Rubio Wins Stage 13 of Giro d’Italia 2023
Shortly before the start of today’s stage, Giro d’Italia race organizer RCS Sport announced the stage 13 route had been shortened significantly because of adverse weather conditions. Instead of the planned route from Borgofranco d’Ivrea to Crans Montana, stage 13 would now start at Le Chable and be no more than 74.6 kilometers short.
The stage was still set to finish in Crans Montana (Switzerland), but only the last part of the originally planned stage route would be contested. Therefore, the Salita del Gran San Bernardo would not be climbed. Stage 13 now started with an immediate climb up the Category 1 Croix de Coeur and concluded with the Category 1 Crans Montana climb. Crans Montana is 12.9 kilometers long and has an average gradient of 7.2 percent.
The weather conditions were chilly and somewhat rainy.
Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa) was the first rider to attack after the start of the stage when the riders tried their luck on the Croix de Coeur. It did not take long for him to get caught. Then Jefferson Alexander Cepeda (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked. He was reeled in but tried again later. Meanwhile at the back riders were dropped from the main peloton.
Later, a successful breakaway group was established. The quartet featured Cepeda, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), always active Derek Gee (Israel-PremierTech), and Einer Augusto Rubio (Movistar Team). Their lead was approximately two minutes at the peak of the Croix de Coeur where Pinot was first followed by Rubio.
The front riders crossed the top of the mountain and set out on a descent dominated by worn down tarmac that was wet due to melting snow on the sides of the road.
Valentin Paret-Peintre was the fastest man down from the mountain and passed the four front riders in his quest for the AG2R-Citroen team. Later, the four chasers joined forces with him.
When the front group entered the final climb of the stage – the Category 1 Crans Montana – they had a three-minute advantage over the chasing main peloton. Paret-Peintre struggled to keep up with the other riders.
The remaining front riders attacked in turn while Pinot was angry with Cepeda and yelled and pointed at him. Pinot then launched an attack that dropped the other three. But Gee closed with Cepeda tailing him. Cepeda then went solo and caught Pinot. The duo pressed on.
Meanwhile, in the main peloton Ineos-Grenadiers were still setting a fast pace for Geraint Thomas closely followed by Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma teammates.
At the front Rubio had rejoined Cepeda and Pinot. Pinot was at the front.
Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked from the main peloton group while teammate Cepeda attacked from the front group.
Carthy pressed on and built a twenty second lead. He was joined by Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa).
Cepeda was caught by Pinot and Rubio. Pinot tried to drop the two south Americans.
Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) attacked from the group of general classification favorites. But his hopes were in vain.
Pinot launched his sprint in the final kilometer, but Rubio countered and had more energy left in his batteries because he had not taken part in the hard work at the front on the climb. Cepeda finished third.
Gee finished fourth, then Valentin Paret-Peintre crossed the finish line. Carthy finished sixth closely followed by Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), Thomas and Roglic.
In the general classification Thomas remains Giro d’Italia leader and proudly wears the pink leader’s jersey for Team Ineos-Grenadiers.
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