Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia) claimed the first of what he hopes to be many stage wins in his young cycling career as he fended off a hard charging Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) and Katusha teammate Alberto Losada to take Stage 15 of the 95th Giro d'Italia.
The 24-year old Italian was undaunted and steadfast in his pursuit of a victory in front of his home crowd as he went off the front early on 172 kilometer stage. Breakaway companion, Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R La Mondiale), was not as fortunate as he was dropped halfway through the stage and swallowed up by the chase group behind. Bonnafond ultimately finished in 106th on the day.
As determined as Rabottini was to take the stage, Rodriguez was his equal in fighting for his place atop the General Classification. Having won the maglia rosa on Stage 10 only to lose it on Stage 14 to Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin - Barracuda), Rodriguez made sure he not only reclaimed the pink leader's jersey, but padded his lead heading into the second rest day.
Rodriguez now sits 30 seconds ahead of Hesjedal and 1 minute and 22 seconds in front of Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) on the General Classification.
Results - Stage 15 - Busto Arsizio - Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli (172km)
1. Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia - 5:15:30
2. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team
3. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha Team - 0:00:23
General Classification After Stage 15
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team - 65:11:07
2. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda - 0:00:30
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale - 0:01:22
4. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team - 0:01:26
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team - 0:01:27
6. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD - 0:01:36
7. Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team - 0:01:42
8. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling - 0:01:55
9. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 0:02:12
10. Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat - 0:02:13
Jersey Leaders After Stage 15
maglia rosa - Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda
maglia rosso passione - Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling
maglia azzurra - Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
maglia bianca - Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
Next: Rest Day 2; Tuesday, May 22nd, Stage 16 - Limone sul Garda - Falzes/Pfalzen (174km)