Epic effort in the Dolomites
26 May 2012

Giro d'Italia (st. 20)

Movistar Team fought for more than seven hours of a hellish stage, with a fantastic Amador always in the move, but lost the teams' overall with one day from the end

Movistar Team was unable to keep the squads’ overall lead in the 2012 Giro d’Italia after the penultimate stage in the Corsa Rosa, a true tappone in the Dolomites with 219 kilometers and over seven hours on the bike, with no time for rest and the climbs towards the horrific Mortirolo and Stelvio. Despite the downward performance by their two GC riders, Beñat Intxausti and Sergio Pardilla, after a notable race where extreme tireness after three weeks of Giro where the team was a main factor in the race -including two stage triumphs-, the seven man from the telephone squad squeezed their energy out in a last attempt to safeguard the leading spot.

They played their cards with Andrey Amador and Branislau Samoilau into the 13-rider break leading most of the first half of the race, but not let by the peloton to go too far away as they gambled for the stage win. At the last slopes of the Mortirolo, Samoilau was overtaken by a group of favourites made by Pardilla and Bruseghin after the descent, well behind Amador, who put a golden icing into his colossal Giro keep the head of the race until the final climb. The mythical Stelvio was too much for Movistar Team as gaps opened dramatically, with the Blues falling into second in the teams’ overall as Lampre, their rivals, put Marzio Bruseghin and Damiano Cunego within the day’s best five. A blow that doesn’t tarnish the brilliant Giro by the Spanish squad, coming into an end on Sunday with a 30.9-kilometer ITT in Milano, where the definitive maglia rosa will be played out between Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT) and Ryder Hesjedal (GRM).