Giro d’Italia 2016 Stage 20: Solo victory Taaramae, Nibali takes Giro

At 134 kilometres, stage 20 of the 2016 Giro d'Italia serves a hearty mountain meal with three high mountains and a short and vicious closing climb. Rein Taaramae brings an early break home after going solo on the penultimate climb, while it's on these very same slopes Vincenzo Nibal launches a brilliant attack that leads him to the pink jersey, 52 seconds ahead of Chaves. Valverde is the third man on the podium with Kruijswijk in fourth, who loses time after racing with a fractured rib. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 20th stage Giro d’Italia

1. Rein Taaramaee (est)
2. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 0.52
3. Joe Dombrowski (usa) + 1.17
4. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 4.12
5. Alexander Foliforov (rus) +4.36
6. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 6.45
7. Alejandro Valverde (spa) +6.57
8. Rigoberto Uran (col) s.t.
9. Giovanni Visconti (ita) + 7.47
10. Rafal Majka (pol) + 8.06

11. Bob Jungels (lux) s.t.
13. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 8.13
14. Esteban Chaves (col) s.t.

GC after stage 20
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ita)
2. Esteban Chaves (col) + 0.52
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 1.17
4. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) + 1.50
5. Rafal Majka (pol) + 4.37
6. Bob Jungels (lux) + 8.31
7. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 11.47
8. Andrey Amador (crc) + 13.21
9. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 14.15
10. Kanstantsin Sioutsou (blr) + 16.20

Race report
Mikel Nieve attacks from the gun, making it clear he is eyeing up the KOM jersey. Later he is part of the break, along with Brambilla, Kangert, Atapuma, Dombrowski, Foliforov, Denifl and Visconti. Rybalkin, Taaramae and Ulissi bridge the gap. Denifl is the first to crest, Atapuma second and Nieve third. All three can take the KOM-classification.

On the lower slopes of the Col de la Bonette Nieve goes solo. He is the first rider at the top, 1 minute ahead of Atapuma, Foliforov, Dombrowski, Visconti, Kangert and Taaramae. Nieve is in pole position to win the KOM-classification, and he does.

In the valley Nieve is joined by the chasers, while Brambilla hooks up on the flat to the Lombardia. But when the road goes up again, he is dropped without delay. Dombrowski and Atapuma escape and Visconti closes the gap. Kangert and Taaramae re-join later.

On the Lombardia the GC favourites are more than 10 minutes adrift. Only Scarponi, Nibali, Chaves, Kruijswijk, Valverde, Jungels, Uran and Majka are left. Kangert goes of the front to wait for his team mate Nibali.

On the higher slopes Rein Taaramae leaves his companions and he is the first to crest.

Nibali attacks with 12 kms left. At first Chaves and Valverde are able to react, but when the Shark accelerates again he is off to join Kangert. He sits on his team mate’s wheel for a while and then he powers on alone. Chaves is dropped by Valverde and Uran en ends up in the Kruijswijk-group.

At the top Valverde and Uran are 27 seconds down on Nibali, the group Chaves/Kruijswijk is 55 seconds adrift.

On the last climb Taaramae soloes to victory, while Vincenzo Nibali powers on to take the pink jersey 52 seconds ahead of Esteban Chabes. Valverde finishes in third and Kruijswijk drops to fourth place. The strong Dutchman suffered a fractured rib after his crash at the Agnel, yet he stands his ground and is definitely a man to watch in upcoming Grand Tours.

Giro 2016 Stage 20: Route maps, height profiles, etc.

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