Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Giro d'Italia, Stage 18 Results

Despite the rain that affected the last starters, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won the mountain trial trial from Mori to Polsa. He completed the hilly, 20.6 km course in 44 minutes, 29 seconds, averaging 27.785 kmh. Nibali beat second-placed Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) by 58 seconds. Third was Damiano Caruso (Cannondale Pro Cycling), at 1 minute 20 seconds. Cadel Evans was 25th, losing 2'33 ", almost certainly losing any possibility of winning but also allowing Uran and Scarponi the opportunity to push him off a podium spot in the next two stages.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Stage Winner and Maglia Rosa:
How did the rain affect your ride? "My tyre pressure was very high, so I had to be very careful on the corners. I could feel it slipping on the corners."

What is there left for you to prove? "First I have to keep the vantage I have (4 minutes, 2 seconds over Evans who is 2nd). With the advantage I gained today, I can defend the lead better with the team. Then there’s the weather. It remains a mystery. Even today, the stage started in sunshine and ended in the rain."

What did you expect from Evans today? "Cadel has been well hidden in the group for a few days, so I didn’t know what his condition was. Today, I feared he might do a better ride, but he was my reference point in today’s stage, so when I saw him ahead of me in the final kilometers, I pushed even harder."

The coming mountain stages: "Today I’ve taken another major step towards winning the Giro. I hope the weather remains good. Whether or not we can ride the mountains stages as planned, changes little (after his press comments changes in tomorrow's route were announced; no Gavia and no Stelvio tomorrow). I ‘m in good shape anyway. If the stages are taken out, with the team, we can control the race better. My shape is what it is. I’ve demonstrated that again today. So I’m relaxed."

Finally, Italian cycling has a champion: "This Giro has been good to Italy, and good for the South of Italy, with Visconti’s stage wins. People are more and more passionate about cycling. Over the last three stages, the crowds have been very big. Even today, despite the rain, there were plenty of people at the roadside. Perhaps this Giro has relaunched Italian cycling. That’s what we all wanted. I think we’re on the right road."

Cadel Evans (BMC):
"It's not for lack of trying that I lost a minute or two minutes," Evans said. "I came to this Giro with high hopes, but not high expectations. My real objective was to give my best, and, until this point, I've made a few mistakes, but nothing big. So in that regard, in terms of giving my best, that's great. But when you need winning, of course you want to be winning – and that's maybe when your hopes rise above your capabilities." With two straight mountain stages to come and a flat finale on Sunday, Nibali is 4:02 ahead of Evans. "I'm unlikely to win, but I came here for training for the Tour de France," Evans said. "Second place at this point is not so bad."

Stage 18 highlights:

Top 10 Stage 18:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:44:29
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:58
3 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:20
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:21
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:25
6 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:01:26
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:01:32
8 Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:01:36
9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling 0:01:41
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:01:52

Top 20 GC:
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 73:55:58
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:04:02
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:12
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:05:14
5 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:06:09
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:06:45
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:06:47
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:07:30
9 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:08:36
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:09:34
11 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:09:45
12 Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:10:19
13 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:10:27
14 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:11:02
15 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha 0:11:24
16 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard 0:12:05
17 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:15:24
18 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:17:03
19 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:20:20
20 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia 0:25:58

Tomorrow: Due to snow on the mountain tops both the Passo Gavia and Passo dello Stelvio will be bypassed tomorrow. The new stage will be 160 km, a hard stage but less so than originally planned. The Passo del Tonale is 8.3 km at 7.5%, 10% max; the Passo Castrin is 8.4 km at 9.5%, 13% max; the finshing climb is the same,Val Martello/Martelltal, 22.4 km at 6.4%, 14% max. More unpleasant weather tomorrow!The new stage profile:

The finishing climb:

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