Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 13 Winner, Highlights, Updated Standings and Schedule

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2016

Spain's Mikel Nieve of team Sky celebrates as he crosses the finish to win the 13th stage of the 99th Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy, from Palmanova and Cividale del Friuli on May 20, 2016.  The overall pink leader's jersey switched hands again after a tough mountain run as Movistar's Costa Rican rider Andrey Amador finished alongside race favourites and climb kings Vicenzo Nibali and Alessandro Valverde.  AFP PHOTO / LUK BENIES / AFP / LUK BENIES        (Photo credit should read LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images)
LUK BENIES/Getty Images

Movistar's Andrey Amador now wears the pink jersey after previous overall leader Bob Jungels lost ground in the general classification standings following a tough Stage 13 at the 2016 Giro d'Italia.

In the process, Amador became the first Costa Rican rider to lead a Grand Tour, per BBC Sport.

Team Sky's Mikel Nieve took the stage after the race made its way into the mountains for the first time. Nieve mounted a late attack and saw off Movistar's Giovanni Visconti over the final 10 kilometres.

On a day of climbs, Jungels found himself attacked by Astana and Movistar riders, with Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde both looking to isolate the GC leader at the start of the day.

Here's the official stage result, per Sky Sports Cycling:

Here's what Jungels' rough day means for the overall standings:

Recap

Heading into the first climb, the 8.3-kilometre Montemaggiore, Nibali and Astana attempted to isolate the other favourites. This was the first sign that Jungels was set to buckle.

Although he got back among the leading pack in time, Jungels struggled on the descent. By contrast, Nibali and Movistar's Valverde showed their experience and skill on the descent.

Putting Jungels under early pressure was the first part of a plan cycling enthusiast Mihai Cazacu anticipated from Team Astana:

But it was also a strategy adopted by Valverde and Movistar. They harassed Jungels by crowding the break with a quartet of riders led by Valverde and Amador.

Meanwhile, Austrian Stefan Denifl led the way over the initial two climbs. He set the pace over the second ascent at Crai and even built a brief lead over the peloton.

Denifl led the pink jersey group by more than four seconds when a sudden stop wiped out his advantage.

Eurosport's Felix Lowe felt the reason for the stop was simple to explain:

The race's official site confirmed Denifl's achievement:

At this time, Jungels appeared content to “let the other riders make the race,” as former rider Andy Schleck had advised, per Daniel Benson of CyclingNews.com.

But if that was his plan, Jungels was afforded no such luxury, as late attacks on the final climb at Valle ruined his day. The first came from Orica GreenEdge rider Esteban Chaves. Then Nibali made his move.

Jungels wilted under the pressure and dropped as many as 10 seconds as the riders approached the final descent. Nibali and Valverde combined to open up a gap Jungels couldn't close. Again, he couldn't compensate in the descent.

By contrast, Amador recovered from his own struggle on Valle and  eventually "came home in the GC group 50 seconds ahead of Jungels, according to Cycling News.

Amador made some history.
Amador made some history.Alessandro Di Meo/Associated Press

The Costa Rican now enjoys a "26-second lead over second-placed Jungels," per Matt Westby of Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, the previous overall leader was taught a few things about how to handle the climbs, while Nibali and Valverde enforced their status as experts over the mountains, per ProCycling.org writer Tomasz Bojanowski:

Away from the overall standings, Nieve enjoyed the glory on the day after mounting his attack relatively late, according to Team Sky:

It's a welcome win for Team Sky after Mikel Landa withdrew from the race at Stage 10.

But the bigger news is Jungel's struggles over the mountains, which comes at a bad time with the formidable ride to Alta Badia still ahead in Stage 14.  

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