Amador Takes Stage 14 of Giro; Hesjedal Retakes Maglia Rosa
Andrey Amador (Movistar) has won his team's second stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
Andrey Amador (Movistar) has won his team's second stage of the 2012 Giro. The Costa Rican snared the biggest victory of his career by taking a three-up sprint at the end of a daylong break to win Stage 14, a mountainous, 206-km ride from Cherasco to Cervinia, in 5:33:36. Jan Barta (Team NetApp) finished half a bike length behind Amador, and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) finished third at 0:02. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) finished fourth at 0:20 and reclaimed the maglia rosa.
The riders got off to a fast early pace (50 kmh for the first hour). Consequently, the break of the day took a long time to form. Only at 60 km did Olivier Kaisen (Lotto-Belisol), Barta, Amador, Nelson Oliveira (RadioShack-Nissan), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), De Marchi, and Pierpaolo De Negri (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) dislodge themselves from the peloton. The bunch did not pursue, and at the base of the day's first climb, the Category 1 Col de Joux, the escapees' advantage had ballooned to 13 minutes.
Barta attacked his companions and forged a 40-second lead on them. The Czech led at the summit, but Amador overtook and passed him on the descent. Behind, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) and Jose Rujano (Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela) attacked from the peloton, but both were reeled in.
De Marchi set out after the Movistar man. With 11 km left, the Italian caught Amador, and the two appeared to disagree about collaboration. At this point, the peloton was about 5:30 in arrears.
Four km later, Barta caught the pair. De Marchi and Amador did most of the work on the Category 1 climb to the finish. With 5 km remaining, the trio led the Liquigas-Cannondale-led maglia rosa group by 3:26.
With 4 km to go, Hesjedal attacked with Miguel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Nieve fell back, and the Canadian set out after the leading trio. Maglia rosa Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) caught Nieve, and 7 other riders, including Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), joined the Spaniard. They set out after Hesjedal.
Ahead, Barta began the sprint. De Marchi, who was spent, did not follow. Amador willed himself into the lead to become the first Costa Rican to win a stage of a Grand Tour.
Amador understood the significance of his victory. "It is a dream to win in the Giro, especially when it is one of the mountain stages like this," said Amador. "I am proud. This victory shows that if you work, the results follow. This year I have done many things, mentally and physically." Amador dedicated his achievement to his girlfriend and mother.
In the overall, Hesjedal leads Rodriguez by 0:09 and Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) by 0:41. Stage 15 will do more rearranging of the standings. The 169-km ride from Busta Arsizio to Lecco/Pian dei Resinelli will take the riders over Category 1, 2, and 3 ascents before ending at the top of a Category 2 climb. Who will win? Who will wear the maglia rosa tomorrow evening? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!