Madonna Di Campiglio & Lapierre Bicycles Factory.

PhilGil Clowning around with Marcus Burghardt, stage 15.
all photos TDWSport

The first mountain stage ending on top of the Madonna Di Campiglio was all serious business with plenty of drama. Contador repelled Astana attacks and sits in the drivers seat 2:35 minutes over Aru. Astana climber Mikel Landa won the stage but Contador is set for the big prize. At this point, Aru doesn't seem to have enough to overhaul Contador but with the strongest team - is he saving it for the final week of mountains?

Riche Porte lost big time 27:04 in arrears and already has mentioned to leave the race to get set to help Froome at the Tour. Sky's new captain is Leopold Konig just 6:36 behind Contador. Ryder Hesjedal keeps chipping away, and rides in solo 13th overall 11:17 back. One things for sure and this is a positive, he says, "We'll see at the end of the race, but I already know I feel good and consolation is I've won this race before." A top 5? Plenty of action to come.

Rydering solo...
getting better for the third week.

Alexandre Geniez is FDJ's best placed rider; 10th overall 10:03. French iconic frame builder, Lapierre has sponsored FDJ for many years. The Xelius EFI and the Aircode are the two bikes used in this Giro. Here's Pedal Mag on a visit to the Lapierre factory in Dijon...