Guy Niv smiled before the start of stage 16 and said with a sense of irony: “What a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

Positivity was probably the best approach to overcoming a hard, cold, and rainy day in the Giro – and Niv understood that.

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 16th stage Sacile – Cortina dÕAmpezzo 153 km – 24/05/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Terrifying weather conditions made the race organization decide to shorten the 212-kilometer stage. Instead of doing nearly 5,500 meters of elevation, the stage was cut to two significant climbs.

The shortened stage didn’t necessarily translate to the stage being much easier than originally planned. The weather conditions made it a very challenging day in the saddle. There was barely anything to see for fans and followers as the organization wasn’t able to get the race covered.

ISN’s GC-contender, Dan Martin, anticipated early into stage 16 with an acceleration out of the peloton. He got some space with more than twenty other riders. However, towards the final climb of the day, all the escapees were reeled in by the pack.

On the snowy flanks of the Passo Giau, it was one-on-one. There was no peloton, no front group, and no small bunches chasing. There were only lonely riders moving their bikes up the 10+% slopes of the Giau.

After the downhill to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dan Martin appeared 17th out of the low-hanging clouds, keeping the twelfth position in the general classification.

And was Niv still smiling after the finish? Barely. However, after a shower his smile returned, warming up the ambiance in the team bus.