Anton Wins Stage 14 of Giro
Igor Anton (Euskaltel) has won Stage 14 of the 2011 Giro.
Igor Anton (Euskaltel) has won Stage 14 of the 2011 Giro. The Basque rider surged into the lead in the last five km of the mountainous stage from Lienz, Austria to Zoncolan, Italy. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) finished second at 0:33, and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) took third at 0:40. Contador remains the maglia rosa.
The stage wound up being 35 km shorter than planned. Riders and team managers protested the descent of the Category 1 Monte Crostis because it had sheer cliff faces, no guardrails, and sharp drops. Race officials dropped this climb and substituted the Tualis, only to delete it when fans along the route protested the riders' protest. The stage, however, was hard enough with the climb up Monte Zoncolan to the finish.
An early break by Bram Tankirk (Rabobank), Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini), and Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago) led the field by 10:30 before Liquigas began to chase. When the race reached the Tualis, fans had begun to congregate, so race officials directed the riders away from the climb. The change further shortened the stage and lent urgency to the pursuit.
With 10 km remaining, the break led the bunch by 4:22. Rabottini was dropped, and Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) attacked from the peloton. The Spaniard caught and dropped the two leaders. Behind, Contador, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Anton, and Michele Scarponi (Lampre) pursued.
With five km left, Anton attacked and caught and dropped Rodriguez. Contador and Nibali pursued, but Anton held them off. Contador attacked Nibali before the one-km banner to take time out of him.
In the overall, Contador leads Nibali by 3:20 and Anton by 3:21. Stage 15 will be the 2011 Giro's queen stage. The 229-km ride from Conegliano to Gardecci Val di Fassa will feature four Category 1 ascents, including the climb to the finish. Another battle among the GC contenders will take place. Who will win it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!