Michael Rogers of Tinkoff-Saxo survived from a long breakaway and outdueled Francesco Bongiorno of Bardiani to win the fearsome stage to Monte Zoncolan. Behind him, Nairo Quintana of Movistar sealed his victory in the Giro d'Italia by maintaining control with his squad, then following his closest rival, Rigoberto Uran of Movistar, and maintaining his dominance of the race with little threat.
Rogers gained the victory in somewhat unpleasant fashion, gapping Bongiorno when a fan went to push the Italian and caused him to lose balance, coming to a stop before continuing on. Rogers, though, climbed brilliantly, as he has on occasion in his long career, and earned a tremendous. memorable win. Franco Pellizotti overcame Bongiorno for second on the stage.
Quintana will bring the maglia rosa home to Colombia for the first time in history, becoming the first South American to win cycling's second-biggest prize. Barring unexpected trouble, Quintana at 24 years of age will be the youngest Giro winner after tomorrow's procession to Trieste since Damiano Cunego's surprise win a decade ago. Combined with his second placing at the Tour de France last year and his climbing exploits that millions of cyclists can only see in their dreams (and Quintana's rivals will be seeing in their nightmares), Quintana's ascension may be just the start of big, big things.
An acceleration by Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Wout Poels helped separate Quintana and Uran from the remaining contenders for the Giro's third step, and a shaky Fabio Aru of Astana seemed in jeopardy of losing his place. His closest competition, Pierre Rolland of Europcar, lost significant time but Domenico Pozzovivo of AG2R kept him under pressure (albeit from three minutes back in the standings), forcing Aru to dig deep to protect his position. But the Giro podium ultimately survived intact.
With no stage win available, Quintana and Uran rode the final kilometers together, seemingly soaking in the experience or at least thinking only of getting the misery of the Zoncolan behind them. Quintana crossed the line with a small acceleration, well down in the stage standings but immune to any sort of challenge to their overall standing.
- Cataldo +2.24
- Geschke +2.37
1 Nairo Quintana MOV 83u50'25"
2 Rigoberto Urán OPQ +3'07"
3 Fabio Aru AST +4'04"
4 Pierre Rolland EUC +5'46"
5 Domenico Pozzovivo ALM +6'41"
6 Rafal Majka TCS +7'13"
7 Wilco Kelderman BEL +11'09"
8 Cadel Evans BMC +12'00"
9 Ryder Hesjedal GRS +13'35"
10 Robert Kišerlovski TFR +15'49"