Simon Yates’s bid to erase the memory of last year’s Giro d’Italia, when he blew up with just days remaining, suffered a huge setback yesterday as he struggled on the first summit finish of the race on stage 13.
Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) lost around two minutes to race favourites Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and now finds himself almost six minutes behind Roglic in the general classification.
To cap a disastrous day for British riders in Italy, Team Sky’s co-leader Tao Geoghegan Hart was forced to abandon the Giro after breaking his collarbone in a heavy crash.
Yates began the race in Bologna two weeks ago in confident mood, insisting his win at last September’s Vuelta a Espana was proof that he had learnt the lessons of last year’s Giro. The 26 year-old, who wore pink for 13 days last year before blowing up spectacularly in the final three days, predicted that his rivals would be “shitting themselves”.
Yates, though, has suffered a torrid time so far, shipping far more time than expected in the individual time trial and then failing to stay with his rivals when the race at last reached its first summit finish yesterday.
With Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) winning from the day’s breakaway, all eyes were on the GC contenders as they hit the final climb to Ceresole Reale in the Piedmont region.
Mikel Landa (Movistar) was the big winner, having attacked even before the final climb, with 20km remaining, and bridging across to his team mate Andrey Amador, who had spent the day in the break.
Landa would eventually finish the stage third behind Zakarin and Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), 1min30sec back. Richard Carapaz (Movistar), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) were the next men in, before Roglic and Nibali, the two big race favourites came home at 2min57sec.
Yates crossed the line 17th, a further two minutes back, his maglia rosa ambitions all but over. The Bury rider looked shattered as he slumped with his head in his hands behind a team van, eventually placing a towel over his head.
Geoghegan Hart looked similarly devastated after crashing with 120km of the stage remaining.
The Hackney-born rider had headed into Friday’s stage in 33rd position in the general classification, nearly eight minutes down on Roglic, following a crash earlier in the race. However, he was enjoying a free role at Team Ineos after designated leader Egan Bernal broke his collarbone a week before the race began. And he had made it into the day’s breakaway along with Irish team mate Eddie Dunbar.
Team Ineos Doctor Inigo Sarriegui said: "Tao’s front wheel went from under him and he fell on his right shoulder. X-rays have confirmed that he has a fracture of his right clavicle so he will fly home tomorrow and will have an operation next week."
Geoghegan Hart will fly home today [Sat] and undergo an operation in Manchester next week.
There was better news for Geoghegan Hart’s team mate and co-leader Pavel Sivakov, although it came at the cost of another British rider Hugh Carthy (EF Education First).
Sivakov rode to ninth on the stage, and ninth on GC, thanks to an impressive ascent of the final climb, taking the white jersey for best young rider off Carthy’s shoulders in the process. Sivakov now leads Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) by 35 seconds in the fight for white, with Carthy dropping to 16th overall, nearly six minutes behind the Team Ineos rider.
“It’s really cool [to be in white],” said Sivakov, who is trained by Chris Froome’s coach Tim Kerrison. “I It’s going to be tough [to keep it]. Lopez had a bit of bad luck on the final climb [with a mechanical] and he looked very strong.”
Yates loses further time
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) has fallen at the first hurdle. The Briton has just lost 2min 3sec to general classification rivals Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali who must now, surely, be the favourites to win the Giro d'Italia. Roglic may have been isolated for large parts of today's stage, but the Jumbo-Visma rider was able to match Nibali in each and every area of his game.
It was an absolutely superb performance from Mikel Landa who repaid his team-mates for all their hard work with a ride that saw him gain 1min 37sec on Roglic and put him back in the race for pink.
As mentioned below, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) managed to keep hold of his maglia rosa – the pink jersey – as overall leader, while Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) also kept hold of his jersey, the maglia ciclamino as leader in the points classification.
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) regained the maglia azzurra after leapfrogging team-mate Gianluca Brambilla to the top of the standings in the mountains classification and Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) took the maglia bianca off the shoulders of EF Education First's young Briton Hugh Carthy after taking the lead in the youth classification.
Polanc retains pink, I think
Jan Polanc, somehow, keeps hold of his maglia rosa.
López loses a minute
Miguel Ángel López rolls over the line having lost 1min 22sec to Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali.
Roglic and Nibali mark each other
Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali cross the line side-by-side. Pavel Sivakov finishes a few second back on the pair.
Landa finishes third
Another Basque rider, Mikel Landa, completes the podium ahead of Movistar team-mate Richard Carapaz. Good day for the pair who have gained some valuable time in the race for general classification.
Nieve is runner-up
The pint-sized Basque Mikel Nieve rolls over the line in second spot.
Zakarin wins stage 13 at the Giro
Ilnur Zakarin wins the stage, but who is going to finish second and who will be losing time today in the general classification?
500 metres to go
Further back, Roglic is glued to Nibali's wheel.
800 metres to go
Ilnur Zakarin, who last won a stage at the Giro d'Italia in 2015, is surely going to win today.
1.2km to go
Ilnur Zakarin's advantage over Mikel Nieve is growing. Bauke Mollema has been caught and dropped by Mikel Landa.
1.5km to go
Mikel Landa catches Bauke Mollema as the Movistar rider flies up the snow-banked road towards the summit of this tough, tough climb.
1.8km to go
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) drops Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott).
Primoz Roglic attacks Vincenzo Nibali! That injection of pace put paid to Miguel Ángel López who I thought was about to catch the pair. Just hearing that Simon Yates is over two minutes down the road.
2.5km to go
Mikel Landa is motoring and the Basque rider is gaining time on Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic who have, quite incredibly, almost been caught by Miguel Ángel López.
2.8km to go
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) still leads the stage, but the Russian has Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) for company now.
Majka next to go . . .
Rafal Majka has countered Vincenzo Nibali's move and the Pole is flying off up the road. Pavel Sifakov (Ineos) is in pursuit of Majka, while Nibali and Primoz Roglic mark each other.
The man they call the Shark has a little nibble, testing his rivals. Primoz Roglic is hanging on though.
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) simply rides Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) off his wheel, the Dutchman looking as if he is riding through treacle. Mikel Landa, meanwhile, is n his drops and has put more time into Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali - 42sec as it stands.
5km to go
Just three rider on the front now after Ciccone is dropped. Nieve, Mollema and Zakarin now lead Mikel Landa by 1min 5sec.
6km to go
Ion Izagirre is pulling hard on the front of his team-mate Miguel Ángel López's group which also has Simon Yates and the maglia rosa in there. Up the road, meanwhile, Mikel Landa is gaining time on his rivals. He's got another 30sec on Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali.
7km to go
Nieve, Mollema, Ciccone and Zakarin now lead the stage and have around 1min 40sec on Mikel Landa who has now shelled team-mate Amador. Lovely tactics from the Spanish team today, but can their Basque leader make it all pay?
9km to go
Simon Yates and Miguel Ángel López are around 30sec down on the group featuring Nibali and Roglic. Ion Izagirre has dropped back to help López, Lucas Hamilton did the same for Yates. Mikel Landa and Andrey Amador continue to chase, but they have only around 11sec on Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali now. Absolutely thrilling racing which, I'm sure, will all kick off again once we reach the final third section of this decisive climb.
López has mechanical!
Miguel Ángel López has just lost some vital seconds. He needed to take neutral service as his team car has passed him, but once they realised what had happened the mechanic jumped out, grabbed a spare bike and got the Colombian back on the road. Terrible setback that fro the young man. He's now in the same group as Simon Yates
12.5km to go
Héctor Carretero's work is done; just Mikel Landa and Andrey Amador up the road now for Movistar. That pair has around 20sec on the chasing group. Primoz Roglic, meanwhile, has managed to catch up with Nibali and Rafal Majka.
13km to go
Mikel Landahas teamed up with Andrey Amador and Héctor Carretero and the Movistar team-mate are time trialing their way up the climb.
Yates is in trouble
Simon Yates has very much been dropped.
15km to go
That injection in pace from Mikel Landa has caused a few splits in the group. Remember the Movistar rider has two team-mates – Andrey Amador and Héctor Carretero – up the road. Simon Yates is labouring, Primoz Roglic is struggling too. Bahrain-Merida team-mates Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo look comfortable enough.
Landa attacks . . .
. . . and the Basque rider is off up the road.
16km to go
Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Ion Izagirre (Astana) have fallen off the back of the leading group. Is this a tactical move to drop back to their respective team leaders – Mikel Landa and Miguel Ángel López – or have their legs gone?
17.5km to go
The leading group has been joined by Andrey Amador (Movistar), Davide Formolo (Bahrain-Merida), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin).
Along with Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Ion Izagirre (Astana), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) that's a strong looking group. By the way, the road surface looks lovely, for those who care about these things. Ridiculously smooth, the kind of road that just needs to be ridden.
19km to go
Héctor Carretero is reined back in. All back as one in the leading group, the Primoz Roglic group that has expanded a little is gaining time. Just 30sec down the road now.
19.5km to go
Héctor Carretero rides on through that move from Joe Dombrowski and the 23-year-old from Madrigueras is leading the stage, but surely not for long?
Crikey, I was not expecting this. American climber Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) attacked with some verve at the bottom of this climb, Ion Izagirre (Astana) and Héctor Carretero (Movistar), though, wasted little time in closing the 28-year-old down.
20.5km to go
Astana and Movistar continue to control the pace of the Primoz Roglic group. Poker-faced and poised to his the bottom of the final climb of the day that will finish at altitude, around 2,200 metres above sea level. Where the air is thin and the natural climbers will hope to excel.
22.5km to go
Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) is swinging left to right on the front of his five-man group. The Italian has done very little work on the front for most of the day and now Ion Izagirre (Astana), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) appear determined to keep him on a tight leash.
24.5km to go
The hugely impressive Italian climber Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) has attacked off the front of the leading group, but the Pro-Continental rider was soon closed down by four WorldTour riders – Ion Izagirre (Astana), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First).
25km to go
Astana are still pulling on the front of the Primoz Roglic group, the road rising slightly up towards the climb proper. The final climb of the day is one of three parts, the opening 8.3km is steep, then there's a flat section that runs for around four or five kilometres before it kicks up again for the final 7km.
28km to go
Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) has managed to get back on to the back of Primoz Roglic's group which trails the stage leaders by 48sec.
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31.5km to go
Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) again chipped off the front of the break at the intermediate sprint to earn himself a few bonus seconds that will be taken off his time in the general classification. Trek-Segafredo team-mates Bauke Mollema and Gianluca Brambilla were second and third respectively. The Primoz Roglic group, meanwhile, has swollen and has Astana and Movistar on the front, the gap to the stage leaders having reduced to 40sec.
34.5km to go
One name I've not mentioned today, other than listing him in the breakaway, is Ion Izagirre. The Basque climber remains at the front of the race here today and he could prove to be a useful ally to Astana team-mate Miguel Ángel López on this tough, tough looking climb. He's a superb climber who, alongside fellow Basque Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), could play a crucial role here today.
36km to go
Jumbo-Visma team-mates Koen Bouwman and Primoz Roglic were just spotted chatting, both looking fairly relaxed, showing no signs of the pressure that must, surely, be growing with each pedal stroke.
42.5km to go
Plenty of shuffling around of the cards out on the road following that descent. Trek-Segafredo are making sure they have numbers together in the leading group, waiting up briefly for Gianluca Brambilla ahead of this final incoming category one climb. Domenico Pozzovivo, meanwhile, dropped back to the Primoz Roglic group to reacquaint himself with team-mate and leader Vincenzo Nibali. Some good news for Jumbo-Visma, too, after Koen Bouwman managed to get back on. A brief few moments of respite as the group prepares for the feast of climbing to follow which looks a little like this . . .
Zeits sits up
Andrey Zeitshas sat up, the Kazakh rider presumably waiting for his Astana team-mate Miguel Ángel López who is coming up the rear in that select group featuring Roglic, Nibali, Yates, Carthy et al.
50km to go
There's an 11-man group, a very select group, featuring Miguel Ángel López (Astana), Pello Bilbao (Astana), Mikel Landa (Movistar), Richard Carapaz (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Hugh Carthy (EF Education), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott), Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) which is now around 1min 15sec off the stage leaders. They are still descending, but once they reach the bottom the final 40 odd kilometres of today's stage are uphill.
55km to go
Both the breakaway and Primoz Roglic's group are descending now. Again, they are riding on extremely narrow roads which are, thankfully, dry. Covered by trees the roads are smooth asphalt which, if wet, would be tricky in race conditions.
60km to go
By the way, Giulio Ciccone was the first over the summit of the Pian del Lupo and so the Italian added another 18 points to his tally in the mountains classification. Surely the Trek-Segafredo will be taking the maglia azzurra off team-mate Gianluca Brambilla later tonight.
Another rider who may be losing his classification jersey tonight is Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates). The maglia rosa is shipping time.
62km to go
As the stage leaders edge towards the summit of this climb, it is probably worth pointing out that Simon Yates has Mikel Nieve in this group while Vincenzo Nibali has Bahrain-Merida team-mate Domenico Pozzovivo up the road. Should either of the main protagonists decide to attack Primoz Roglic, then having team-mates up the road may prove invaluable. It should also be pointed out that Roglic's team-mate Antwan Tolhoek is also in the leading group which is around one minute up the road.
64km to go
Astana has two riders – Pello Bilbao and Miguel Ángel López – on the front of Primoz Roglic's group and they are looking very comfortable. Simon Yates has one Mitchelton-Scott team-mate in Lucas Hamilton after Esteban Chaves was, surprisingly, dropped. Vincenzo Nibali is in there as are Movistar team-mates Mikel Landa and Richard Carapaz. Hugh Carthy and Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) are also in that select group.
65km to go
Maglia rosaJan Polanc is struggling. In fact, the UAE Team Emirates rider is pedalling squares, back in a group with Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Primoz Roglic's mountain domestiques who really should be up the road with their team leader.
Here we go . . .
Pello Bilbao and Astana team-mate Miguel Ángel López have put in a small attack, taking over on the front. The slight increase in pace saw Primoz Roglic immediately lose his team-mates. Wow, that just looked too easy. The Slovenian is isolated and will get no free rides here today.
67km to go
Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) are feeling the sting and have been dropped by the breakaway which has increased its lead over the peloton by 2min 30sec. As you can see here, Jumbo-Visma are working hard on the front of the peloton, the Dutch team needing to monitor the gap as best as it can.
Tucked in behind Jumbo-Visma are Bahrian-Merida and Astana. A little further back are Mitchelton-Scott.
70km to go
I mentioned that this road was narrow, but I underestimated how narrow it actually was. It is barely the width of a car, but the surface looks lovely and smooth. Trek-Segafredo team-mates Gianluca Brambilla and Giulio Ciccone are setting a decent pace on the front of the break, while Davide Formolo is looking strong, but is the Bora-Hansgrohe man riding for himself or thinking about team-mate Rafal Majka?
A number of riders are starting to fall off the back of the peloton, unable to hold the wheels as the road rises.
71km to go
Jumbo-Visma has six riders on the front of the main pack after it hit the lower section of the category two Pian del Lupo which has never featured in the Giro before. According to race organisers, the climb and its descent are "equally harsh and demanding". The road is narrow in places and regularly goes into double digits over long stretches.
Gianluca Brambilla(Trek-Segafredo) is leading the way on the front of the breakaway which is a shade under two minutes up the road.
75km to go
Fausto Masnada(Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar) just chipped off the front of the breakaway before contesting the intermediate sprint in Cuorgnè. The slight increase in pace saw the gap on the peloton pulling out to 2min, but like a concertina it was soon sqeezed back down to 1min 45sec. Rojas, incidentally, took the lion's share of the points ahead of Pro-Continental rider Masnada.
80km to go
The breakaway is being kept on a tight leash by the peloton. Jos van Emden, the Dutch time-trial specialist, has been sitting on the front on behalf of Jumbo-Visma team-mate Primoz Roglic. The Slovenian who remains the favourite to win the Giro knows full well that the teams of his main general classification rivals – Mitchelton-Scott, Bahrain-Merida, Astana and Movistar – will be hoping to pile further pressure onto him once they reach the high mountains. Yesterday Roglic found himself isolated on the one and only climb of the day which worked out ok for him, but if there is a repeat of that situation again he may find himself in trouble.
The Brit pack
Following today's depatures of James Knox and Tao Geoghegan Hart, there still remains three Britons in the Giro d'Italia: Hugh Carthy (EF Education First), Scott Davies (Dimension Data) and Simon Yates.
100km to go
Just under 100 kilometres of today's brutal looking stage to come and the breakaway's advantage is 2min 24sec.
Geoghegan Hart is 'ok'
Team Ineos have tweeted to confirm that the 24-year-old Londoner was forced to abandon the Giro, but have said he is 'ok'. The crash was not broadcast on television and so there was, understandably, some concern about Tao Geoghegan Hart's wellbeing following his spill.
That breakaway in full
There are 26 riders off up the road and it leads the peloton by around three minutes. There are some strong riders in the group, but most interestingly of all there are three riders each from Astana, Bahrain-Merida and Movistar while Mitchelton-Scott has a pair. Trek-Segafredo, meanwhile, has four riders including their mains general classification rider Bauke Mollema. Here's the breakaway in full: Andrey Amador (Movistar), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Dario Cataldo (Astana), Ion Izagirre (Astana), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Davide Formolo (Bahrain-Merida), Victor De La Parte (CCC), Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First), Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), Rubén Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), Eddie Dunbar (Ineos), Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo).
Geoghegan Hart abandons
Tao Geoghegan Hart was in the breakaway but the Briton crashed and the Ineos rider has been forced to abandon. Earlier in the stage, Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data), Giovanni Lonardi (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane) and Ignatas Konovalovas (Groupama-FDJ) also packed.
Ciao, buongiorno and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 13 of the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia, the 196km run from Pinerolo to Colle del Nivolet. Today is the first proper mountain stage at this year's race and it's a big one with three categorised climbs, including a summit finish.
The first climb is the category one Colle del Lys (40.1km-54.3km). The second the category two Pian Del Lupo (124.7km-134.3km) before the final monster, the category one climb up to Lago Serrù (175.km-196km) so plenty on offer for those looking at the mountians classification.
There were three non-starters this morning – James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) – which meant that after Jakub Mareczko (CCC) missed the time cut on Thursday 156 riders passed through KM0 at 10.39am.
As it stands a large breakaway has gone up the road and they have already passed over the top of Colle del Lys where Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) added 40 points to his tally and leapfrog team-mate Gianluca Brambilla into the virtual maglia azzurra as leader in the mountains classification.
Where are we?
Here's a reminder of the route of this year's Giro d'Italia . . .
. . . and here are the details of each and every stage at this year's race:
As it stands . . .
Here's what the standings look like in the general, points, mountains, young rider and team classifications after 12 days of racing.
The Cycling Podcast: re-cap of yesterday's stage
The Giro d’Italia finally burst into life with an aggressive stage that saw the pink jersey swap shoulders, but stay within the same team.
Richard Moore is back at the Giro and joins Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe to discuss stage 12, during which they witnessed Slovenian Jan Polanc taking the leader’s jersey from his UAE Team Emirates colleague Valerio Conti. This means that Slovenian riders hold the first two places overall, with Primoz Roglic still in second.
The team discuss a brilliant stage won by the Italian Cesare Benedetti, the subject of Wednesday’s episode of Kilometre 0. They also weigh up the intriguing move by Miguel Ángel López and Mikel Landa, who pinched half a minute from the rest with a move on the day’s big climb.
Who were the winners and losers from the first day of climbing and what are the implications for the race with the Operation Anderlass doping investigation shifting its focus? The team have got it all covered.
The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science in Sport