Giro d'Italia Stage 14: Trentin Weathers the Storm on Summit Finish Stage, Suffers Bad Luck
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Matteo Trentin made a four rider escape group in a Giro d'Italia Stage 14 that featured such inclement weather the Sestriere climb was removed, which added 12km to make the stage 180km on Saturday.
Trentin and the escapees 6'20" gap with 23km to go, but he lost contact with the group with less than 20km remaining when he suffered bad luck. He had a mechanical which required a bike change, and his gap to the three leaders could not be closed as it grew from 50" to 2 minutes in the final kilometers.
However, the other three leaders were also eventually caught. The maglia rosa group cut into the lead as Luca Paolini (Katusha) went solo in the final kilometers of the 7.25km summit finish. The final climb had an average gradient of 9 percent — the initial gradient being 14", and the final 750m or so staying above an 11% gradient.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), wearing the maglia rosa, attacked in a group of only about 30 riders. Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) along with Carlos Betancur (AG2R - La Mondiale) went with him. The race came down to Nibali and Santambrogio as they battled together inside the final 400m. Santambrogio was able to best Nibali for the stage victory. Betancur crossed the line 9" down in 3rd.
"This morning there were several attacks, and in one of those attacks I entered on the wheel of Paolini," Trentin said. "Suddenly we were in the front with seven riders, but three of them crashed in a roundabout entering a small town. I avoided the crash by a few centimeters. I was lucky. So we then worked together, four of us, but I wasn't really feeling good as I was tired from the last stages working for Cav. Then at the end, in between 15km and 20km from the finish, I had a flat tire. I had to also change my bike at that time. The mechanical cost me a minute, which made it impossible to come back. In a certain way I am happy about my race. Even if I was tired I was able to take the breakaway and try to go as far as I could. The stage was really hard, even without the Sestriere the weather made this stage really difficult. So, that's that. Tomorrow is another mountain stage. I hope to survive and wait for the rest day, which will be perfect for the team as we need to recover a bit."
Mark Cavendish crossed the line 22'31" down with six teammates in the 'grupetto', and Gert Steegmans did not take the start today due to stomach problems.