Sella Wins Stage 14 of Giro; Bosisio Takes Maglia Rosa
Emanuele Sella (CSF) has won Stage 14 of the Giro. The Italian climber surged away from 12 companions with 50 km left to take the mountainous, 195-km ride from Verona to Alpe di Pampeago/Val di Fiemme in 5:37:14. Vasily Kiriyenka (Tinkoff) finished second at 4:38, and Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) took third at 5:08. Gabriele Bosisio (LPR Brakes) has taken the maglia rosa from Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step), who had worn it for eight days.
The racing started early. At 13 km, 13 riders escaped. They were Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream); Paolo Bettini (Quick Step); Yoann Le Boulanger (Francaise des Jeux); Jure Golcer (LPR); Sella; Jose Rujano, Joaquin Rodriguez, and Francisco Perez (all from Caisse d'Epargne); Kiriyenka; Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r); Maxim Iglinsky (Astana); Jens Voigt (CSC); and Charles Wegelius (Liquigas). The peloton did not pursue them, and the baker's dozen ran up a 7:40 lead with 68 km left. Astana and Saunier Duval rode tempo and reduced the lead to 6:35 with 50 km remaining. At the foot of the Passo Manghen, the day's penultimate climb, Sella attacked.
Sella's move broke up the break. At the summit of the Manghen, the Italian led Rujano and Rodriguez by 2:00 and the peloton by nearly 10. Toward the top of the finishing climb, Sella struggled, but he had plenty of time in hand and easily beat back a challenge by Kiriyenka.
Behind, the battle for the maglia rosa was fought. On the Passo Manghen, the sprinters were dropped, and Visconti followed. LPR Brakes led the first group's charge up the finishing climb. With about five km left, Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Gustav Erik Larsson (CSC) were dropped. Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni) accelerated, and Paolo Savoldelli (LPR Brakes) and Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre) were shelled. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) attacked.
Jurgen van den Broeck (Silence) covered Pellizotti's move. Andreas Kloeden and Alberto Contador (both from Astana) were dropped. Domenico Pozzovivo (CSF) countered, and Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) was shelled.
Denis Menchov (Rabobank) attacked and got clear of the group. Simoni, Pellizotti, Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval), and van den Broeck pursued the Russian, but he would not be caught. Menchov was the first overall contender to finish. He was sixth at 8:46, while Pellizotti and Ricco finished seventh and eighth, respectively, at 8:57, and Simoni took ninth at 9:01. Defending champion Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) finished 13th at 9:14, and Contador finished 15th at 9:33.
In the overall, Bosisio leads Contador by 0:05 and Bruseghin by 0:28. Stage 15 will shake up the standings more than today's stage. The 153-km ride from Arabba to Passo Fedaia/Marmolada, the queen stage of this year's Giro, will include six major climbs, including the Passo di San Pellegrino, the Passo Giau, and the Passo Fedaia. We will see a fiercer climber's battle than we saw today. Who will win it? Who will take the maglia rosa? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!