Visconti Wins Movistar's Third Straight Stage of Giro d'Italia 2013
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) has won his second stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. In addition, he has snared his team's third consecutive stage win and its fourth stage win overall. Visconti attacked from the peloton with 16 km left of stage 17, cut through the remnants of the break of the day, and soloed home to win the flat, 214-km run from Caravaggio to Vicenza in 5:15:34.
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) outsprinted Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) for second at 0:19. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) remains the maglia rosa .
The break of the day began practically at the gun. Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela), Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol), and Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) sallied off of the front. The quartet was not a GC threat, so Astana let them go. When the fugitives' lead reached five minutes, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Argos-Shimano took over at the front. By 100 km, the break's advantage was down to two minutes. The sprinters' teams eased up, however, and the lead rose to more than five minutes.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Argos-Shimano resumed chasing, and Cannondale and Movistar joined them. The gap gradually fell to 3:04 at 172 km. Belkov dropped from the break as it approached the day's only climb, the Category 4 Crosara at 197.9 km.
Rubiano, Dockx, and Durbridge led the peloton by one minute at the base of the climb. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia led the chase. Rubiano dropped his companions, while behind, Alessandro Proni and Danilo Di Luca (both from Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) surged up the climb. Proni paced Di Luca until he could do so no longer. The latter then caught Rubiano. Visconti attacked from the peloton and joined the pair. The Movistar man attacked again and dropped Di Luca. For a time, Rubiano held on, but he, too was dropped short of the summit.
At the base of the descent, Visconti led the maglia rosa group by 0:25. The pursuit never really organized, and the Italian soloed to victory in the home of Campagnolo, his team's equipment manufacturer. Navardauskas took the bunch sprint for second.
Several days ago, Visconti realized that he could win today's stage. “Before the Galibier stage," he said, "I had earmarked the Ivrea and Vicenza stages. At Ivrea, I finished close to the GC riders, even though I was tired after the Galibier. So I thought of today. The team was thinking of Ventoso and me. I decided to try my luck on the climb, and leave the sprint to Ventoso. I saw Di Luca and Rubiano ahead. I caught them and dropped them on the climb. I dropped Rubiano because he is fast in the sprint. Then I just gave it full gas on the descent and flat.”
In the overall, Nibali leads Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) by 1:26 and Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) by 2:46. Stage 17, the beginning of the final, decisive phase of the 2013 Giro d'Italia, will probably shake up the standings. The 20.6-km ride from Mori to Polsa will be a mountain time trial up a Category 2 ascent. Who will win? Nibali? Evans? Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida)? Uran? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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