Sunday, May 22, 2011

Giro d'Italia, Stage 14

Stage 14, May 21, 2011, LIENZ-MONTE ZONCOLAN, Mountain stage with summit finish, 190 km. The stage was originally 201 km but the race ommissaires decided to cut the penultimate Monte Crostis ascent and descent out.

176 riders start out from Lienz at 12:02 pm.

Fast pace from the beginning with several breakaway attempts on the front of the bunch. At km 29, Brambilla, Rabottini and Tankink manage to clear out. The field lets them go and after 5 km the three escapees have already a 1’ lead. Average speed after one hour: 41,900 kph. The gap between the break and the peloton increases; at km 50: 9’20”.

King of the Mountain - 3rd category, Passo di Monte Croce Comelico (BZ) [m 1.636] – km 54: Brambilla first, followed by Rabottini and Tankink. The bunch, where Tosatto from Saxo Bank – Sungard sets the pace, comes over the climb 10’05” behind.

King of the Mountain – 3rd category, Passo di Sant’Antonio (BL) [m 1.476] – km 69.6:
Brambilla over Tankink and Rabottini. The peloton with Savini on the front, gets there with a 10’32” delay. Average speed after two hours: 38,200 kph.

In Lorenzago di Cadore, km 88, the lead of the three-man break is of 10’35”.

King of the Mountain – 2nd category, Passo della Mauria (BL) [m 1.298] – km 96.2:
Brambilla first over the climb again before Rabottini and Tankink. The delay of the field, anticipated by Kiserlovski, is 10’32”. With 75 km to go: 9’55”.

Intermediate sprint, Villa Santina (UD) – km 139,9: Rabottini crosses the intermediate sprint line first ahead of Tankink and Brambilla. The bunch gets there at 9’05”. At the front the Liquigas riders are pacing the bunch.

Parcours deviation called during the race. The King of the Mountain of Tualis is cancelled. Once the race reaches the bridge of Muina, it turns left towards Cella and Luincis. Once it reaches the SS of Val Pesarina, it goes to Ovaro to rejoin the original race parcours and climb on the Monte Zoncolan.

The escapees attack the last 10-km climb with a lead of 3’50” over a first group, made up of some 40 riders – paced by the Liquigas riders. The main bunch is at 4’50” behind.

On the first ramps of Zoncolan, Rabottini and Tankink are dropped; Brambilla rides solo at the front of the race. Progression of Rodriguez first and then Anton, followed by Contador.

The Pink Jersey catches Anton and together they go in pursuit of the leaders. Contador and Anton catch Rodriguez with Scarponi and they attack. At the front of the race, Tankink catches Brambilla and is leading solo. New attack of Anton that gets ahead of Rabottini, Brambilla and Tankink.

5 km to go: Anton is leading; at 5” behind Contador and Scarponi; at 18” behind Nibali and Rujano and Menchov.

Nibali catches Contador and Scarponi. Scarponi is suffering. Two riders in pursuit of Anton.

2 km to go: Anton has a 30” lead over Nibali and Contador, 45” over Scarponi; at 1’02” Menchov and 1’28” Rujano. Before the banner indicating the last km, Contador accelerates - Nibali is dropped – and Contador jumps to chase Anton.

FINISH – KOM 1st category, Monte Zoncolan (UD) [m 1.730]: Igor Anton takes the stage win ahead of Alberto Contador who comes in second at 33”, Vincenzo Nibali in
third at 40”. Fourth, Scarponi at 1’11” ahead of Menchov at 1’21”.

Time of the winner: 5h 04’ 26”, at an average speed of 33.899 kph.

Nibali: "I looked at doing everything I could to win the stage. I felt good today, better than yesterday, and my teammates also felt good, with the exception of [Sylvester] Szmyd who is still sick. If not, it could have been a different outcome. We tried because this is a climb I know very well. I followed a regular rhythm and I accelerated later to drop Scarponi. I’m not an explosive climber. Unfortunately, Anton was in the front and we didn’t manage to catch him. I did everything I could."

Scarponi: "Contador and Nibali were a little more brilliant then me, but I succeeded in limiting the gap".

Classification leaders:
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosa Estathé with 3’20” advantage on Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas – Cannondale) who is second in the overall ranking.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Rosso Passione Gruppo Saint-Gobain.
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) is the Maglia Verde Banca Mediolanum.
Roman Kreuziger (Pro Team Astana) is the Maglia Bianca Adecco.

Stage 15, Conegliano-Gardeccia/Val di Fassa, 229 km, is rated "Alta Montagna".

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