Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) sprinted to victory on stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia in a dramatic final few kilometres of a completely flat route into Jesolo.
A crash at 3.2km saw much of the field wiped out and reduced group of sprinters make it to the final straight together. Both Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) were caught behind the crash, which fell just outside the 3km mark, meaning they missed out on being given the same time as the stage winner.
It means that Contador loses the race lead to Fabio Aru (Astana), with the Italian finishing safely in the leading group. It’s the first time in his career that Contador has had to relinquish a leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour.
The Spaniard now sits 19 seconds off the lead, after starting the day 17 seconds ahead of Aru and was visibly sprinting to try and save as much time as he could after the crash. Porte however, seemed resigned to his fate as he lost more time to his rivals, rolling in 2-07 down on the winner Modolo.
The sprint finish seemed inevitable even before the stage with the three man break of Marco Frapporti (Southeast), Rick Zabel (BMC) and Jerome Pineau (IAM Cycling) absorbed after being left to dangle out front, with 17.5km to go.
And while the Modolo managed to sprint to an impressive victory over rivals Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky), the biggest news of the day was the unlikely switch in the GC lead, with the crucial 59.2km time trial to come next on Saturday’s stage 14.
Giro d’Italia 2015 stage 13: Montecchio Maggiore – Lido di Jesolo 153km
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, at 3-03-08
2. Giacomo Nizzolo Giacomo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing, st
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky, st
4. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha, st
5. Eduard Grosu (Rou) Nippo-Vini Fantini, st
6. Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida, st
7. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo, st
8. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF Pro Team, st
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
10. Henrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling, st
Overall classification after stage 13
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 54-20-35
2. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 19s
3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Astana, at 1m14s
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 1-38
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana, at 1m49s
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx-QuickStep, at 2-02
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing, at 2-12s
8. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar, at 2-21
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, at 2-40
10. Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha, at 3-15
Dr Hutch’s guide to the Giro d’Italia time trial