SWEET VICTORY for the 24 year old!
A fall won't stop Rabottini!
This morning, as I was getting ready to ride with the FRFuggitivi gruppo, I eagerly awaited the action. Would Ryder Hesjedal be able to defend the maglia rosa?
Wet, cold and miserable were the conditions as Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) led the mountainous stage from almost start to finish. I've included the re-cap video showing his near collapse falling on the descent. Towards the end he looked tired from his mesmerizing solo ride to be joined by Purito.
Yesterday's final 27 km climb was tailored for the abilities of Hesjedal. Today's final 7 km climb was perfect for Purito as he attacked with 1.2km remaining.
What looked like a sure win for the Spanish rider, Rabottini found an extra amount of grinta to cross the finish line in victory denying Rodriguez the stage. Purito took 30 seconds from Hesjedal (12th 39s behind Rabbotini), enough to take back the pink jersey. This is looking like a see-saw battle with a particularly nefarious, dramatic high mountains to come (stages: 17, 19, 20).
The always calm Hesjedal said,
"It's clear that he's in good shape and we've got quite the little battle shaping up here. The team was awesome again on a real tough day to be in the jersey and I enjoyed it again. It was exciting to take it back yesterday and I've go no problems giving it back."
Stage 15 Busto Arisizio-Lecco/Piani dei Resinelli 169 km.
Stage Winner: Matteo Rabottnni
Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia Rossa: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Matteo Rabottini
Maglia Bianca: Sergio Heano
CANADIANS on GC:
2. Ryder Hesjedal (30s)
126. Dominque Rollin (2:05:41)
137. Christian Meier (2:20:52)
162. Svein Tuft (2:48:28)