Spain’s Mikel Nieve made it two wins in two days for Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi by taking stage 15 of the Giro in the Dolomites, according to Eurosport.
The 26-year-old climber rode to a wonderful solo win atop the gravel-tracked Gardeccia-Val di Fassa after almost seven and a half hours in the saddle.
It was Euskaltel’s second win in as many days after Igor Anton’s stage 14 victory on Saturday ended the Spanish team’s 17-year wait for a maiden scalp in the Giro d’Italia.
Italy’s Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone), who earlier in the day won the prestigious Cima Coppi prize awarded to the rider who crosses the race’s highest peak in pole position, finished second, 1:41 down on Nieve.
Race leader Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) survived a series of attacks from his rivals on the GC to finish a strong third, 10 seconds down on Garzelli.
Italy’s Michele Scarponi (Lampre) moved into second-place in the GC after taking fourth place, just six seconds down on the pink jersey.
The big losers of the day were Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Anton after they were distanced on the last two of five gruelling climbs on what should prove to be the race’s toughest day.
After a rest day on Monday, the Giro resumes on Tuesday with the 12.7km mountain time trial from Belluno to Nevegal.