UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar brought some sense of normality to the chaotic day at the Giro d'Italia by clinching a weather-affected stage 16 victory on Tuesday. His triumph further solidified his commanding lead in the overall classification.

Despite the torrential rain, the Slovenian dominated the stage, triumphing at the summit finish at Val Gardena ski resort with a celebratory gesture of counting to five with his right hand, marking his fifth stage win in this year's race. Pogacar's Giro debut has seen him secure a lead of over seven minutes, placing him in a promising position to don the maglia rosa in Rome, barring any unforeseen setbacks in the upcoming stages.

Giulio Pellizzari, the final rider of a breakaway group, secured the second position, finishing 16 seconds behind Pogacar, while Dani Martinez's third-place finish propelled him above Geraint Thomas to second place overall.

The day commenced amidst confusion as the stage's start from Livigno was cancelled due to freezing rain in the South Tyrol mountains. Consequently, the stage length was reduced to 121km. Deteriorating conditions and snow at higher altitudes led riders to vote in favor of skipping the 2,500-meter Umbrail Pass and a perilous descent due to safety concerns.

However, Giro organizers claimed that the riders had failed to appear for the race's start in Livigno, despite having previously reached an agreement. They stated, "The Extreme Weather Protocol Commission met yesterday to decide on the conditions for today's stage. An agreement was reached to start the race from Livigno with a town parade. Despite this, the athletes did not show up at the start in Livigno."

Conversely, rider Ben O'Connor criticized the organizers, referring to them as "dinosaurs" and highlighting the substandard organization of the race. Despite the challenges, the shortened stage, featuring two arduous climbs, unfolded with Pogacar showcasing his dominance once more after being aided by his teammate Rafal Majka's acceleration to claim victory.

Pogacar commented, "The day started on and off and we didn't know what to do. But when we started racing, it was fine. All the bunch was thinking just to be safe today." His resounding performance has placed him at the helm, leading by seven minutes and 18 seconds over Dani Martinez, with Geraint Thomas trailing by 07:40.

Ultimately, the day will be remembered for the tumultuous start, which Giro d'Italia director Mauro Vegni acknowledged. He stated, "The mountains are like this, sometimes you have to face certain situations. We tried to provide additional safety measures for the riders but we agreed that if the conditions worsened we would avoid the Umbrail Pass."

As the race continues, Pogacar's remarkable achievements amid the challenging conditions underline his prowess and potential to emerge victorious in the Giro d'Italia.