Italian cyclist Mauro Santambrogio took Stage 14 of the 2013 Giro Italia on Saturday in exciting fashion, as overall leader Vincenzo Nibali extended his lead by finishing just behind in second place (via Cycling Weekly).
Saturday brought with it some of the worst weather conditions so far, as dense fog, cold temperatures, mountains and rain vastly affected the cyclists.
After two straight stage victories for sprinter Mark Cavendish, the tour finally opened up once again for another star to claim a victory. This time it was Santambrogio, as the 28-year-old completed his most impressive day of racing in some time.
As for the overall leader, Nibali came into the day with just a 40-second lead but now leads Cadel Evans by more than a minute after one of his best days on the roads.
Going through some of the toughest conditions of the tour, cyclists had to fight through the cold, mountainous and sometimes wet terrain to post solid times Saturday. That didn't stop Nibali from having a stellar day that put him one step closer to locking up the exhaustive race.
Despite now trailing by more than a minute, Evans had himself a solid day as well. He finished sixth in the stage, just 33 seconds behind the leader.
Let's take a look at the results, overall leaderboard and some highlights of the Stage 14 action.
Stage 14 Results
|1||Mauro Santambrogio||Vini Fantini/SelleItalia||Italy||4:42:55|
|3||Carlos A. Betancur Gomez||Ag2r-La Mondiale||Colombia||+:09|
|4||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez||Euskaltel-Euskadi ||Spain||+:26|
|5||Rigoberto Uran Uran||Team Sky||Colombia||+:30|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo||Ag2r-La Mondiale||Italy||+:33|
|9||Sonny Colbrelli||Bardiani Volvole-CSF||Italy||+:55|
For a complete list of Stage 14 results, visit the race's official site.
Stage 14 Route
|2||Cadel Evans||BMC Racing||Australia||+1:26|
|3||Rigoberto Uran Uran||Sky Procycling||Colombia||+2:46|
|4||Mauro Santambrogio||Vini Fantini/SelleItalia ||Italy||+2:47|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo||AG2R La Mondiale||Italy||+5:12|
|9||Carlos A. Betancur Gomez||AG2R La Mondiale||Colombia||+5:39|
|10||Benat Intxausti Elorriaga||Saxo-Tinkoff||Poland||+5:51|
To see where every cyclist stands after 14 stages, visit the race's official site.
Highlights and Recap
While Stage 13's results were filled with cyclists that were nowhere to be found in the overall leaderboard, Stage 14 was the complete opposite.
We saw the cream rise to the top Saturday as six of the top 10 Stage 14 finishers are also in the top 10 overall. This usually means that conditions weren't ideal for the sprinters, causing the more talented cyclists to make the surge.
Nibali, as he's seemed to do for the whole race, was the one leading that charge. He attacked late in the stage to get out in front before being overtaken by Santambrogio. Despite that, they both finished with the same time.
Other than Nibali and Evans, the rest of the field sits nearly three minutes out of the lead. Although anything can happen, you'd like to imagine this is now a two-man race for the most part.
It'll be interesting to see if Nibali can hang on to his lead and keep growing it as the race wears on. Evans is certainly hungry for victory so he can establish his status as one of the best cyclists around, but it won't be easy.
There's certainly plenty of reasons to tune into the rest of the action in Italy as the race gets closer to reaching its finale.
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