Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) goes into tomorrow’s final stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia with an increased lead in the general classification after a spectacular stage victory in snowy conditions on the Tre Clime di Lavaredo.

The Italian was the first of the favourites to attack on the final climb, and was able to ride away from everyone and solo alone to the finish, holding off the Colombian trio of Fabio Duarte (Colombia), Rigoberto Uran (Sky) and Carlos Betancur (Ag2r).

Despite failing to catch Nibali and challenge for the stage win, it was still a successful day for the Colombians, with Duarte registering his best result of his Giro, Uran leapfrogging Cadel Evans (BMC) into second overall, and Betancur taking the white jersey from Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) and moving up to fifth overall, despite the setback from a mechanical on the penultimate climb.

With the Passo Costalunga, Passo San Pellegrino and Passo Giau all removed due to the weather conditions, it was a quiet day until Nibali’s attack on the final climb, with the favourites all opting for a defensive race.

Four riders made up the break of the day: Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol), Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli), Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack-Leopard) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha), with the latter going alone on the penultimate Passo Tre Croci category 2 climb. Here he was caught by Pieter Weening (Blanco), Gianluca Brambilla (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Eros Capecchi (Movistar), with the latter breaking free on the final climb.

Here, however, they were all swallowed up, with the weather making for an extraordinary spectacle; a war of attrition with riders visibly at the limit, their panting breath visible in front of their faces in the freezing atmosphere.

Those who suffered most dramatically included Evans, who lost a further one minute and 40 seconds to Nibali, and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), who was unable to reward his team for the work put in at the front of the peloton for most of the day, instead falling outside of the top ten at the expense of Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r).

In the mountains classification, Stefano Pirazzi sealed victory with three points on the Passo Tre Croci, while the points classification underwent a shake up with Nibali moving into the lead ahead of Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

However, thanks to points scored in intermediate sprints today (despite the best efforts of Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini) and his inexplicable challenge), Cavendish needs only 10 points in tomorrow’s stage to reclaim the jersey, so should seal victory comfortably and take a full set of Grand Tour points classification wins.

Giro d’Italia 2013 stage 21 preview>>

Results

Giro d’Italia 2013, stage 20: Silandro/Schlanders to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 203km

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 5-27-41


2. Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia at 17 secs

3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 19 secs

4. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r La Mondiale at 21 secs

5. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 44 secs

6. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 48 secs

7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 54 secs

8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 58 secs

9. Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia at 1-00

10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 1-04

Overall classification after stage 20

1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 79-23-19

2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 4-43

3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 5-52

4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 6-48

5. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r La Mondiale at 7-28

6. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 7-43

7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 8-09

8. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 10-26

9. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini at 10-32

10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 10-59





Pieter Weening solo





Mark Cavendish





Vincenzo Nibali leads the favourites group





Tre Cime climb





Carlos Betancur and Rigoberto Uran





Vincenzo Nibali solo up front

Giro d’Italia 2013: Previews and race info



Giro d’Italia 2013: British TV schedule



Giro d’Italia 2013: 10 things you need to know



Giro d’Italia 2013: The Big Preview

Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage reports



Stage 18: Nibali wins time trial to extend lead


Stage 17: Visconti wins from escape



Stage 16: Intxausti continues Movistar’s successful Giro with stage win



Stage 15: Visconti wins Galibier stage



Stage 14: Santambrogio wins and Nibali strengthens lead



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 20 gallery

Stage 19 cancelled

Stage 18 gallery

Stage 17 gallery

Stage 16 gallery

Stage 15 gallery

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