Nibali extends Giro lead

2013-05-18 19:12
Vincenzo Nibali (AFP)

Rome - Race leader Vincenzo Nibali extended his lead over Australia's Cadel Evans as Mauro Santambrogio won a shortened 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia to claim his maiden win on the race Saturday.

Italian Nibali, of the Astana team, came over the finish line in second place after giving his fellow Italian, of the Vini Farini team, the nod to take the stage win unhindered.

Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, who started the day 41sec behind Nibali, crossed the finish line 33sec behind.

Saturday's stage in the high Italian Alps was due to finish in Sestriere, but was shortened by organisers due to fears over cold and wet conditions on the final descent.

As snow and rain fell at high altitude, the finish line was lowered to 1 908m at Jafferau, where BMC leader Evans and Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) fell off the pace in a final kilometre which proved just too steep for the duo.

Nibali's hopes of a maiden Giro win were boosted earlier this week when main rival Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) pulled out due to illness.

In the overall standings the Sicilian, who won a 12-second time bonus, now has a lead of 1mn 26sec over Evans, and 2:46 on Uran, who has taken the mantle of Sky's team leader after Wiggins's retirement from the race.

Santambrogio's win, meanwhile, pushed the 28-year-old up to fourth place overall but he is nearly three minutes off the pace and not considered a threat to Nibali.

After the race was shortened by 12km, from 180km to 168km, a four-man group broke from the peloton and went on to build a lead of nearly eight and a half minutes.

They held a four-minute lead at the foot of the final climb, a 7.3km ascent with an average gradient of nine percent.

However they were reeled in one by one as the battle for the stage win and for the pickings in the overall race took hold.

After losing touch in the final kilometres, Evans, solid throughout the race so far, admitted his victory bid was now compromised: "It was not my best day.

"I just couldn't react when the attack from Nibali came. I think that has something to do with the last couple of days.

"I hope this is my worst day in the mountains; otherwise to fight for the win will be difficult."

Sunday's 15th stage, due to finish on the summit of the legendary Galibier climb in France, has also been altered due to poor weather conditions.

The finish line will now be moved from the Galibier's altitude of 2 642m to 2 301m, at the site of a statue commemorating fallen Italian champion Marco Pantani.

Results from the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 168km run from Cervere to Bardonecchia on Saturday:


1. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA/VIN) 4hr 42min 55sec, 2. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) same time, 3. Carlos Betancur (COL/ALM) at 9sec, 4. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 26, 5. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 30, 6. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 33, 7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) s.t., 8. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/RSH) s.t., 9. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/BAR) 55, 10. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) 58, 11. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 59, 12. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) s.t., 13. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/AND) 1:04, 14. Diego Rosa (ITA/AND) 1:08, 15. Niemiec Przemyslaw (POL/LAM) s.t.

Selected others

35. Robert Gesink (NED/BLA) 4:16, 163. Mark Cavendish (GBR/OPQ) 22:31

Overall standings:

1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 57h 20:52, 2. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 1:26, 3. Rigoberto Uran (COL/SKY) 2:46, 4. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA/VIN) 2:47, 5. Michele Scarponi (ITA/LAM) 3:53, 6. Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL/LAM) 4:55, 7. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 5:12, 8. Rafal Majka (POL/SAX) 5:32, 9. Carlos Betancour (COL/ALM) 5:39, 10. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 5:51, 11. Robert Gesink (NED/BLA) 6:40, 12. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/RSH) 6:42, 13. Sergio Henao (COL/SKY) 7:06, 14. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 7:19, 15. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 7:36

Selected others

17. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 8:24, 20. Danilo Di Luca (ITA/VIN) 14:29, 134. Mark Cavendish (GBR/OPQ) 2h 13:42

Read more on:    giro d'italia  |  vincenzo nibali  |  cycling

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