The Irish Mail on Sunday
Roche can’t get a break
ENRICO BATTAGLIN won the 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterdayday while overall leader Rigoberto Uran had a tough day in the mountains.
Ireland’s Nicolas Roche came home in fifth place in the stage, 22 seconds behind the winner.
Battaglin pipped fellow Italian Dario Cataldo of Team Sky at the end of a 164-km hilly trek from Aglie after being initially dropped by his breakaway companions.
It was the second stage win in a row for Bardiani Vavole team after Marco Canola’s success on Friday.
‘I am not used to winning that kind of stages. At the beginning I did not think our breakaway could go all the way,’ Battaglin told BeIN Sport.
‘I’m delighted for the victory. I was away from the first kilomketre. There were plenty of men in front of me but I managed to come back and it was a great win for me,’ he added
Four kilometres from the finish, in the final category-one ascent, Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo attacked and among the top contenders, only Colombian Nairo Quintana could follow.
Pozzovivo, however, struggled to maintain the pace and only gained less than 30 seconds on Uran, second-placed Australian Cadel Evans and third-placed Rafal Majka of Poland.
Uran, who cracked in the final metres, leads Evans by 32 seconds and Majka by 1:35, while Pozzovivo sits 2:11 off the pace in fourth.
‘It was a very tough day. There are a lot of other mountain stages and the only standings that will matter are the final standings,’ said Uran.
Quintana, who with Pozzovivo looks the strongest in the mountains, is 3:04 behind Uran and in sixth place with five stages in the mountains left where he is expected to gain ground.
Today’s 15th stage takes the peloton over 225 km from Valdengo and Plan Di Montecampione. It is over relatively flat terrain although there is another summit finish.