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Results & Quotes: Stage 20 Giro’16

Rein Taaramäe makes history for Estonia by winning penultimate stage

Sant’Anna di Vinadio, 28 May 2016 – Avenging his team-mate Ilnur Zakarin who crashed spectacularly in yesterday’s stage, Katusha’s Rein Taaramäe took Estonia’s first ever stage victory at the Giro d’Italia. Behind him, Vincenzo Nibali turned the general classification upside down and dethroned Esteban Chaves, while Alejandro Valverde slipped into third place ahead of former Maglia Rosa Steven Kruijswijk.

1 – Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team)
2 – Esteban Chaves (Orica Greenedge) at 52”
3 – Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) at 1’17”
4 – Steven Kruijswijk (Team Lotto NL – Jumbo) at 1’50”
5 – Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) at 4’37”


  • Maglia Rosa (pink), General Classification, sponsored by Enel – Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team)
  • Maglia Rossa (red), Sprint Classification, sponsored by Algida – Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo)
  • Maglia Azzurra (blue), Mountains Classification, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Mikel Nieve (Team Sky)
  • Maglia Bianca (white), Young Rider Classification, sponsored by Eurospin – Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)

1 – Rein Taaramae (Team Katusha) – 134km in 4h22’43”, ave. 30.603km/h
2 – Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team) at 52”
3 – Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) at 1’17”


  • Estonia is the 32nd country to join the list of Giro d’Italia stage winners thanks to Rein Taaramäe. The first Estonian to finish in the top 3 of a stage was Jaan Kirsipuu, second at Marina di Grosseto in 2005
  • For the second time in the history of the Giro, the race lead changed hands three times in the last four stages (Kruijswijk from stage 14 to 18, Chaves on stage 19, Nibali on stage 20). Previously, in 1913, the leaders were Eberardo Pavesi (stage 6), Giuseppe Azzini (stage 7) and Carlo Oriani (stages 8 and 9) – but the Maglia Rosa didn’t exist in those days
  • The last time a rider took the Maglia Rosa only on the penultimate stage was by Stefano Garzelli in 2000 after an individual time trial in Sestriere. Fausto Coppi also did so in 1953
  • For the second time in the history of the Giro d’Italia, eight different riders have led the race so far: Tom Dumoulin, Marcel Kittel, Gianluca Brambilla, Bob Jungels, Andrey Amador, Steven Kruijswijk, Esteban Chaves and Vincenzo Nibali. It previously happened in 1981 with Knut Knudsen, Guido Bontempi, Francesco Moser, Gregor Braun, Giuseppe Saronni, Roberto Visentini, Silvano Contini and eventual winner Giovanni Battaglin

Maglia Rosa Vincenzo Nibali: “I knew today’s stage. I had climbed La Bonnette at the Tour de France [in 2008]. It’s very long and hard but the key point was La Lombarda. With Jakob Fuglsang and Michele Scarponi, we kept the race under control, while Tanel Kangert had gone ahead. After I accelerated, I was kept informed of the gaps. It was my first time racing against Esteban Chaves but I knew from last year’s Vuelta that he’d be hard to beat. I’ve kept pushing till the end. After I crossed the line, I listened to the speaker who was counting down the seconds, and only then did I realize that the Maglia Rosa was mine”.

Stage winner Rein Taaramäe: “It’s a very important victory. Yesterday, in a flash, we lost everything we had been working for over the previous three weeks. We actually had two hard times in this Giro, firstly when [Ilnur] Zakarin crashed three times in the individual time trial and lost his chances of winning the Giro. Today, over the radio, my sport director told me “Zakarin, Zakarin, think of Zakarin”. Today all the hard work has paid off. For Estonia, which is a very small country with only one million people, it’s a special day. Jaan Kirsipuu came second once in a stage of the Giro d’Italia, but I’m the first Estonian winner. I’ve done the Tour de France seven times, and the Vuelta three times. This was my first experience at the Giro and I can say this is the Grand Tour a rider can enjoy the most”.

Stage 21 – Cuneo – Torino – 163km
The route starts in Cuneo, runs through Borgo San Dalmazzo and then heads towards Torino, leaving Cuneo to the south-east. The stage course runs along wide and straight trunk roads across the plain, all the way up to Torino, where a final circuit is to be covered eight times.

Final kms
The final 7.5km circuit runs almost entirely along the right bank of the Po River. After passing over the finish line, the route runs around the Chiesa della Gran Madre and then tackles the only short climb of the stage (to be ridden eight times), leading to Villa della Regina (750m, with gradients ranging from 4 to 6%, with a short 8% stretch at the summit). Next, a fast-running descent leads into Corso Moncalieri, and then to the other bank of River Po. Here, the route passes under Ponte Balbis, enters Parco del Valentino and runs across the park up to the red flag. In the last 1km, two bends before and after Ponte Umberto I lead into the 600m long home stretch, on an 8m wide asphalt road.

CUNEO – km 0
Cuneo was built on a triangular rocky spur (hence the name, which translates as “wedge”) rising at the confluence between the Gesso and Stura di Demonte rivers, against the spectacular backdrop of the Maritime and Cottian Alps. The long Via Roma leads into Piazza Duccio Galimberti; the large esplanade is lined with neoclassical buildings creating a 19-century atmosphere. Following recent urban development, long, tree-lined avenues have been derived along the ancient fortifications.
The town’s distinguishing feature is the 800m long road and railway viaduct spanning the Stura di Demonte river at a height of 50 metres. Major architectural landmarks include the cathedral of Santa Maria del Bosco, the church of San Francesco and its adjacent cloister, and the monumental complex of San Francesco, home to the civic museum.
Traditional chocolate truffles called “cuneesi”, either rum-filled or otherwise flavoured, are a much-appreciated local delicacy.
The Giro d’Italia has been an “old friend” of the city since the first stage finish in 1914. The rider Niccolò Bonifazio was born here in 1993.

CENTALLO – km 31
Next on the stage course are Madonna dell’Olmo and Centallo, a busy industrial and agricultural centre, specialising in bean cultivation (“fagiolo di Cuneo”).

The town has a rich historical past that is reflected in the old town centre. It was hometown to Italian patriot Santorre di Santarosa (1783-1825) and to astronomer and science historian Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910).

RACCONIGI (intermediate sprint) – km 65
It is characterized by the large Savoy Castle of medieval origin; for a long time Racconigi was the favourite summer residence of the Savoy family. The Castle is under UNESCO protection. Next to it is a beautiful landscaped park, covering 170 hectares.

This major horticulture centre is especially renowned for bell pepper cultivation (“peperone di Carmagnola”), owing to the fertile soil. Major landmarks in the town centre include historic houses, decorated arcades and the ancient church of S. Agostino.

VILLASTELLONE (feed zone) – km 84
This town, whose economy relies mainly on agriculture, is known as the “land of potatoes and frogs”.

The main landmark is the hilltop Royal castle, overlooking the city. The lower old town centre features typical architectures dating back to the Age of Savoy.

TURIN (1st pass – km 103, 2nd pass – km 110.5, 3rd pass – km 118, 4th pass – km 125.5, intermediate sprint – 5th pass – km 133, 6th pass – km 140.5, 7th pass – km 148, 8th pass – km 155.5 and finish – km 163)
Half of the stage will take place within the city, on eight laps of a 7.5km circuit running around the foot of the hill, on either side of River Po. The circuit winds its way around Borgo Po and the neoclassical church of Gran Madre di Dio; then a short uphill stretch leads to the foot of the hill in a prestigious residential area, with Art Nouveau mansions and well-kept gardens. The route leads into Corso Moncalieri and over the Po River, via the 19-century Ponte Principessa Isabella, entering Parco del Valentino. The route crosses the Po again via the famous and imposing Ponte Umberto I, heading for the finish in Corso Moncalieri. The Giro d’Italia has embraced Turin for over 40 editions. The majestic velodrome in Corso Casale, not far from the finish, used to host the final moments of the classics Milano-Torino and Giro del Piemonte.
The 16th-century Duomo houses the Holy Shroud, believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus. Standing at 167.5 meters high, the Mole Antonelliana – named after the architect who built it – is regarded as the symbol of the city, and now houses the popular Museo Nazionale del Cinema (national cinema museum). Major landmarks include the Royal Palace, the Egyptian Museum, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Teatro Regio (the Royal theatre), the modern Lingotto complex and the Basilica of Superga, rising on top of the hill of the same name (672m) and overlooking the city.
Among the many leading figures to hail from Turin are Galileo Ferraris (1847-1897), engineer and scientist who discovered the rotating magnetic field and invented the alternate current electric motor.

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