Movistar got its second consecutive stage victory in the Giro d'Italia today when its captain Beñat Intxausti jumped a late attack from the maglia rosa group and outwitted Astana's Tanel Kangert and Lampre's Przemyslaw Niemiec in the sprint. The break occurred in the final 5km flat run-in to the stage conclusion in Ivrea, below the Italian Alps, from a group of elite climbers and descenders which separated itself on a small incline in the last 20km. In the sprint, Intxausti took up third wheel behind Kangert, accelerated when Niemiec faltered, and soloed home ahead of a charging Kangert by two bike lengths. For the Basque all-rounder, it was his first victory in a grand tour stage, and improved his overall position slightly from tenth place.
The day proceeded as expected, with a break on the loose for much of the flat section (following an early and calm return from France via Mont Cenis), only to be reeled in on the climb to Andrate. It was never likely to be a sprinters' stage, since this bump in the road was actually 6km of pretty stiff climbing, topping out at 13%, and starting downhill again with a mere 18km to go. The sprinters fell away at the base of the climb, which is about where the break was reeled in, and while the climb consisted mostly of the favorites staying together behind some KOM points skirmishing, the race got hot at the top, when Carlos Betancur of AG2R attacked over the summit. He was quickly joined by Samuel Sanchez of Euskaltel, a legendary descender, and overall leader Vincenzo Nibali of Astana (another crack downhiller) came up to the leaders before long, with Michele Scarponi in tow. That group proceeded to grow as the descent wound on, but Vini Fantini's Mauro Santambrogio and AG2R's Domenico Pozzovivo were not among them. Their
descending failure on the climb and descent of the Andrate slope would eventually cost them some 2.23 to their closest GC competitors, a major blow to the podium hopes of Santambrogio in particular.
- Beñat Intxausti, Movistar
- Tanel Kangert, Astana, s.t.
- Przemyslaw Niemiec, Lampre, s.t.
- Ramunas Navardauskas, Garmin-Sharp, at 0.14
- Cadel Evans, BMC, s.t.