Giro d'Italia 2014 Standings: Stage 19 Results, Leaderboard and Highlights

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

Colombia's Nairo Quintana is applauded by Formula One driver Fernando Alonso, right, as he celebrates on the podium after completing the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race from Belluno to Rifugio Panarotta, Italy, Thursday, May 29, 2014. Julian Arredondo of Colombia claimed the biggest win of his career with a solo victory on the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday, while Nairo Quintana retained the overall leader's pink jersey as the race returned to the mountains. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)
Gian Mattia D'Alberto/Associated Press

Pink leader Nairo Quintana emerged victorious during the 2014 Giro d'Italia's uphill time trial on Friday, winning Stage 19 comfortably and all but ensuring himself of the overall win.

2014 Giro d'Italia Stage 19 Results
PositionName (Team)Time
1Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team)1:05:37
2Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team)+17
3Rigoberto Uran (Quick Step-Omega Pharma)+1:26
4Pierre Roland (Europcar)+1:57
5Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)+2:24
6Franco Pellizotti (Androni)+3:22
7Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)+3:28
8Sebastian Henao (Team Sky)+3:48
9Tim Wellens (Lotto)+4:00
10Dario Cataldo (Team Sky)+4:10
Sky Sports

With just two stages left, the Colombian now holds a huge lead over Fabio Aru and Rigoberto Uran, and the 24-year-old looks primed to win his very first major tour win of his career.

2014 Giro d'Italia Leaderboard
PositionRider (TeamTime
1Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team)79:06:45
2Rigoberto Uran Uran (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team)+3:07
3Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team)+3:48
4Pierre Roland (Team Europcar)+5:26
5Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale)+6:16
6Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo)+6:59
7Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)+9:25
8Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp)+9:29
9Wilco Kelderman (Belkin Pro Cycling Team)+10:11
10Robert Kiserlovski (Trek Factory Racing)+13:59
Sky Sports

Via The Sun's Alex Terrell, Jos van Emden felt like Friday's stage was the perfect opportunity for him to propose to his girlfriend:

Stage 19 was an uphill time trial and would give an opportunity to some of the specialists in both categories (time trial and climbing) to gain some ground on the leader for the pink jersey, Quintana.

As expected, the heavy climb up Cima Grappa made for a clear divider between the contenders and the pretenders in the 2014 Giro, with the best overall time seemingly changing with every new finish.

Belgium's Tim Wellens, who has enjoyed an excellent campaign so far, became the first rider to really set a target for the rest of the pack, diving under the 1:10:00 mark, as shared by the official twitter account of Lotto Belisol:

Cadel Evans, Uran and Quintana all departed during Wellens' climb, setting the stage for an epic finale. The Australian had a lot of ground to make up on his Colombian opponents, and he had a word of advice for the fans:

Uran had the best start of the three, as the time trial-specialist gained 16 seconds on the leader, as shared by OPQS Cycling team:

The Crankset Blog seemed to think Uran displayed the best technique in the flat sections, making full use of the advantages of a time trial bike. The stage would be decided in the climb, however, with just a 16-second advantage for the challenger:

Italian youngster Fabio Aru seemed undeterred by the climb, meanwhile, setting the fastest time at the second split up until that point after losing nearly a minute at the first split.

This was bad news for compatriot Domenico Pozzovivo, who needed a big result in Friday's stage to keep his chances at a podium finish alive.

Aru couldn't enjoy his lead for very long, however, as race leader Quintana showed everyone why he started the stage in pink. With 10 km to go, the Colombian held a 20-second lead over the Italian, as shared by Mikkel Conde:

Chasing Quintana on the leaderboard, it quickly became apparent that, while Uran was riding a strong race, he simply was no match for either Quintana or Aru on the slopes of Cima Grappa.

With a difference of 36 seconds in favour of the pink jersey, it seemed like Quintana had overcome the final obstacle on his way to Giro d'Italia glory.

Evans never even cracked the 1:10:00 mark and fell out of the top five again, as the Australian finally showed his age during the 2014 Giro.

Pozzovivo briefly took the lead with a time of 1:08:01, but it was clear Aru and Quintana would pulverise that time. Aru's time of 1:05:54 was beyond impressive, and the 23-year-old Italian looks like he could dominate the field for years to come.

It won't be in 2014, however, as Quintana beat his final time by 17 seconds, all but ending the race for the Giro's pink jersey.

Quintana has ridden a very complete Giro, hardly losing any time on Uran and Evans during the early time trials and taking advantage of weaknesses from both in the mountains.

Marco Alpozzi/Associated Press

The Colombian told the Associated Press how happy he was with the way the tour had played out for him, praising both his teammates and the fans:

I am very happy with how things are going, there is a good atmosphere, there is joy in the team. Also the Italians are cheering me on, they are supporting me during the race, I am very happy with the warmth that we are feeling on the Giro route.

The riders will face one final stage in the mountains on Saturday, and event organisers have saved the best for last—a narrow climb up the Zoncolan. The climb will favour smaller climbers like Quintana, however, and, barring a catastrophic event, the Colombian should survive comfortably.

Stage 21 to Trieste is little more than a flat race that will allow the overall winners to smile for the cameras, so don't expect any big changes on the leaderboard in the coming days.