Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) emerged from the mist to win Saturday’s weather-affected stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia, ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who extends his lead in the general classification.

The race leader put over 30 seconds into his main rival Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), although he opted not to contest the sprint for the finish-line bonus time, allowing his compatriot Santambrogio to take Vini Fantini-Selle Italia’s first stage win of this year’s race.

The route was significantly altered, with the Sestriere ascent that was supposed to be tackled before the Jafferau being removed due to the risk posed by the treacherous conditions. On the Jafferau, however, the race burst into life, with Sky setting the pace before attacking with Sergio Henao, who was joined by Italians Diego Rosa (Androni) and Franco Pellizotti (Androni).

Their attack however was negated when Nibali made his move, of which only a select few could follow. In the final kilometre the selection reduced to just him and Santamborgio, with Carlos Betancur (Ag2r) just missing out again in third at 9 seconds down, and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finding his climbing legs with fourth at 26 seconds.

Most importantly for Nibali, his two main rivals Evans and Rigoberto Uran (Sky) finished half a minute down, which puts the Sicilian in an even stronger position in the GC.

The break of the day consisted of Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma), Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Merida), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani Valvole) and Luca Paolini (Katusha), and the latter two were only caught in the final kilometre. Paolini had managed to drop Colbrelli and retain a reasonable lead over the pink jersey group, but with Nibali’s attack and the extremity of the slopes at the very top of the climb was unable to hold on and take a remarkable second stage win.

Today’s big loser was Robert Gesink (Blanco), who came in four and a half minutes down and slips out of the top ten. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) will also be disappointed with the minute and a half he lost, and it is beginning to look as if only three riders are capable of dethroning Nibali: Evans, who comfortably remains in second; Uran, who is still climbing well following his victory on the Montasio; and Santambrogio, the only rider Nibali has not yet distanced in the mountains.

Ag2r and Lampre do, however, have two cards each to play, with Scarponi, Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r) and Betancur all within six minutes, and could therefore pose some headaches with ambitious attacks.

The weather proved a hazard all day, with rain causing a very difficult day in the saddle for all the peloton. Stage four winner Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani Valvole) and Alessandro Vanotti (Astana) suffered the most and were both forced to retire, with the former breaking a rib and the latter fracturing a collarbone in a crash, while Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) was also forced to retire.

Conditions will drastically change tomorrow’s route too, with the Galibier already being ruled out and more alterations to the course expected. Col du Galibier cut from Giro stage 15>>


Giro d’Italia 2013, stage four: Cervere – Bardonecchia, 168km

1. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia in 4-42-55

2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at same time

3. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r La Mondiale at 9 secs

4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 26 secs

5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 30 secs

6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 33 secs

7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale

8. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard at same time

9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox at 55 secs

10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 58 secs

Overall classification after stage 14

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 57-20-52

2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1-26

3. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 2-46

4. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 2-47

5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 3-53

6. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 4-55

7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 5-02

8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5-32

9. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r La Mondiale at 5-39

10. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 5-41

Team Sky chase the escape group

Escape group

Rigoberto Uran and Cadel Evans

Mauro Santambrogio wins, with Vincenzo Nibali in second

Giro d’Italia 2013: Previews and race info

Giro d’Italia 2013: Coverage index

Giro d’Italia 2013: British TV schedule

Giro 2013: 10 things you need to know

Giro d’Italia 2013: The Big Preview

Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports

Stage 13: Cavendish takes his fourth stage win of 2013 Giro

Stage 12: Cavendish takes 100th win as Wiggins’ Giro bid faltrs

Stage 11: Navardauskas wins as favourites enjoy day off

Stage 10: Uran wins as Wiggins and Hesjedal lose time

Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure

Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead

Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins

Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro

Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win

Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win

Stage three: Paolini takes charge

Stage two: Sky wins team time trial

Stage one: Cavendish wins opener

Giro d’Italia 2013: Photo galleries

Photos by Graham Watson

Stage 14 gallery

Stage 13 gallery

Stage 12 gallery

Stage 11 gallery

Stage 10 gallery

Stage nine gallery

Stage eight gallery

Stage seven gallery

Stage six gallery

Stage five gallery

Stage four gallery

Stage three gallery

Stage two gallery

Stage one gallery

Team presentation gallery

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