Giro de Italia (st. 14)
Movistar Team leader still within best ten overall after shortened stage due to bad weather, which could also condition Sunday’s planned route
In an ‘invisible’ day -helicopters were landed due to low clouds and there was TV footage only through the fixed camers at the finish-, the survivors of the 2013 Giro d’Italia tackled an infamous stage fourteen, with rain, cold and even snow. Weather made things difficult also for the organisers as they had to take the Cat-2 Sestriere climb (40k from the finish) out of the day’s route, riding through the Val di Susa for a 180k trek finishing atop the Jafferau (Cat-1) in Bardonecchia.
The seven-kilometer ascent was reach with more than four minutes of advantage by the four-man break of the day -Italians Paolini, Colbrelli, Pietropolli and Trentin-, only reached by the main favourites into the last two kilometers. An attack by pink jersey Vincenzo Nibali (AST) took him to the line alongside Santambrogio (VIN), the day’s stage winner. Behind the duo, a constant drip of riders including Beñat Intxausti, who struggled today -17th into the stage, 1’24” back- but still kept a great top-ten overall (now in 10th).
The bad conditions in the Alps could force to a major change on stage fifteen, initially proposed to finish atop the Col du Galibier. Still pending on an official confirmation from the organisers -which could get as late as Sunday morning-, the French colossus -preceeded by the Télegraphe (Cat-2), as well as the previous climb of Mont Cenis (Cat-1) are into risk. The originally proposed route starts at Cesana Torinese (149km).