Domenico Pozzovivo has a cold

The idiot. As if he’s not handicapped enough by his near-endless list of shortcomings, he’s only gone and got himself ill as well. This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to strike out in the mountains as if being chased by ravenous hounds who have a taste for the blood of short-arsed southern Italian economists who for some reason make a living riding a bicycle.

The cold’s probably why he lost a bit of time to Rigoberto Uran on stage 15. Not sure what Cadel Evans’ excuse was. They both lost 31 seconds to the race leader, as did Wilco Kelderman.

Other riders emerged in credit. Nairo Quintana gained another 20 seconds and the Sardinian rider, Fabio Aru, vaulted into the top four by winning the stage, gaining 42 seconds. Aru’s only 23. With Kelderman and Rafal Majka as well, this is turning into Giro d’Italia: The Next Generation. Hopefully Patrick Stewart will turn up soon to add some baritone gravitas.

Stage 16

Passo Gavia and Passo Stelvia are two of the more famous Italian mountain passes. Val Martello is less famous, but could make a name for itself as the finishing slope on a short but ferocious stage. Here’s the profile.