The Ecuadorian took over the leader’s pink jersey on Saturday in Turin after stage 14, which Briton Simon Yates won alone.
Heat stroke at the Giro: Briton Simon Yates won stage 14 in Turin on Saturday, where Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz took over the pink race after a short stage (147 km) and an extreme intensity.
“It was a crazy stage,” confirmed Jai Hindley, now second overall, just 7 seconds behind Carapaz. The Australian was ahead of the Olympic champion on the line but about fifteen seconds behind Yates.
The Brit, one of the peloton’s most formidable ‘snipers’ on the difficult stretches, scored for the second time since leaving Hungary. Already a time trial winner (stage 2), he claimed his sixth stage win at the Giro, six days after losing all chance in the general classification after his failure at Blockhaus.
Simon Yates, who has remained loyal to the BikeExchange team in contrast to his twin brother Adam (who left for Ineos), delivered the decisive blow on the last small ramp of the stage less than 5 kilometers away. And pulled the rug from under the feet of the Italian veteran Vincenzo Nibali (37), who also aimed for success in the group of four with Carapaz and Hindley.
Reborn, however, Nibali was replaced (8th) in the general classification, which after this stage was turned upside down with disproportionate differences given the drop (3000m) and the altitude limited to 698 meters, the highest point that can be found on the hills reached around Turin.
The previous pink jersey wearer, Spaniard Juan Pedro Lopez, lasted until the second ascent of Superga before letting loose on a dry attack from Carapaz and losing more than four minutes.
Carapaz, unable to increase the gap, was joined by his three pursuers (Nibali, Hindley, Yates) on the final climb, the Maddalena, on a narrow and overheated road (nearly 30 degrees). However, the Tokyo Olympic champion, winner of the Giro 2019, was satisfied with the operation: “It is important to have the (pink) jersey, that was the goal.”
Carapaz (Ineos) looked lonely early on in this very demanding stage, unlike Hindley who was launched into orbit by his Bora formation and went on the offensive with about 80km to go. Huge losses as a result for Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, over eight minutes behind, and France’s Guillaume Martin, over nine minutes behind.
“The guys did a colossal job, they gave everything for me,” praised Hindley. The 2020 Giro runner-up only seemed frustrated at missing out on a stage win that would have been his second after Blockhaus.
Sunday in Aosta Valley
In the overall standings, only four riders are within a minute of Carapaz. The multiple distanced Portuguese Joao Almeida limited the deficit (39 seconds) to 30 seconds of the pink jersey. Spaniard Mikel Landa needed a handful of extra seconds to go 59 seconds back.
“I didn’t think it would be that difficult,” admitted the Basque and summed up the day: “We all looked at the Ineos team and in the end it was the Bora that broke everything!”
On Sunday, the 15th stage reaches the altitude (1611 m) in the Aosta Valley. The 177-kilometre route includes two category 1 climbs before the final climb, classified as category 2, leads to Cogne.
1. Richard Carapaz (ECU/INE) 58:21:28.
2. Jai Hindley (AUS/BOR) at 07”.
3. Joao Almeida (POR / United Arab Emirates) at 30”.
4. Mikel Landa (ESP/BAH) at 59”.
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/INT) at 1:01.
6. Pello Bilbao (ESP/BAH) at 1:52.
7. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOR) at 1:58.
8. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) at 2’58.
9. Juan Pedro Lopez (ESP/Trek) at 4’04.
10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 9’06.
11. Jan Hirt (CZE/INT) at 9’16.
12. Guillaume Martin (FRA/COF) at 9’44.
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