Canola Wins Stage 13 of Giro d'Italia
Stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia was a stage that was supposed to be won by a sprint. It was, but unexpectedly, the sprint was decided by breakaways. Marco Canola (Bardiani-CSF) took a three-up sprint at the end of a daylong break to win the flat, 157-km run from Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese in 3:37:20. Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) finished second, and Angelo Tulik (Europcar) finished third. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) remains the maglia rosa.
The break of the day formed practically at the start. Canola, Rodriguez, Tulik, Jeffry Johan Romero (Colombia), Maxim Belkov (Belkin), and Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol) sallied off of the front. The peloton, which FDJ.fr and Giant-Shimano led, kept the break on a short leash, and the escapees’ lead never exceeded three and a half minutes.
The weather was a factor. Rain returned to the Giro, and with 65 km to go, Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) crashed when his rain jacket got stuck in his rear wheel. Thomas Dekker’s (Garmin-Sharp) rain jacket got caught in his rear wheel as well, but the Dutchman stayed upright, although he needed a wheel change. In addition, a hailstorm struck with 30 km left and the roads were wet and slick. A race official slowed the field as it passed through the area.
With 22 km left, the fugitives led the peloton by 1:42. The break seemed ripe for the plucking, but coordination broke down in the bunch. FDJ.fr led the break and wanted other teams to do their share of the work. The other teams did not want to hand Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) a stage win. The teams watched each other, and the break, which was down to Rodriguez, Canola, and Tulik, got away.
With 3.5 km remaining, Garmin-Sharp took over at the front and accelerated. The leaders attacked each other, which allowed the bunch to close the gap. In the last km, Canola led out the sprint. Rodriguez tried to come around the Italian, but to no avail.
Canola understood that the break was a long shot, but determination saw him through. “I knew there was a hailstorm ahead of us,” the Italian said, “although, with 60 km or more to go, I don’t think any of us in the breakaway believed very much. But the route was rolling, even if it didn’t look like it on paper, and there were lots of curves. I really committed myself to it, and the others followed, And, in the end, I was right.
There is no such thing as unfavorable conditions. There are only people who give up, and in this team, we never give up! It’s good that we can’t see the future. If everything went the way we expected, there’d be no surprises. That’s why you have to stick at it. Today you could say I was lucky, but on other days I’ve had bad luck. But you have to go for it--that’s the rule of cycling.”
In the overall, Uran leads Cadel Evans (BMC) by 0:37 and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) by 1:52. Stage 14 will be a standing shaker. The 164-km ride from Aglie to Oropa will feature two Category 1 ascents, including the climb to the finish. Who will win? Who will wear the maglia rosa at day’s end? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!