As it happened: McNulty wins Giro d'Italia stage 15 after thrilling breakaway battle
- Giro d'Italia: McNulty wins from the break on Lombardia-style stage 15
- Giro d'Italia abandons: The full list of riders who have left the race
- How to watch the 2023 Giro d'Italia – live streaming
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia!
We're an hour from the start of the stage in Seregno at the moment and today's figures to feature better weather than in recent days. The forecast is wam, dry, and cloudy.
A look at the map and profile of today's stage. The route features four major climbs and hits Bergamo 57km before the finish there.
The city often hosts the start or finish of Il Lombardia and today's route is reminiscent of the Monument, even if it's much shorter. The climb of Roncola Alta featured in the 2021 race while the Valico di Valcava, Selvino and Miragolo San Salvatore were all on the race route in 2016.
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132 riders are set to take the start today barring any DNS announcements in the next 45 minutes.
Giro d'Italia abandons: The full list of riders who have left the race
Yesterday's stage 14 saw the breakaway prevail in Cassano Magnago as Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) won his second stage in three days. Frenchman Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) took over the race lead as the peloton finished 21 minutes down.
Giro d'Italia: Denz triumphs from break on stage 14 as Armirail takes race lead
Take a look at the results and new GC from stage 14 here...
Denz beat out Israel-Premier Tech neo-pro Derek Gee in the dash for the line. It was the Canadian's third second-place at his debut Giro. He'll wear the red dossard as the most combative rider today.
Another round of red bib numbers for Derek Gee after yesterday’s big effort in the break 🔴___🇮🇹#Giro pic.twitter.com/9pPzlSA04uMay 21, 2023
Riders are currently signing on at the start in Seregno.
Armirail has a new bike today – Lapierre whipped up this pink Xelius SL in quick time for the new race leader.
Vélo Rose 💖 Merci @Lapierrebikes ! pic.twitter.com/L2jpk0RFJIMay 21, 2023
Meanwhile there's plenty of space on the Soudal-QuickStep team bus as the squad battle on with just three riders. Two of them – Davide Ballerini and Pieter Serry – were in the breakaway yesterday, with the Italian taking fifth place.
Our three riders are getting ready for the start of #Giro stage 15. pic.twitter.com/SOCyTdYDuFMay 21, 2023
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Five minutes until the riders roll out in the neutral zone.
A 4.7km neutral zone for the peloton so the real racing will begin in around 15-20 minutes.
Happy birthdays to Mark Cavendish (38) and Andreas Leknessund (24) at the Giro today. It's also Dylan van Baarle's 31st birthday
🎂 Happy birthday to @MarkCavendish!#Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/bzbpNzd2KVMay 21, 2023
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The riders have rolled out to start the neutral zone in Seregno.
Nearing the end of the neutral zone now.
There should be a big fight for the break to start the day. A lot of mountain points on offer today – a Bais vs Pinot showdown?
195km to go
The flag drops and the stage is underway!
A hilly 40km ahead of the day's opening climb, the Valico di Vaclava.
Attacks from the start and Bais is up there straight away.
It's not full gas from the start but riders are still trying to get away at the front.
Wet roads here but the weather isn't as awful as it was yesterday, at least.
Trek-Segafredo among the main teams attacking at the front of the race.
Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) among those trying to go clear.
Israel-Premier Tech are as active as ever.
190km to go
Still nothing clear as riders flow to the front and put in efforts.
Healy off the front with Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan).
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188km to go
Meanwhile back in the race more attacks go at the front of the peloton.
Frigo, Mollema, Fortunato, McNulty, Ballerini, Pasqualon among those chasing across to Healy and Velasco.
A couple of riders from Eolo-Kometa in the group but no sign of maglia azzurra Bais. Pinot not there either.
25 seconds between the lead duo and the chase group.
180km to go
The peloton has slowed up and this looks to be the break of the day. Now over three minutes between the main group and the attackers.
Healy and Velasco are 20 seconds up on the chase group.
Einer Rubio and Martin Marcellusi are 1:30 down, chasing the break together.
Healy and Velasco have a discussion as they slow up and drop into the chase group. A 15-man breakaway now.
Marcellusi and Rubio continue the chase.
4:15 back to the peloton now.
Groupama-FDJ take to the front of the peloton to control the stage. Ineos Grenadiers line up behind the French squad.
Marco Frigo, Sebastian Berwick (Israel-Premier Tech)
Niccolò Bonifazio, Laurens Huys (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty)
Vincenzo Albanese, Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa)
Davide Ballerini (Soudal-QuickStep)
Andrea Pasqualon (Bahrain Victorious)
José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar)
Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost)
Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan)
François Bidard (Cofidis)
Alberto Dainese (Team DSM)
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)
169km to go
1:40 back to Rubio and Marcellusi.
It doesn't look like they'll be making it across to the break. A shame for Rubio in particular who is obviously in good form having won stage 13 and who would've been one of the top climbers in the break on this though stage.
Five minutes between the break and the peloton.
A shot of today's breakaway.
A 43kph average speed so far today.
163km to go
Rubio has dropped Marcellusi and is now just over 30 seconds down on the leaders!
As the breakaway approach the base of the day's first climb, the Valico di Valcava, here's a look at the climb profile.
Rubio continues to close in on his own.
Rojas drops back from the group to help Rubio.
Only around 15 seconds to bridge now.
A look at the breakaway, with Healy and Mollema at the head of the group.
Rojas and Rubio are across and now we have a 16-man move.
158km to go
The break are on the climb now. It's a first-category climb, so 40 points are on offer.
Three second-category climbs follow, with 18 points on offer on each one.
94 points up for grabs in total today.
Rubio already has 68 points to his name so could take the maglia azzurra today. Healy is the next best-placed man in the move on 24 points.
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5:30 between the break and peloton now.
Some steep slopes on this climb. The gradient hits 17% in places while three of the final four kilometres average 11.3%.
Dry roads on the climb and no rain.
Davide Ballerini hails from this region, the town of Cantù, around an hour left of where the riders are currently. He smiles as he passes his fan club on the climb, playfully squirting a couple of his fans with his water bottle.
155km to go
Martin Marcellusi is back! He suddenly appeared just off the rear of the lead group on the climb and has now made it across.
Marcellusi is the ninth Italian in the breakaway. He hails from Rome.
Gavazzi, like Ballerini, is a local. He was born down the road in Morbegno.
Dainese, Frigo, and Pasqualon are from the neighbouring region of Veneto, while Bonifazio is also from the north, hailing from Piemonte.
Velasco comes from Bologna in Emilia-Romagna, while Albanese is the most southern-born Italian in the group. He was born in Campania near Naples.
The breakaway are tackling a steep section of the climb now. They're now seven minutes up on the peloton.
Some video on Ballerini having fun with his fans earlier on the climb.
😍 Ballero Fan Club 🚿#Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/QwJ3OgLtAcMay 21, 2023
150km to go
Ballerini still leading the way in the breakaway as the group nears the top of the climb.
A kilometre to go to the top of the Valico di Valcava.
Still seven minutes back to the peloton.
A reminder that 40 points are up for grabs at the summit. Surely Rubio will jump out to grab them.
Gavazzi jumps on his wheel. He's hoping to disrupt the Colombian and protect the mountain classification lead of his teammate, Davide Bais.
Now Healy is across to Rubio as Gavazzi drops back.
Healy and Rubio go for the sprint, barging into each other on the way up.
In the end Healy got the better of the Movistar man to take the 40 points.
18 points for Rubio.
Healy moves up to 64 points in the mountain classification. Rubio is on 86.
Groupama-FDJ leading the peloton ahead of Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma.
140km to go
All OK down the descent so far.
The breakaway are approaching the bottom of the descent now. No change in the race situation.
131km to go
The gap from peloton to the break is currently just over 6:30 as Groupama-FDJ continue to control the pace.
The peloton taking on the final bends of the descent, with Ignatas Konovalovas and Jake Stewart leading the way for the French squad.
121km to go
6:30 for the break at the moment.
Little going on at the moment as the riders race along the valley road on the way to the next climbs of Selvino and Miragolo San Salvatore.
113km to go
The break will soon hit the day's first intermediate sprint at Nembro.
Groupama-FDJ leading the way in the peloton.
6:30 from them to the breakaway.
Ballerini nips out the front of the break to lead the way over the intermediate sprint and now it's back uphill for the riders as they hit the climb of Selvino.
A look at the two climbs coming up now.
Alberto Dainese drops off the rear of the break.
Marcellusi also losing touch after all that effort to make it across earlier on.
105km to go
15 left in the breakaway now, then.
6:55 back to the peloton.
It's still Groupama-FDJ leading the peloton.
The break are midway up the climb now. It's the easiest hill of the day, 11.1km at an average of 5.6%.
It's around 20°C now and the sun is out. Much better riders in comparison with most of the Giro so far.
No attacks in the break yet. We'll likely see another Healy vs Rubio showdown near the top.
Ballerini off the front after the sprint as the break headed into this climb earlier on.
The riders now tackling 12 hairpins bends towards the top of the climb.
100km to go
6:30 for the break.
Marcellusi back in the breakaway as Healy drops back to his team car for a drink.
A look at the climb from the TV helicopter.
Wow, #Giro 😍 pic.twitter.com/31ubz5LartMay 21, 2023
The gap to the peloton is down to six minutes now.
Rubio jumps out from behind Rojas' wheel at the top of the climb.
But it's Healy who hits the front at the right time to collect more points.
A crash just after the top! Berwick, Frigo and Velasco all caught up.
McNulty also stopped as a result of that crash but all are back up and running now.
94km to go
18 points for Healy at the top and eight for Rubio.
Meanwhile, Dainese is caught by the peloton.
Velasco following his Astana team car down the descent to try and get back on.
Onto the Miragolo San Salvatore now and the break's advantage is down to 5:50.
87km to go
5.2km at 7% for the riders.
Ballerini dropping from the breakaway now.
Rojas working at the head of the break.
85km to go
Now Ballerini gets back on.
Ballerini nearly rides into the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty car on the way back. The Belgian team's car had to dodge the race director's car, which stopped at the side of the road, squeezing Ballerini.
The sun is shining on the Giro d'Italia today!
Another KOM showdown between Healy and Rubio coming up...
They sprint for the line!
Rubio with the quicker sprint to edge out Healy at the line. They fist bump after the sprint – no hard feelings after their clash on the first climb of the day.
18 points for Rubio and eight for Healy.
112 in total for the Colombian, who is now two off Pinot and 32 off maglia azzurra Bais. Healy is on 90 points.
77km to go
15 men still in the break. Marcellusi dropped off the back late on the climb and hasn't made it back.
6:10 to the peloton for the breakaway now.
How to watch the 2023 Giro d'Italia – live streaming
Now the moves start to go in the breakaway after the descent. Healy goes.
68km to go
No separation at the front, though, and things are back together.
Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) has some fresh bandaging on his arm. He has gone down but is back in the peloton.
62km to go
No movements in the breakaway on these flat roads.
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The breakaway reaches Bergamo now and with it a small climb at Colle Aperto.
58km to go
Gavazzi is off the rear of the break.
Velasco really pushing at the front. Ballerini drops.
6:15 back to the peloton.
Through the finish line for the first time and Ballerini is back in the break.
Double stage winner Nico Denz among the riders dropping from the rear of the peloton on the climb in Bergamo.
50km to go
Some attacks and accelerations in the break now as Mollema leads the way.
Now Bonifazio makes a move.
The Italian has a gap at the front.
Results also coming in from the Rund un Köln, the Antwerp Port Epic Ladies, and the 4 Jours de Dunkerque today.
He has 20 seconds already.
45km to go
30 seconds for Bonifazio now.
A look at the final climb of the stage.
Konovalovas still on the front in the peloton for Groupama-FDJ.
Bonifazio not the strongest climber in this breakaway so you'd expect the likes of Healy and Rubio to make it across when the attacks go on the climb.
40km to go
Onto the climb now and Bonifazio is a minute up the road!
6:30 back to the peloton.
All together in the chase group for now...
Bonifazio is only gaining time here. 1:20 and counting.
Albanese dropping in the chase.
Pasqualon and Berwick drop away too.
Rojas working at the front of the chase for Rubio.
38km to go
Jumbo-Visma to the front of the peloton!
And now attacks from the chase group! Frigo and McNulty go.
Bonifazio's time at the head of the race is over as he's caught and passed.
McNulty working on bridging across to Frigo.
36km to go
McNulty is across. Two up front as Healy chases.
Rubio further back.
Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates take to the head of the peloton.
Healy gets across to the two leaders.
McNulty attack! 20 seconds to Rubio in the chase.
34km to go
Healy responds and goes clear!
Healy is flying here! 17 seconds to McNulty and Frigo now.
Rubio another 20 seconds down at 3km from the top.
32km to go
Now Jayco-AlUla leading the peloton as McNulty pushes on in the chase.
He drops Frigo and races on at 14 seconds down. Rubio at almost a minute.
McNulty is pulling Healy in as they ride towards the top.
30km to go
At the top Healy takes another 18 KOM points. He's 13 seconds up on McNulty.
Frigo at 32 seconds.
A spell of flat road at the top before the riders fly down the other side and back towards Bergamo.
No movement in the peloton.
27km to go
They're on the descent now and McNulty is across to Healy.
Bahrain Victorious on the front of the peloton.
Bahrain have upped the pace a little and some riders have been dropped. Nothing major in terms of GC, though.
24km to go
McNulty and Healy are 37 seconds up on Frigo.
Now it's Ineos Grenadiers back in control of the peloton.
It's looking good for Healy and McNulty here.
18km to go
Not too much left on the descent. 37 seconds back to Frigo.
McNulty has followed Healy on the way down.
Frigo is riding a great descent and keeps taking seconds off the lead.
15km to go
Frigo just over 20 seconds back now.
Flat roads to the finish now, though the riders do have to tackle that small climb in Bergamo once more. Could that decide the stage?
12km to go
McNulty and Healy still together and still working well.
Frigo at 20 seconds.
Frigo flying in the chase. The time gap shows 13 seconds now.
Frigo is almost across!
Israel-Premier Tech lost their GC leader Domenico Pozzovivo to COVID-19 last Monday but their young guns have really lit up the race.
Marco Frigo, Stephen Williams, Sebastian Berwick, Matthew Riccitello, and especially Derek Gee have raced aggressively and excitingly this Giro. The team's veteran Simon Clarke hasn't been bad either...
10km to go
Frigo makes it across! Three up front.
This trio are now set to contest the stage win. Nobody else in sight.
7:25 back to the peloton.
Frigo not taking any turns just yet after his monster effort.
Meanwhile, Warren Barguil has attacked from the peloton for... reasons...
Rubio and Mollema are next in the chase behind the three leaders. They're 1:15 down.
7km to go
6km to go
Healy leads Frigo across.
Healy closes the gap.
5km to go
The trio back together now.
A look at the finish...
The leaders are heading uphill at Colle Aperto once again.
4km to go
A short hill into Bergamo's old town, this could be the decider today.
Onto the cobblestones.
Like much of today's route, we've seen this in Il Lombardia before, of course.
Frigo and Healy at the front. Huge crowds roaring them on!
No attacks yet.
Now Healy goes!
3.5km to go
McNulty is with him. Frigo battles but can't keep up.
Huge effort by Healy.
Frigo is gone.
3km to go
Healy vs McNulty now.
20 seconds to Frigo already! Healy is a monster.
2km to go
Frigo taking a few seconds off the lead.
Healy leads McNulty. The American won't take a turn here.
10 seconds for Frigo!
1km to go
Can Frigo get back again?!
Healy still on the front.
500m to go
Healy leads it out.
Frigo is back!
Frigo hits the front!
Healy leads the chase.
Healy brings it back in the dying metres.
Healy vs McNulty in the sprint!
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia!
What a battle.
Now Jumbo-Visma move up in the peloton ahead of the final climb. GC battle incoming?
Mollema and Rubio finish at 1:50 down.
Rubio was 11:04 down at the start of the day.
João Almeida and Primož Roglič lead it up Colle Aperto.
Dunbar now on the front.
Leknessund and Caruso also up there. Thomas too.
Almeida accelerates on the front!
Armirail dropped on the climb. He's 1:41 up on Thomas.
Almeida pushing over the top. Roglič, Dunbar, Caruso, Thomas, Leknessund all up there.
Kämna isn't there.
Almeida leads a group of around eight men up front.
Kämna leading the chase around 10-15 seconds down.
Final kilometre for the GC men.
Carthy and Pinot in the second group with Kämna.
Thomas driving the first group.
The chasers are closing in!
The groups almost come together at the line. Maybe a second of a time gap, if that...
Armirail leads his group home. He'll lose some time but keep the maglia rosa.
McNulty celebrates his stage win.
We'll wait and see what the GC time gaps are after that last-gasp burst of action.
Here's what Healy had to say about his ride to second place today...
"Not too bad. I had him for a bit but I think I made a bit of a mistake waiting for Rubio. I thought he was going to bring me back. It meant I had to do a big effort to get back to McNulty and Frigo. I had the legs to drop them on the steeper bit, but as soon as it shallowed out again I was struggling. He slowly but surely clawed me back, and I couldn't drop him on the last little bit either. He was pretty strong today.
"It was a nice race and hopefully a good show for the people. We raced up to the line as well so it was good fun."
Marco Frigo after the finish...
"You never give up. I had really good legs. Of course the first two maybe had something else on me. I gave everything and they gave everything. The descent in the final gave me a chance to get back and I knew that. I played that, and that's how it went.
"In those moments the head is gone, is spent, but you carry on pushing. I just tried to get back to them in front. It's a Giro d'Italia stage, it's not a 'nothing race'.
"Let's say that glass is half full today, and of course there are more stages next week."
Here's what McNulty said after the finish...
"Indescribable. It was my goal coming here and then I got sick during the TT. I didn't know what was going to happen. Today it came together and I'm so happy.
"On the last long climb I tried to go. I thought my race was done there because Ben was so strong. I clawed back and rested and then we played games on the flats. In the end it came down to the last kick and the sprint.
"I knew [Frigo] was coming and he ended up coming just at the right moment because we could swing over. I caught the draft and then at 150-200 metres I just went for it.
"We came here for GC and also with the goal of me having a stage win and now that's happened, so we can fully focus on João [Almeida]."
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Late GC attacks result in small gap as Armirail ships 29 seconds
We'll have news and reaction coming in from Geraint Thomas, Jumbo-Visma, the breakaway trio of Healy, McNulty, and Frigo, as well as an update from maglia rosa Bruno Armirail. Stay tuned!
Brandon McNulty celebrates his stage victory on the podium.
Another day in the maglia rosa for Bruno Armirail.
Davide Bais stays in blue, even if Ben Healy and Einer Rubio closed the gap in the mountain classification today.
Yet another day in the points classification lead for Jonathan Milan.
And finally, João Almeida remains in the white of best young rider.
Another top ride from an Israel-Premier Tech youngster in this Giro d'Italia with Marco Frigo today.
Few would've predicted that Frigo, Derek Gee, Matthew Riccitello, and Sebastian Berwick (all 23 or under, three of them neo-pros) would be so prominent and so aggressive here. Great racing.
That was certainly the best stage of this #Giro and another great ride from an Israel-Premier Tech youngsterMarco Frigo getting back on twice in the final is one of the rides of the race – along with every other stage Derek Gee rides lol👏👏 pic.twitter.com/SpL3pGe4U6May 21, 2023
A look back at a thrilling final kilometre to stage 15!
Two-man challenge, three-man challenge, two-man challenge. A breath-taking last kilometre crowns the King of Bergamo🔻.Sfida a due, sfida a tre, sfida a due. Un ultimo chilometro al cardipalma incorona il Re di Bergamo🔻@Expo2030Roma #Giro #GirodItalia pic.twitter.com/ZsKqCxTmJbMay 21, 2023
It's the second and last Giro d'Italia rest day tomorrow so we won't have any live coverage. There'll be plenty of news from the rest day press conferences, though, so look out for that as well as what we have coming in this evening.
On Tuesday the racing returns with this monster of a stage to Monte Bondone, included in the route for the first time since 2006.
See you on Tuesday!