Giro d'Italia: Igor Anton conquers Zoncalon to win stage 14, Contador barely breaks a sweat
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Giro d'Italia: Igor Anton conquers Zoncalon to win stage 14, Contador barely breaks a sweat

by VeloNation Press at 11:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
Maglia Rosa shows no weakness, Nibali puts in a bold effort

Igor AntonEuskaltel-Euskadi's Igor Anton conquered the Monte Zoncalon in stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia today, riding away from race leader Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) on the grueling 10 kilometer mountain top finish.  Contador, who refused to pull his compatriot back into the fold, started attacking Nibali in the final kilometer, but only managed to take another 6 seconds on the Italian because of Nibali's gutsy ride.

Before the first pedal was turned on stage 14, controversy took center stage with race organizers forced to take the Monte Cristos climb out of the original 210 kilometer route.  The inclusion of the ascent would have prohibited follow cars from close to 40 kilometers away from the finish.  The descent of the climb had also been questioned for safety reasons.  The dirt roads and steep drop offs saw organizers erect safety nets along dangerous sections of the road but, following the tragic death of Wouter Weylandt in the race the previous week, the riders' well being was top of mind.

The now shortened 186 kilometer stage started with a flurry of attacks, but it wasn't until the 30 kilometer mark that a group of three were able to break free.  The escape included Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inox), Bram Tankink (Rabobank) and Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli).  By the time the peloton completed the first three climbs of the day, the trio's lead was approaching 10 minutes with just over 70 kilometers to race.  Race leader Contador's Saxo Bank-Sungard team was comfortably in control of the peloton behind.  Close to 10 kilometers later the Magia Rosa took a trip back to the caravan to change his bike, likely to change his gearing.  Ahead, the break continued to hold onto their advantage.

With 47 kilometers remaining it was the Liqugas-Cannondale team on the front, with the Italian team likely responding to criticism of their leader Vincenzo Nibali lack of attacking from the Italian media.  Their stint at the front didn't last long, with the Saxo Bank-Sungard squad once again taking over the reins.  At the 40 kilometer mark the break had begun to leak serious time, with their advantage now hovering near the 7 minute mark and continuing to fall, while the Liqugas-Cannondale again assumed control of the race with an infernal pace.  The Italian team was likely reacting to the organization's decision to shorten the course by taking out the last minute addition of a category two climb.

At the base of the Monte Zoncalon the leading trio had 3 minutes and 50 seconds, and were continuing to drive hard, hopeful that they could capitalize on the last minute change to a shortened route.  Rabottini was the first to drop from the escape, while behind Liquigas-Cannondale continued to keep the pressure on with Agnoli Valerio, Nibali's final lieutenant.  With 7.5 kilometers to race it was Brambilla alone at the front tapping out a strong cadence with just 3 minutes and 15 seconds in hand.  The race favorites all made their way to the front of the Maglia Rosa group, with Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) the first to attack eliciting no reaction behind.

The lone leader continued to labor on the steep slopes of the Zoncalon, while Igor Anton was next to jump the favorite's group with Contador following suit.  Behind Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) was the only one that had the legs to close the gap to the Maglia Rosa, with Nibali struggling to get on terms.  Yesterday's winner Jose Rujano and Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) also work having a hard time staying within reach.  Up front, Tankink was able to overtake the Italian, while the chase with the race leader grew to four as they picked up Rodriguez.  Anton continued to force the pace of the chase, with Rodriguez unable to hang onto the trio.

The Euskaltel-Euskadi kept plugging away with Scarponi and the Maglia Rosa on his wheel.  He finally managed to get some daylight on the two race favorites, with the Spaniard making light work of overtaking Rabottini and Brambilla after their day-long effort, while Tankink remained up front, 40 seconds to the good.  Contador left the work to Scarponi with 5 kilometers remaining to the top.

Nibali continued to dangle behind the duo of favorites, with them just barely out of reach, while Anton assumed the head of the race from the Rabobank rider.  The Liquigas-Canondale leader's persistance finally paid off, with him making the junction to Contador and immediately going on the attack.  He forced some separation, but the race leader rode back to him as Scarponi began to yo-yo off the back and then cracked.  The Italian continued to push on hoping, hoping for the Spaniard to show a sign of weakness.  The two spoke as they headed toward the summit, but things remained status quo, with Contador unwilling to contribute to the chase of his compatriot and friend.

With no cars allowed on the climb, the scene included a flotilla of motorcycles surrounding the race leaders, each with a team mechanic on the back with spare bikes slung over their shoulder.  Some of the motorbikes had their own set of issues on the difficult climb, with at least one ending up broken down billowing a massive cloud of smoke over the slopes of the mountain.  At the 2 kilometer mark Anton continued to hang onto his slight 10 second advantage, but then began to really force the pace to fend off any last minute efforts.  His effort was successful, and he was able to gain another 35 seconds on the chase.  As the pair approached the 1 kilometer mark, Contador stood on his pedals and rode away from the Italian.  Nibali continued to work hard to stay in contact, determined not to be outclassed by the Maglia Rosa.  Contador attacked again as Anton crossed the line for the win, but Nibali refused to give in and limited his losses to just 6 seconds so he could return to fight another day.  Scarponi was next to cross the line 31 seconds later, followed by Menchov who lost 41 seconds to Contador.  Sixth place saw another strong ride from Frenchman John Gadre (AG2r La Mondiale).


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Giro d'Italia stage 14 results

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
esp ESP 1 Igor Anton Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 05:04:26
esp ESP 2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:00:33
ita ITA 3 Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:00:39
ita ITA 4 Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) 00:01:10
rus RUS 5 Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) 00:01:20
fra FRA 6 John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:38
esp ESP 7 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:01:51
fra FRA 8 Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:01:55
blr BLR 9 Kanstantsin Siutsou (HTC-Highroad) 00:02:02
ven VEN 10 Jose Humberto Rujano Guillen (Androni Giocattoli) 00:02:10
esp ESP 11 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha) 00:02:24
ned NED 12 Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) 00:02:40
pol POL 13 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-ISD) 00:02:57
ita ITA 14 Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) 00:03:29
usa USA 15 Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
cze CZE 16 Roman Kreuziger (Astana) 00:03:32
esp ESP 17 David Arroyo Duran (Movistar) 00:03:39
ita ITA 18 Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:03:55
fra FRA 19 Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:04:00
ita ITA 20 Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) 00:04:03
por POR 21 Tiago Jose Pinto Machado (RadioShack) s.t.
blr BLR 22 Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) 00:04:30
sui SUI 23 Marcel Wyss (Geox-TMC) 00:05:05
bel BEL 24 Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:05:07
rus RUS 25 Ivan Rovny (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA 26 Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) 00:05:18
esp ESP 27 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:05:23
cro CRO 28 Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua & Sapone) 00:05:27
ita ITA 29 Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
esp ESP 30 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Katusha) 00:05:32
esp ESP 31 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Movistar) 00:05:53
ned NED 32 Bram Tankink (Rabobank) 00:05:54
ita ITA 33 Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 34 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA 35 Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
swe SWE 36 Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) 00:06:04
sui SUI 37 Johann Tschopp (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 38 Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) 00:06:43
rus RUS 39 Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) 00:06:57
bel BEL 40 Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:07:17
ita ITA 41 Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) 00:07:26
ita ITA 42 Dario David Cioni (Team Sky) 00:07:57
fra FRA 43 Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) 00:08:06
bel BEL 44 Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:08:10
ita ITA 45 Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:08:35
rus RUS 46 Maxim Belkov (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:09:03
esp ESP 47 Carlos Sastre Candil (Geox-TMC) 00:09:14
ned NED 48 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:09:54
cro CRO 49 Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) 00:10:08
rus RUS 50 Evgeni Petrov (Astana) 00:10:14
esp ESP 51 Jorge Azanza Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:10:29
ita ITA 52 Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inox) 00:11:24
blr BLR 53 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Katusha) 00:11:27
slo SLO 54 Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) s.t.
ita ITA 55 Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) 00:11:32
ita ITA 56 Massimo Codol (Acqua & Sapone) 00:11:58
jpn JPN 57 Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack) 00:12:07
col COL 58 Cayetano Jose Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Acqua & Sapone) 00:12:10
ger GER 59 Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:12:12
ned NED 60 Stef Clement (Rabobank) s.t.
ita ITA 61 Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) 00:12:23
ita ITA 62 Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:12:30
ita ITA 63 Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) 00:12:32
ita ITA 64 Francesco Masciarelli (Astana) 00:12:41
esp ESP 65 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:12:56
gbr GBR 66 David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:12:58
ita ITA 67 Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:13:05
ita ITA 68 Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
bel BEL 69 Gert Dockx (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:13:15
ita ITA 70 Alessandro Spezialetti (Lampre-ISD) 00:13:29
ukr UKR 71 Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) 00:13:32
ven VEN 72 Carlos Jose Ochoa (Androni Giocattoli) 00:13:34
esp ESP 73 Joan Horrach Ripoll (Katusha) 00:13:36
ger GER 74 Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Highroad) 00:13:39
ita ITA 75 Marco Frapporti (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.

General Classification following stage 14

Country Result Name Team Time
esp ESP 1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 54:45:45
ita ITA 2 Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:03:20
esp ESP 3 Igor Anton Hernandez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 00:03:21
ita ITA 4 Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) 00:04:06
fra FRA 5 John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:05:23
blr BLR 6 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) 00:05:37
rus RUS 7 Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:06:06
fra FRA 8 Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:06:12
cze CZE 9 Roman Kreuziger (Astana) 00:06:40
esp ESP 10 David Arroyo Duran (Movistar) 00:06:43
esp ESP 11 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha) 00:07:29
ven VEN 12 José Humberto Rujano Guillen (Androni Giocattoli) 00:07:47
ita ITA 13 Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:08:09
ned NED 14 Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) 00:08:44
ita ITA 15 Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) 00:08:57
fra FRA 16 Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:09:08
esp ESP 17 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
blr BLR 18 Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) 00:09:17
pol POL 19 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-ISD) 00:12:56
sui SUI 20 Johann Tschopp (BMC Racing) 00:13:17
swe SWE 21 Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) 00:13:24
ita ITA 22 Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) 00:14:43
ita ITA 23 Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) 00:15:38
ita ITA 24 Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) 00:15:54
por POR 25 Tiago Machado (RadioShack) 00:16:28
ita ITA 26 Francesco Masciarelli (Astana) 00:17:48
esp ESP 27 Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:21:41
esp ESP 28 Daniel Moreno Fernandéz (Katusha) 00:22:57
ita ITA 29 Stefano Garzelli (Acqua E Sapone) 00:23:31
usa USA 30 Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:24:59
cro CRO 31 Vladimir Miholjevic (Acqua E Sapone) 00:28:08
col COL 32 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Androni Giocattoli) 00:30:24
bel BEL 33 Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 00:30:37
ita ITA 34 Massimo Codol (Acqua E Sapone) 00:31:30
ita ITA 35 Dario Cioni (Team Sky) 00:31:55
esp ESP 36 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Movistar) 00:32:22
bel BEL 37 Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 00:32:27
ned NED 38 Bram Tankink (Rabobank) 00:33:54
sui SUI 39 Marcel Wyss (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:34:49
ita ITA 40 Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) 00:34:53
col COL 41 Jose Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Acqua E Sapone) 00:35:04
esp ESP 42 Jesús Hernández Blazquez (Saxo Bank-Sungard) 00:35:56
ned NED 43 Pieter Weening (Rabobank) 00:36:12
ita ITA 44 Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) 00:36:16
esp ESP 45 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Movistar) 00:37:15
bel BEL 46 Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) 00:37:45
ita ITA 47 Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) 00:39:10
ita ITA 48 Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:40:23
ita ITA 49 Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) 00:43:20
cro CRO 50 Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) 00:44:14

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