19 May 2013

Giro d'Italia stage 15 (your guess is as good as mine)

Yesterday the Giro returned to the high mountains, but the weather was so bad with snow falling at the finish, freezing fog and heavy rain that there was very little to see on the peaks. TV coverage was next to non-existent so to try and tell you who attacked when and where is a hard task. Altough the reason we didn't see them climb Sestriere was because that ascent was removed for safety reasons.

However, what is known is that Luca Paolini (KAT), Sonny Colbrelli (BAR) and Daniele Pietropolli (LAM) were up the road before the last climb. But at some point on the climb of the Jafferau Franco Pellizotti (AND) went after them being joined by Segio Henao (SKY) and Diego Rosa (AND). However, by the time the mists cleared and we could see what was going on again Mauro Santambrogio (VIN) was at the front of the race followed by Vincenzo Nibali (AST). The Vini Fantini rider took line honours from Nibali, next through the murk was Carlos Betancur (ALM) 9 seconds later, some 26 seconds after the leader was Sammy Sanchez (EUS) 4 seconds ahead of Rigoberto Uran (SKY) who in turn was three seconds of the group that contained Cadel Evans (BMC), Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM) and Robert Kiserlovski (RLT).

Michele Scarponi (LAM) was 1'28" down but Robert Gesink who had also been in the top five at the start of the day was paced over the line by three of his Blanco team mates some 4'16" down. At the start of the day Britian's Robert Miller has abandoned. Further down the race the red jersey of Mark Cavendish was escorted by six of his Omega Pharma - Quickstep team mates over the line 22'31" down inside the cut off point.

So Nibali extended his lead over his rivals:

  1. Nibali 57:20:52"
  2. Evans +1:26"
  3. Uran +2:46"
  4. Santambrogio +2:47"
  5. Scarponi
Today's stage was meant to pay tribute to the 100th edition of the Tour de France with the iconic finish on the Col du Galibier. But it was announced last night that the weather has mean that will not be happening. The last 4.25km have been removed from the end of the stage fnishing at the monument to Marco Pantani rather than the summit.

There was also talk yesterday that the Col du Mont Cenis, the pass that some consider to be the way that Hannibal traversed and what would have been the entry into France would be circumnavigated, but at the time of writing after work overnight to clear it of snow it is still on the itinerary.

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