Parra Wins Stage 14 of Giro
Ivan Parra (Selle Italia) has taken his second consecutive stage of the Giro d?Italia. The Colombian climber rode away from four breakaway companions to take Stage 14, a mountainous, 210-km ride from Egna to Livigno, in 6:46:33. Tadej Valjavec (Phonak) outsprinted Jose Rujano (Selle Italia) for second at 1:50. Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) remains the maglia rosa.
The stage began in warm, partly cloudy conditions. At 30 km, Wladimir Belli (Domina Vacanze) attacked, and Joaquin Rodriguez (Saunier Duval) joined him. Six km later, Rujano, Raffaele Illiano, and Parra (all from Selle Italia) bridged up to the pair, and eventually Daniel Atienza (Cofidis), Sven Montgomery (Gerolsteiner), Unai Osa (Illes Balears), and Damiano Cunego (Lampre) completed the break. The break led the maglia rosa group by 2:00 and by by 5:15 at 64 km. Behind, Discovery Channel rode tempo.
On the approach to the Passo Stelvio, Discovery Channel upped the tempo. At the base of the climb, less than one minute separated the break from the maglia rosa group. Parra did the pacemaking, and Ivan Basso (CSC), who had not recovered from his stomach malady of the previous day, lost contact with the maglia rosa group. Eventually, Basso would lose 42:15 and would plummet out of contention.
Rujano and Parra led the break over the summit of the Passo Stelvio. The 30-strong maglia rosa group was two and a half minutes behind. On the descent, Alexandr Kolobnev (Rabobank) attacked the maglia rosa group, which was 3:15 behind the break at the base of the descent in Bormio. During the ascent to La Motte, Emanuele Sella (Selle Italia) attacked, and Domina Vacanze chased. At the base of the Passo di Foscagno, the break led Sella by 0:50 and the maglia rosa group by 3:15.
Five km into the ascent, Sella caught the break. An attack by Atienza had dropped Rujano, but the Venezuelan got back on. Sella attacked, and Parra countered. With 20 km left, Parra led his erstwhile companions by 0:45 and the maglia rosa group by 3:30.
At the top of the Passo di Foscagno (195 km), Parra was 1:30 ahead of Valjavec and Rujano and 4:00 ahead of the maglia rosa group. Ten km later, on the Passo Eira, the day?s last climb, Parra led Valjavec and Rujano by 2:00 and would obviously win. Behind, Simoni attacked and took Juan Manuel Garate (Saunier Duval), Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), and Wim Van Huffel (Davitamon) with him. Savoldelli could not follow because he was cramping.
On the descent, Savoldelli chased. He limited his loss to Simoni by 0:27. Ahead, Parra won after being in the lead for 175 km.
In the overall, Savoldelli leads Di Luca by 0:25 and Gilberto Simoni (Lampre) by 1:48. Stage 15 will probably not change this state of affairs. The 205-km, largely downhill stage from Lissone to Varazze will take the riders out of the Dolomites and should end in a bunch sprint. Who will win? Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)? Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!