Risoul (FR) 162 km, Italy, 27 May 2016. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO
Kruijswijk would end up losing five minutes to stage winner Nibali. He dedicated his victory to a rider from his youth team who was killed a week earlier 
GIRO ST19 CHAVES
Chaves took pink but lost 53 seconds to Nibali on the day’s final climb. Kruijswijk ended the day 1:05 down
The pack is on the way of the 20th stage of Giro d'Italia 2016 from Guillestre to Sant'Anna di Vinadio. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
The peloton on the penultimate stage of the Giro, from Guillestre to Sant’Anna di Vinadio
Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali (C) and his teammates of Astana Pro Team go to win the PinkJersey on the way of the 20th stage of Giro d'Italia 2016 from Guillestre to Sant'Anna di Vinadio. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Nibali and his Astana teammates played the stage to perfection. Here, they prepare to mount an assault on Chaves’ 52 second advantage
(L-R) Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team goes to win the Pink Jersey on Colombian rider Esteban Chaves of Orica GreenEdge and Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde during the 20th stage of Giro d'Italia 2016 from Guillestre to Sant'Anna di Vinadio. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERI
Nibali made his move on the Colle della Lombarda, dropping Chaves and eventually taking the race lead in the most dramatic way
Vincenzo Nibali (C) vince il Giro d'Italia 2016, secondo classificato Esteban Chaves (S) e terzo Alejandro Valverde (d) Torino, 29 maggio 2016.  ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
The final podium in Turin. 1st – Nibali, 2nd – Chaves, 3rd – Valverde
Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Sky’s Mikel Nieve won the mountains jersey thanks to his Dolomite breakaways
Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Consistent finishes from Trek’s Giacomo Nizzolo saw him win the points jersey, though a stage win would still elude him after he was demoted on the final stage due to irregular sprinting
Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO
Jungels was a revelation, taking the young rider’s jersey and finishing sixth overall
Vincenzo Nibali wearing Pink Jersey holds the Trofeo Senza Fine Award with his teammates of Astana Pro Team on the final podium of the 99th Giro dÕItalia cycling race. Torino, 29 May 2016. ANSA/CLAUDIO PERi
Nibali is hoisted aloft by his team as he clings onto the Trofeo Senza Fine, his for a second time
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Outsiders at their own race: Milano-Sanremo

After ten years of waiting, will 2016 see an Italian win in Sanremo? (Cor Vos)
Is Vincenzo Nibali the man to break Italy’s Sanremo drought? (Cor Vos)

After ten years of waiting, will 2016 see an Italian win in Sanremo?

Last Autumn, the Italian drought finally ended. It was October 4th, and at the 107th edition of the Giro di Lombardia Vincenzo Nibali rode into Como alone, having been alone for some 16km since his attack on the Civiglio climb.

The Italian announcer was yelling as the Italian champion rode across the line, arms in the air, in Italy. A very Italian scene, and the first time a home rider had won the race (or any other Monument for that matter) since Damiano Cunego’s triumph all the way back in 2008.

The 2016 edition of the Giro di Lombardia is a long way away, but the other great Italian Classic is almost upon us. In fact it’s on Saturday, though everybody is already aware of that. One thing you perhaps aren’t aware of is the similar drought suffered by the Italians at La Classicissima di primavera.

Once upon a time, home domination was expected, with names like Girardegno, Binda, Bartali and Coppi filling the roll of honour during the first half of the 1900s. More recently Cipollini, Bettini and Petacchi joined the list, with Filippo Pozzato the last man from the Peninsula to cross the line first, back in 2006.

And now? The Italians are enduring their longest dry spell since the 1960s.

With 61 Italians lining up at the start in Milan, let’s assess the chances of those having dreams of spraying the Prosecco on the final podium.

Vincenzo Nibali ends
Vincenzo Nibali ends seven years of Italian hurt in Lombardia last October (Cor Vos)

First up, it’s the star man – certainly the biggest star in Italian cycling, anyway.  The race wasn’t originally part of Vincenzo Nibali’s plans for 2016, but he’ll be there, back for the ninth time.

He’s fresh from finishing sixth in a neutered Tirreno-Adriatico, and will have a point to prove having been taken out of contention for victory by the cancellation of stage five. And just as the lack of hills hindered him in The Race of the Two Seas, it is likely that he’ll have the same problem here – Nibali will be hard pushed to replicate his podium finish back in 2012.

Lampre-Merida, the last remaining Italian WorldTour team, come to the race with an all-Italian line-up, and they have some interesting options to choose from. Davide Cimolai was eighth last year, but you would always bet on him getting burned by the likes of Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan in a sprint finish.

Puncheur Diego Ulissi is another decent outsider, but once again there are better options, and a huge dose of luck would be needed for second-class sprinter Sacha Modolo (fourth in 2010) to prevail. Barring a big crash somewhere in the finale, don’t expect a Lampre winner in Sanremo.

One man who they will regret having to let go over the winter is 22-year-old Niccolò Bonifazio. He sprinted to a surprise fifth here last year but will ride in support of Fabian Cancellara over at Trek-Segafredo this time around. He’ll be right up there again should the Swiss veteran falter though.

Paris - Nice 2015 Stage - 1
Could the young Bonifazio make a step up from last year’s fifth place? (Cor Vos)

Sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo is another backup plan for the cosmopolitan team, but he’s more frequently seen on the second and third steps of the podium, rather than the first. The versatile Fabio Felline belongs in the same category.

Now at this point understand that we are already plumbing the depths of implausibility. Things aren’t looking good. Scanning the startlist, there are only five other men who have finished in the top ten.

First up we have the last Italian to win the race, Southeast-Venezuela’s Filippo Pozzato. He finished sixth here in 2012 and hasn’t won a race since 2013, so extrapolate from that what you will. Edit – His teammate, the 21-year-old sprinter Jakub Mareczko is certainly a name to remember for the future. Then there’s Daniele Bennati, who is 35 and will be riding firmly in support of Peter Sagan.

Fourth in both 1995 (!) and 2008, 44-year-old Davide freakin Rebellin is riding here for the first time in seven years. He is certainly not going to win but admit it, it’d be pretty hilarious if he did, right?­ BMC’s Daniel Oss has finished ninth here before but will be supporting the in-form Greg Van Avermaet’s bid for victory.

Next up, we come to Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani-CSF – the other team with an all-Italian contingent. Sixth here two years ago, he’s one of several Italians in the group of not-quite elite sprinters. Still, he’s obviously in strong form, winning the GP Lugano two weeks ago, so a top five placing wouldn’t be a surprise – Bonifazio did the same last year remember.

Onto the other Italian ProContinental team next, and it’s Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec. Once upon a time, a line-up of Franco Pellizotti, Francesco Gavazzi and Francesco Chicchi would have been an interesting proposition here, but not anymore.

Etixx-QuickStep count punchy fighter Gianluca Brambilla, who had a great race at Strade Bianche, and fastman Matteo Trentin among their ranks. Both ride in support of Tom Boonen and Fernando Gaviria at Etixx-QuickStep, but should be strong enough to provide alternative options if the main men falter

Lastly, pure sprinter Elia Viviani will be riding as back-up for Geraint Thomas, Michał Kwiatkowski and Ben Swift at Team Sky. He has yet to prove he can handle the race though, finishing 108th on two occasions in the past. Salvatore Puccio finished twelfth in the 2012 edition.

tob15 s3 sweetspot (2) viviani
Viviani eases to the win at last year’s Tour of Britain but his odds of victory on Saturday are much longer (SweetSpot)

Honestly, I would be surprised if the duck is broken on Saturday. Several Italians are better suited to the race than Vincenzo Nibali, but frankly lack his talent.

At the moment the country has no riders that match up to sprinters and classics men like Kristoff, Van Avermaet, Sagan or Cancellara, and it looks like it would take a large slice of luck for any Italian to best them on Saturday.

There are some positive signs for the future though – most notably Bonifazio. The youngster has already proven that he can compete in the longest race on the calendar and knows the finale as well as anyone – he lives in Diana Marina, just down the coast from Sanremo and situated among the Capi climbs.

If any of this gang of outsiders can end the Sanremo drought this year, I’m going with him as the man most likely.

 


 

ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI-SIDERMEC
Giorgio Cecchinel, Francesco Chicchi, Marco Frapporti
Francesco Gavazzi, 
Franco Pellizotti, Mirko Selvaggi, Davide Viganò

ASTANA
Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Vincenzo Nibali

BARDIANI-CSF
Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Nicola Boem, Mirco Maestri
Sonny Colbrelli, Stefano Pirazzi, Marco Rota, Alessandro Tonelli

BMC RACING
Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi
Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato

BORA-ARGON 18
Cesare Benedetti

CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING
Alan Marangoni, Moreno Moser

CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE
Simone Ponzi, Davide Rebellin

DIMENSION DATA
Kristian Sbaragli

ETIXX-QUICKSTEP
Gianluca Brambilla, Fabio Sabatini, Matteo Trentin

KATUSHA
Jacopo Guarnieri

LAMPRE-MERIDA
Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Matteo Cattaneo, Roberto Ferrari
Sacha Modolo, Manuele Mori, Diego Ulissi, Federico Zurlo

LOTTONL-JUMBO
Enrico Battaglin

MOVISTAR
Giovanni Visconti

NOVO NORDISK
Andrea Peron

SKY
Salvatore Puccio, Elia Viviani

SOUTHEAST-VENEZUELA
Manuel Belletti, Samuele Conti, Andrea Fedi
Jakub Mareczko, Filippo Pozzato, Mirko Tedeschi

TINKOFF
Daniele Bennati, Manuele Boaro
Oscar Gatto, Matteo Tosatto

TREK-SEGAFREDO
Eugenio Alafaci, Niccolò Bonifazio
Marco Coledan, Fabio Felline, Giacomo Nizzolo