Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) attacked and rode himself back into the Giro d’Italia’s lead today in Cervinia. He attacked solo with three kilometres remaining up the Aosta Valley climb, dropping rivals and former leader, Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha).
Andrey Amador (Movistar) gave Costa Rica its first Grand Tour stage win. He attacked early in the day in an eight-man escape group. The group split on the first major climb and reformed to a three-strong group to Cervinia. Amador climbed with Jan Barta (NetApp) and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni). Barta tried in the last 300 metres, but Costa countered for the win.
Hesjedal kept his advantage on a group with Rodriguez, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Sky’s Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao, Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox). The Canadian crossed the line at 20 seconds back in fourth, but with 26 seconds on the chase group. It was enough to jump from second at 17 seconds back to first with a nine-second lead on Rodriguez. Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) is in third at 41 seconds.
“I’m just going day by day,” Hesjedal told Rai television. “Today was hard, I’m not sure about the other guys, but I felt good and gave it a chance.”
“I suffered a lot, it was hard,” Rodriguez told Rai. “I thought the climb would be easier. Ryder tried at the last moment, I tried to join up, but it was not possible. I would’ve liked to have kept the jersey.”
The Giro d’Italia started in earnest today with climbs in the Aosta Valley region of Italy. An eight-man break worked free before the climbs and the bad weather.
Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol), Barta, Amador, Nelson Oliveira (RadioShack-Nissan), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r), Nikolas Maes (OmegaPharma-QuickStep), Alessandro De Marchi (Androni) and Pierpaolo De Negri (Farnese Vini).
Barta was the best of the bunch, 14-34 minutes back on Rodríguez at the start of the day. The Czech of team NetApp won the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and Rund um Köln in the month leading up to the Giro. His formed came through, attacking free today with 55 kilometres to race on the Col de Joux. Montaguti, De Negri, Amador and De Marchi followed.
At the top of the Joux, with 46.1km to race, Barta led by 25 seconds on the other four. Behind, José Rujano (Androni) attacked with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD). He later dropped him and passed over Joux 8-06 minutes back. The group was another one minute behind, with Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) suffering.
The thermometer dropped to 8°C, conditions worsened with light rain and wind.
Costa Rica’s Amador caught and passed Barta on the descent. He led the race onto the 27km climb to Cervinia. Montaguti, De Marchi and Barta trailed by a half-minute and the group, led by Astana, trailed at 9-11 minutes. Cunego chased solo in between at seven minutes and Rujano had faded away.
De Marchi closed on Amador with 11.5 kilometres to race and Barta joined back with 6.9 kilometres.
Points classification leader Mark Cavendish (Sky) safely finished within the time cut in a big group of riders. Cavendish’s sprint rivals Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) withdrew after Friday’s stage.
Giro d’Italia 2012, stage 14: Cherasco to Cervinia, 206km
1. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar in 5-33-36
2. Jan Barta (Cze) NetApp at same time
3. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 2 secs
4. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Gamin-Barracuda at 20 secs
5. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 46 secs
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky
7. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha
8. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
10. John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at same time
53. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 6-44
102. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky at 28-54
170. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky at 32-04
174. Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky at 32-04
178. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 32-04
Overall classification after stage 14
1. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 9 secs
3. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 41 secs
4. Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ BigMat at 1-05
5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1-06
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 1-07
7. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 1-07
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 1-19
9. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 1-20
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 1-21
Amador claims Costa Rica’s first Grand Tour stage win
Ryder Hesjedal shows off his superior drink spraying technique
Giro d’Italia 2012: Latest news
Giro d’Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d’Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage 13: Cavendish makes it three
Stage 12: Bak attacks to win
Stage 11: Ferrari wins Giro stage on ride to redemption
Stage 10: Rodriguez wins thrilling finale to take lead
Stage nine: Ventoso wins in Frosinone as Goss and Cavendish fall
Stage eight: Pozzovivo takes another Giro win
Stage seven: Hesjedal moves into Giro lead
Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win
Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win
Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial
Giro d’Italia 2012: Photo galleries
Giro d’Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d’Italia 2012: TV guide