Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won the final stage of the Giro del Trentino to claim the overall title, while Bradley Wiggins’ (Team Sky) hopes of victory were dashed when the Tour de France champion suffered a mechanical on the summit finish.
Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) finished second on the stage to rise to the same position in the final general classification, while overnight leader Maxime Bouet (Ag2r La Mondiale) dropped to third overall after losing more than four minutes on the final climb.
Wiggins crossed the finish line in ninth, one minute and 39 seconds behind Nibali, to end the race in fifth overall.
Just nine seconds separated Wiggins and Nibali going into the final stage of the mountainous four-day race, with the duo occupying third and fourth respectively, setting up a final showdown on the steep slopes of the Sega di Ala. The 14km climb has an average gradient of eight per cent but includes ramps in excess of 20 per cent.
Nibali, who finished third behind Team Sky duo Wiggins and Chris Froome at the 2012 Tour de France, signalled his intention early on the final climb, sending team-mates Paolo Tiralongo and Fabio Aru to the front of an ever-dwindling front group to immediately put Bouet into difficulty.
Wiggins then ground to a halt with nine kilometres remaining, tossing his bike to the side of the road while waiting for a mechanic to deliver another. The 32-year-old went in pursuit of the leaders and nearly bridged across to the front group, which contained Nibali, Santambrogio and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).
That, however, prompted Nibali to attack, with only Santambrogio able to follow, and having emptied the tank during his earlier pursuit, Wiggins was unable to respond, leaving Nibali to forge a lone path to the finish line to claim a second stage race victory of the year having previously won Tirreno-Adriatico in March.
Wiggins and Nibali will next go head-to-head at the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Naples on Saturday May 4.
Giro del Trentino 2013 – stage four – result
1) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana – 4:21:48 hours
2) Mauro Santambrogio (ITA) – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia +8″
3) Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL) – Lampre-Merida +44
4) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana -same time
5) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +1’02”
6) Stefano Locatelli (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +1’10”
7) Stefano Pirazzi (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +1’35”
8) Marcos Garcia (SPA) – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA +1’37”
9) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +1’39”
10) Pierre Rolland (FRA) – Europcar +2’20”
1) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana – 17:49:11 hours
2) Mauro Santambrogio (ITA) – Vini Fantini-Selle Italia +21″
3) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – Ag2r La Mondiale +55″
4) Fabio Aru (ITA) – Astana +1’16”
5) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) – Team Sky +1’40”
6) Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL) – Lampre-Merida +1’45”
7) Stefano Pirazzi (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +2’15”
8) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +2’18”
9) Stefano Locatelli (ITA) – Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox +3’05”
10) Pierre Rolland (FRA) – Europcar +3’22”