Giro d’Italia 2016 Stage 14: Chaves takes sensational race, Kruijswijk pink jersey

At 210 kilometres, stage 14 in the Giro d'Italia is a harsh challenge featuring six peaks, yet the race doesn't bring a summit finish. At the last climb Steven Kruijswijk counters a Nibali attack and along with Chaves he heads for the front of the race. They gobble up lone escapee Darwin Atapuma and then Chaves outsprints Kruijswijk on the line. The Dutchman can take comfort in the fact he is the new man in pink. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 14th stage Giro d’Italia

1. Esteban Chaves (col)
2. Steven Kruijswijk (nld) s.t.
3. Georg Preidler (aut) s.t.
4. Darwin Atapuma (col) + 0.06
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 0.37
6. Kanstantsin Siutsou (blr) s.t.
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 2.29
8. Rafal Majka (pol) s.t.
9. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 2.50
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 3.00

11. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
12. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.
14. Andrey Amador (crc) s.t.

GC after 14th stage
1. Steven Kruijswijk (nld)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) + 0.41
3. Esteban Chaves (col) + 1.32
4. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 3.06
5. Andrey Amador (crc) + 3.15
6. Rafal Majka (pol) + 3.29
7. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 3.53
8. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 5.01
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (blr) + 5.38
10. Jakob Fuglsang (den) s.t.

Race report
Despite an early attack by Lars Bak the back remains bunched for 40 kms. Then a large group gets clear. Aboard are Ulissi, Wellens, Roglic, Cunego, Ligthart, Monfort, Castelijns, Roche, Denifl, Betancur, Plaza, Zeits, De la Cruz, Trentin, Domont, Houle, Boem, Bongiorno, Colbrelli, Atapuma, Moser, Brown, Siutsou, Conti, Modolo, Mori, Firsanov, Herrada (José), Berlato, Preidler, Silin, Taaramae, Knees, Didier, Kochetkov, Busato and Martinez.

Cunego is the first to crest the Pordoi, thus cementing his KOM-lead by 32 points. While climbing up the Passo Sella David Lopez goes solo to take most KOM-point, while he is accompanied in the descent by his former break away companions Domont, Zeits, Atapuma, Moser, Siutsou, De la Cruz, Cunego, Preidler, Plaza, Kochetkov and Roche.

On the flanks of the Gardena Plaza goes solo and he is the first to crest, but Lopez, Atapuma and De la Cruz are close behind. Plaza pushes hard as his lead is up to 0’46” at the top of the Campolongo and the gap grows to 2 minutes in the valley, while the chasing group is completed with more riders.

While climbing up the Passo Giau Atapuma en Siutsou join Plaza for a moment to leave him alone without respite. On the lower slopes pink jersey Amador gets dropped from the group with GC favourites, who are 4 minutes down on the two leaders in the race when cresting. Amador is 5 minutes adrift.

In the drop Preidler joins Atapuma and Siutsou, just like Amador re-joins the GC favourites. But when Nibali attacks at the last climb, Passo Valparola, the Costan Rican is gone, and so is his team mate Valverde. Kruijswijk and Chaves are on Nibali wheel in no time and a little later they leave Nibali alone.

At the top of the Valparola Atapuma is half a minute ahead of Kruijswijk, Chaves, Preidler and Siutsou, while Nibali is 1 minute down and Valverde et al are 3 minutes down on the leader.

With 2 kms remaining Atapuma is caught by Kruijswijk, Chaves and Preidler. The four power to the line with Chaves sprinting to victory with Kruijswijk on his wheel.

Giro 2016 Stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, etc.

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Esteban Chaves

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