Sky's Rigoberto Uran became the latest Colombian to win something, in this case the first major mountain stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia, outdistancing his countryman Carlos Betancur of AG2R on the Altopiano di Montasio for a powerful victory. Uran, at the head of the Team Sky train, left everyone behind with about 6km to go, seemingly a tactical move designed to see if he could force maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali of Astana or others to chase, thereby setting up Sky's captain Bradley Wiggins to some positive end. But Wiggins faltered on the slopes reaching gradients of 20%, to nobody's great surprise, leaving Uran in position to assume a share of the team's leadership.
The usual breakaway livened up the stage, featuring Italian champion Franco Pellizotti of Androni Gioccatoli, but the stage favorites were largely together to the foot of the final climb. 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp was conspicuous in his absence, suffering once again and falling out of any hope of contention today, and Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez disappeared early, but otherwise it was a group of favorites, paced by Astana until Sky put its charges on the front as the climbing began in earnest.
Nibali had only minimal support as the race hit the critical stage, and Sky flexed its collective muscle at the front. But it was Bradley Wiggins and Lampre's Michele Scarponi who suffered in the end. Nibali, Cadel Evans, Mauro Santambrogio and Betancur chased behind, with Betancur launching a couple attacks and eventually succeeding for second. Nibali sprinted past Evans and Santambrogio for third and the final time bonus, while Wiggins came in with Scarponi 35 seconds after the maglia rosa. He now sits 2.05 back of Nibali, with Uran just a second faster, forming a formidable duo to attack the leader if Wiggins ever finds terrain to his liking. Otherwise it'll be Uran's team before too long.
- Rigoberto Uran, Sky
- Carlos Betancur, AG2R, at 0.15?
- Vincenzo Nibali, Astana, at 0.30?
- Mauro Santambrogio, Vini Fantini, s.t.
- Cadel Evans, BMC, s.t.
- Evans, at 0.41
- Uran, at 2.04
- Bradley Wiggins, Sky, at 2.05
- Robert Gesink, Blanco, at 2.12
- Michele Scarponi, Lampre, at 2.13
- Santambrogio, at 2.55
- Premyslaw Niemiec, Lampre, at 3.35
- Domenico Pozzovivo, AG2R, at 4.17
- Rafal Majka, Saxo-Tinkoff, at 4.21