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Giro d’Italia. Dario Cataldo takes heroic victory on stage 15

The Astana rider Dario Cataldo took a heroic victory today on the streets of Como at stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia. After a few days of illness, today Cataldo was able to move himself in a breakaway together with the Italian rider Mattia Cattaneo. Spending all day long in the leading group, at the finish line in Como Dario outsprinted his breakaway companion, taking the most important win in his professional career.

- I still can’t believe in it! Today in the morning I could not even think the day will end like this! For a few days I was sick, but still tried to fight on in this race to provide my best to the team and our leader Miguel Angel Lopez. In the team we all stay together, we all work for one goal, riders, staff, directors, all our sponsors, our partner Samruk Kazyna… We have one goal and everyone is trying to do his best for that. So, despite I did not feel good in the morning, I went out to the start with an aim to give my best, - said Dario Cataldo.

- There were many attacks in the group from the start, and in a moment I attacked together with Mattia Cattaneo. A bit later we realized we are only two in front, we decided to push hard as long as possible to see if we could break away. In the end, the peloton gave us space and we started to work more regular. We worked really well together. Anyway, it was a super long and hard day and despite a big gap we had, the peloton still had a chance to catch us. The last climb Civiglio was a tough one. Cattaneo tried twice to drop me, but every time I had legs to answer. I was afraid of these attacks, but, hopefully, I was able to follow it. I knew I have better chances in sprint, so even he left me to lead out our group inside the final two kilometers, I just did it, because there was no place to play the games since the chasers were close. Anyway, I preferred to launch my sprint from the first position and it worked out perfectly! That’s something amazing to win a stage of the Giro d’Italia! I am so happy! – added Dario Cataldo.

- In the beginning it was hard to break away. For 20-30 km they had a small advantage and in any moment it could be closed out. But, they both continued to work hard in front and, finally, the group let them go. Both riders did a good job in the break, in every climb they had a good pace, enough to keep the peloton on a distance despite of a chase behind them. In a few moments we thought the break will be neutralized, but they could stay away until the finish. Indeed, Cattaneo tried for several times on the last climb, but Dario was good enough to follow. In the end Cattaneo decided not to work anymore, leaving Dario on the first position. It was a bit risky, since the chasers were really close. But, our rider did all perfectly. Dario continued keeping the pace and still found some energy to sprint for a victory. I think, that was a very beautiful win for him and for the whole team! – said Stefano Zanini, sports director of Astana Pro Team.

Behind the shoulders of the breakaway, there was a big fight for the general classification. A few riders attacked on the steep slopes of Civiglio to split away the group of the favorites. In the end, 4 riders have got a small advantage on the climb and later of a very technical descent, finishing 11 seconds behind Dario Cataldo: Simon Yates finished third and Hugh Carthy did 4th with the pink jersey Richard Carapaz 5th and Vincenzo Nibali 6th. 25 seconds later Astana’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez brought the first chasing group to the finish line, taking a solid 7th place.

Before the second rest day Richard Carapaz still leads the overall standings of the Giro d’Italia, having 47 seconds on Primož Roglič and 1 minute 47 seconds on Vincenzo Nibali. Miguel Angel Lopez is still 10th, 5 minutes 55 seconds behind the GC leader.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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