Monte Zoncolan - Nairo Quintana of Colombia is certain of Giro d'Italia victory
barring any final stage disaster after preserving his handsome lead in
Saturday's penultimate 20th stage won by Australia's Michael Rogers.
came home in a pack ahead of his closest rival Rigoberto Uran and
carries a 3min 7sec lead into Sunday's closing 172km flat run.
Movistar rider, who measures just 1.67m (5ft 6in) and finished second
in last year's Tour de France, is set for his first major Tour victory
as the race which began in Belfast, Northern Ireland three weeks ago,
concludes in Trieste.
For Rogers this was his second win after coming home first in the 11th stage which finished at Savone.
Risse (team manager) told us to get two in the escape and I was the
last one to get in. Nicolas (teammate Roche) really worked hard for me
and I could concentrate on the Zoncolan, a climb I didn't know," said
"We had very little information on the time gaps but at the end I delivered a time-trial performance on the climb.
victory is beautiful but the Zoncolan, is a mountain historic on the
Giro. For any rider, it's a dream to win this stage," he added.
came out on top at the summit finish, outlasting Italian Franco
Pellizotti by 38secs after the two men broke away from an early escape
"I wanted to win but victory wasn't smiling on me," said a dejected Pellizotti.
I had done it, it would have been the greatest day of my career. There
were so many fans who came out to support me. Such a shame." he added.
Italian Francesco Bongiorno, who was badly hindered by an over excited
supporter, took third place, 49secs adrift of Rogers with Irishman
Nicolas Roche in fourth at 1min 35secs.
"I am very bitter about
what happened," said Bongiorno. "I couldn't play my card the way I
wanted because of this push from the supporter and I had to put my foot
down which made me lose my rhythm.
"On a climb like this, it's very difficult to recover and I cried with anger, but what could I do.
should be a warning, perhaps alcohol was too high as well. The
supporters are there to help but they have to show respect," added the
Quintana and Uran crossed the line together at 4min 45secs but it had no major effect on the overall standings.
had promoted the 167km run from Maniago to Monte Zoncolan as one of the
toughest in Europe with a final 10km run facing the riders with a climb
of 11.9 per cent.
After a long breakaway group reached the base
of the final climb with a lead of seven minutes on the peloton, Rogers
and Bongiorno made their move 5km from home with the Australian making
his final attack at 3km from the finish following the fan incident with
The 34-year-old Rogers only returned to
competition in April at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege following a positive
doping test last season that was eventually dismissed.1. Michael Rogers (Australia / Tinkoff - Saxo) 4:41:55"
STAGE 20 RESULTS
2. Franco Pellizotti (Italy / Androni Giocattoli) +37"
3. Francesco Bongiorno (Italy / Bardiani Valvole) +48"
4. Nicolas Roche (Ireland / Tinkoff - Saxo) +1:34"
5. Brent Bookwalter (U.S. / BMC Racing) +1:36"
6. Robinson Chalapud (Colombia / Colombia) +1:46"
7. Georg Preidler (Austria / Giant) +1:54"
8. Maxime Monfort (Belgium / Lotto) +2:13"
9. Dario Cataldo (Italy / Team Sky) +2:23"
10. Simon Geschke (Germany / Giant) +2:38"
11. Mattia Cattaneo (Italy / Lampre)
12. Yonathan Monsalve (Venezuela / Neri Sottoli) +3:01"
1. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) 83:50:25"
2. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +3:07"
3. Fabio Aru (Italy / Astana) +4:04"
4. Pierre Rolland (France / Europcar) +5:46"
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy / AG2R) +6:41"
6. Rafal Majka (Poland / Tinkoff - Saxo) +7:13"
7. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin) +11:09"
8. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing) +12:00"
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Canada / Garmin) +13:35"
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / Trek) +15:49"