Tirreno-Adriatico (st. 6)
Intxausti and Visconti lead four-hour breakaway in a relentless fight for win into an epic stage, with rain, cold and slopes up to 30% that caused lots of abandons and a total change in the GC
It was an epic race on day six of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico, the penultimate stage and the last road one. The 209km trek in and around Porto Sant’Elpidio concealed a vast, hard catalog of small climbs -with slopes even up to 30% gradient- whose hardness was intensified by bad weather -from sun and 20ºC at the start to drizzle and more than ten less degress into the second hour of racing- which saw a big number of abandons -including Eros Capecchi- and major chances in the overall classification, where Andrey Amador is now notably featuring for Movistar Team within the best ten.
The stage was led from kilometer 25 by a dangerous, 16-man break -including Cancellara, Nocentini, Cunego or Boom, amongst others- where the telephone squad put two of their riders: Giovanni Visconti and Beñat Intxausti. The race leader’s Sky team never let the break gain more than five minutes, but made an intense impact which its leader, Froome, ended up paying off in the decisive moments. The break would split after four hours at the front, with seven men -including the two Movistar Team riders- sticking before an impressive Intxausti attacked with 20k from the finish. The Basque climber kept the front until the final climbs, where the favourites opened fire as Sagan (CAN), Rodríguez (KAT) and new overall leader Nibali (AST) reached him into a first group, with Contador, Santambrogio, Horner and Samuel Sánchez slightly over the Froome group. That second echelon of around ten cyclists always included a brilliant Andrey Amador, now in 9th place overall with just 24 hours remaining in the ‘Due Mari’.
Castroviejo and Cobo -helped by a huge Fran Ventoso- also kept their gaps short in a hellish stage and will fight for a world-level top-20 finish tomorrow on the race of the truth: a 9.6-kilometer individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto. Movistar Team will face the showdown with a two-minute margin in the lead of the team classification, which they seized control of today.