Marco Canola recorded a career-defining win in Stage 13 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, winning a sprint with three riders who survived a long break. Jackson Rodriguez and Angelo Tulik completed the podium, just mere seconds ahead of the pack.
|2||Jackson Ridriguez||Colombia||Androni-Giocatollo-Venezuela||Same time|
|3||Angelo Tulik||France||Europcar||Same time|
|5||Giacomo Nizzolo||Italy||Trek Factory Racing||+11|
|8||Ben Swift||GBR||Team Sky||+11|
Gregor Brown showed us this picture, as Uran became the very first Colombian ever to start a stage in the Giro in pink:
Five cyclists tried their luck early in the stage, breaking away from the pack just minutes after the start. They were soon joined by Katusha's Maxim Belkov, giving us a group of six leaders in total for most of thee stage, as shared by Roadcyclinguk:
It's been sunny all morning at the finish in Rivarolo Canavese, but once again it looks like thunderstorms loom. pic.twitter.com/ooHto7pQsJ— Daniel Lloyd (@daniellloyd1) May 23, 2014
The pack never felt like giving the six leaders too much space during Friday's short race, however, limiting their lead to a maximum of 3 minutes, 2 seconds and picking up the pace with 45 km to go.
Canola (Bardiani), Dockx (LTB),Tulik (Europcar) and Romero (Colombia) went with Rodriguez. Belkov (Katusha) joined and they have 2' #giro— roadcyclinguk (@roadcyclinguk) May 23, 2014
Vladimir Gusev aided the break for a second, as the Russian veteran clumsily went to the ground following a mishap with his jacket, as shared by OPQS Cycling Team:
Blazin' Saddles had an image of the incident: Tulik and Gert Dockx would break from the group of six with 10 kilometers still to go, and following some slight hesitation in the pack, the lead of the threesome looked like it might just be big enough to see them through to the finish.
Gusev crashed. 68.5km to go, 2’34” gap. #Giro— OPQS Cycling Team (@opqscyclingteam) May 23, 2014
The three were helped by slight tailwinds up until the final 200 metres and a finish in small, narrow streets, which combined with the weather to give the advantage to a smaller group as opposed to the pack.
The sprint teams, meanwhile, seemed to realise they wouldn't be able to chase the three down, electing to move forward in the pack without truly organising themselves until the final three kilometres, at which point Team Sky took control.
At the front, Dockx had to let go of his two fellow leaders, who were then joined by Jackson Rodriguez, the winner of most of the in-between sprints until that point. The three started to gamble and almost lost sight of the pack, finishing with a lead of just a handful of seconds.
Canola started the sprint from the front of the group with 250 metres to go and held off a push from Rodriguez to give himself the most beautiful win of his career.
Via France 24's Alberto Celani, Canola dedicated the win to his deceased father:
Nacer Bouhanni won the sprint for fourth place in dominant fashion, 11 seconds after the winner had crossed the line.
Canola:"i did not feel great lately,I am tired coz I did many race,in any rider who's aimed to win strong desire is the last thing to die"— alberto celani (@albertocelani) May 23, 2014
Highlights soon to follow.
|1||Rigoberto Uran||Colombia||Omega Pharma - Quick Step||53:15:06|
The leaders for the general classification will keep quiet ahead of Sunday's heavy mountain stage, which will have major implications with an eye on the final week.
Evans surprisingly lost a lot of terrain on Thursday to a solid climber in Uran, who will now get the chance to defend his lead as opposed to lead a risky adventure towards Montecampione.
The Australian will have to attack if he wants to close the gap with Uran, as there won't be many more chances to gain ground after Sunday's stage.