A determined attack from Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) has put the Canadian back in the pink jersey of race leader at the end of the fourteenth stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
The mountainous 205km stage from Cherasco to Cervinia was won by Andrey Amador (Movistar) ahead of his breakaway companions, Jan Barta (Team Netapp), and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giacattoli). The trio had cooperated to form an effective breakaway.
Barta started the sprint, attacking from third wheel with about 500 metres to go, passing Amador on the right hand side, but the Costa Rican responded and sprinted to victory.
The most compelling action of the stage, however, unfolded behind the three leaders. Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas-Cannondale) led the maglia rosa group in relentless fashion, while his team leader, Ivan Basso, sat on his wheel.
With about four kilometres to go, Szmyd blew up, leaving Basso to make the pace. The Italian looked comfortable, but when Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) attacked with 2.4km to go, Hesjedal simply rode off the front of the group.
Having easily passed Nieve, Hesjedal began a more serious assault and quickly built a lead over a pursuing bunch that included Basso, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Scarponi’s teammate, Damiano Cunego, Team Sky’s Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao, and the race leader, Joaquim Rodriguez.
Rodriguez attacked from the bunch in pursuit of Hesjedal, but his efforts were in vain and he was soon swept up by a panic-filled group of favourites who sensed, perhaps too late, that Hesjedal’s move might prove decisive.
“I felt good,” Hesjedal said afterwards. “The guys started to accelerate. I knew it eased off after three kilometres. The legs were good. I thought I’d give it a go.
“I wasn’t thinking about anything. It worked out well. I’m back in the jersey so it’s good.”
Giro d’Italia stage fourteen – result
1) Andrey Amador (CR) – Movistar – 5.33.36
2) Jan Barta (CZE) – Team NetApp
3) Alessandro De Marchi (ITA) – Androni Giocattoli +2”
4) Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) – Garmin-Barracuda +20”
5) Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) – Astana Pro Team +46”
6) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky
7) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Team Katusha
8) Thomas De Gendt (BEL) – Vacansoleil-DCM
9) Michele Scarponi (ITA) – Lampre-ISD
10) John Gadret (FRA) – AG2R- La Mondiale
1) Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) – Garmin-Barracuda – 59.55.28
2) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha + 9”
3) Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) – Astana + 41”
4) Sandy Casar (FRA) – FDJ-Big Mat +1.05
5) Ivan Basso (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale +1.06
6) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Astana -1.07
7) Benat Intxausti (SPA) – Movistar
8) Rigoberto Uran (COL) – Team Sky +1.19
9) Michele Scarponi (ITA) – Lampre-ISD +1.20
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Colnago-CSF Inox +1.21