Foliforov wins time trial as Kruijswijk extends Giro lead


Steven Kruijswijk extended his Giro d'Italia lead to over two minutes on Sunday as he finished second in the individual time trial behind Alexander Foliforov.

After taking over the lead of the race 24 hours earlier, Kruijswijk profited as his rivals struggled on the 10.8 kilometre route that made up stage 15.

His advantage prior to the stage was 41 seconds to Astana's Vincenzo Nibali, but that was significantly boosted as the Italian toiled on the uphill test.

Foliforov was out early for Gazprom - Rusvelo and his Herculean effort stopped the clock at 28 minutes and 39 seconds - a time many struggled to get close too.

As the Russian watched on, contenders for the stage win came and went, with the likes of Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) unable to boost their GC chances.

Movistar's team leader Alejandro Valverde looked on course to eclipse Foliforov's time with a solid start, but he could not maintain his momentum and had to settle for third - 23 seconds back.

That only left Nibali and Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) to ride and the former was dealt a cruel blow after navigating through the packed roads.

Having brushed off a packed local crowd's attentions, Nibali then suffered a mechanical fault, and had to change bikes, which ultimately cost him crucial time in the overall standings.

He eventually crossed the line over two minutes back, a result that sees him slip behind Chaves in the general classification - two minutes and 51 seconds behind Kruijswijk.

In the end it was Kruijswijk that came the closest to denying Foliforov the stage win with an incredible ride in the pink jersey, but he had to settle for second, despite matching the Russian's time.

It mattered little to him, though, as the damage had already been done on another tough day in the Dolomites.