The 2013 Giro d'Italia hit the high mountains today and the mountains hit hard back. By the end of the stage at Altopiano del Montasio, last year's winner Ryder Hesjedal(Garmin-Sharp) had been eliminated from the overall running and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) lost more time on the final climb's 20% slopes.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Sky, however, as Colombian Rigoberto Uran romped home to the stage win after freely riding away from the favourites' group with 8km to go.
He was followed in by compatriot Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who didn't repeat Sunday's mistake of thinking he'd won the stage this time. Behind, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) sprinted home ahead of Cadel Evans (BMC) and three other riders, compounding the 37 seconds gained on Wiggins with an eight-second time bonus for third place.
Nibali thus maintains his grip on the pink jersey with Wiggins slipping over two minutes behind him in fourth place. Uran meanwhile has moved up the rankings one second ahead of him at 2-04.
Whereas it was wet descents that had troubled Wiggins earlier in the race, it was the severity of the gradient in the last 5km that cost him today.
With Uran already up the road having put in a lone unchallenged dig with 8km to go, the move came from Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) as the narrow road reared up to maximum gradient with 3.3km remaining.
While other rivals responded, Wiggins tried to soak up the sudden acceleration from within thesaddle. Although he appeared to pace himself well, catching and passing several other riders, he could not regain the small group that formed around Nibali and Evans.
For Hesjedal, however, his deficits are far less recoverable. Distanced under pressure from Team Sky on the day's other key climb, Passo Cason Di Lanza, he came in 20-53 down on Uran. He now sits 33rd overall.
Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 10: Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio
1. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky 167km in 4-37-42
2. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0-20
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0-31
4. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale all at st.
8. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard at 0-47
9. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 1-06
10. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 1-08
71. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 20-53
General classification after stage 10
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana 38:57:32
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 0-41
3. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 2-04
4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 2-05
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco at 2-12
6. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 2-13
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 2-55
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 3-35
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 4-17
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4-21
33. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 23-45
David Millar heads the day's early escape group
Vincenzo Nibali (right) and Cadel Evans (left)
Rigoberto Uran takes the stage win
Giro d'Italia 2013: Previews and race info
Giro d'Italia 2013: Coverage index
Giro d'Italia 2013: British TV schedule
Giro 2013: 10 things you need to know
Giro d'Italia 2013: The Big Preview
Giro d'Italia 2013: Stage reports
Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure
Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead
Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins
Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro
Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win
Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win
Stage three: Paolini takes charge
Stage two: Sky wins team time trial
Stage one: Cavendish wins opener
Giro d'Italia 2013: Photo galleries
Photos by Graham Watson
Stage nine gallery
Stage eight gallery
Stage seven gallery
Stage six gallery
Stage five gallery
Stage four gallery
Stage three gallery
Stage two gallery
Stage one gallery
Team presentation gallery
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