Giro review: Stage-by-stage

Three weeks after the riders took the start in sunny Naples, the Giro d’Italia has finally completed its journey across the length and breath of Italy’s ‘boot’ from top to toe. The race has taken in the plains and the mountains, sunshine, rain and snow (a little too much of the latter two, sadly) and provided us with an ever-shifting tableau containing more drama, twists and turns and intriguing subplots than a Verdi opera.

We miss it already. To kick off our series of Giro reviews this week, here’s a quick stage-by-stage reminder of the story of the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Stage 1: Naples to Naples, 130km

Recap

A crash in the final 2km delayed most of the peloton, setting up a small group sprint. Despite losing lead-out man Gert Steegmans with a mechanical inside the final kilometre, Mark Cavendish charged through the field to claim the first maglia rosa with a trademark burst.

Stage winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

General classification: 1. Mark Cavendish, 2. Elia Viviani +0:08, 3. Nacer Bouhanni +0:12.

Excitement factor: 3/5.

Victory in stage 1 meant Cavendish had the privilege of wearing the maglia rosa in the stage 2 TTT (Image: OPQS)

Victory in stage 1 meant Cavendish had the privilege of wearing the maglia rosa in the stage 2 TTT (Image: OPQS)

Stage 2: Ischia to Forio, 17.4km team time trial

Recap

Sky bossed the team time trial, beating Movistar by nine seconds and Astana by 14. Omega Pharma-Quick Step finished well down, as a result of which the pink jersey passed from Cavendish on to the shoulders of Sky youngster Salvatore Puccio.

Stage winner: Sky.

General classification: 1. Salvatore Puccio, 2. Bradley Wiggins same time, 3. Sergio Henao s/t.

Excitement factor: 1/5.

Stage 3: Sorrento to Marina di Ascea, 222km

Recap

Luca Paolini‘s bravery on a wet final descent was rewarded with a solo victory and the maglia rosa. Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal attacked on both the ascent and descent, splintering the peloton as riders such as Michele Scarponi and Carlos Betancur lost time in unplanned off-road excursions.

Stage winner: Luca Paolini (Katusha).

General classification: 1. Luca Paolini, 2. Bradley Wiggins +0:17, 3. Rigoberto Uran +0:17.

Excitement factor: 5/5.

Paolini wins stage 3 on his Giro debut and claims the maglia rosa (Image: Katusha)

Paolini wins stage 3 on his Giro debut and claims the maglia rosa (Image: Katusha)

Stage 4: Policastro Bussentino to Serra San Bruno, 246km

Recap

Two wet late climbs again shattered the peloton, allowing Enrico Battaglin to claim a win for wild-card team Bardiani Valvole after a late break was caught 300 metres from the line.

Stage winner: Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox).

General classification: 1. Luca Paolini, 2. Rigoberto Uran +0:17, Benat Intxausti +0:26.

Excitement factor: 3/5.

Stage 5: Cosenza to Matera, 199km

Recap

Bardiani Valvole nearly registered back-to-back wins, but victory ultimately went to John Degenkolb, who chased down Marco Canola solo after a crash on the slippery final corner about 1km out delayed virtually the entire peloton. Degenkolb collapsed, exhausted, after crossing the line.

Stage winner: John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano).

General classification: 1. Luca Paolini, 2. Rigoberto Uran +0:17, Benat Intxausti +0:26.

Excitement factor: 4/5.

An exhausted John Degenkolb after wining stage 5 (Image: Jered Gruber)

An exhausted John Degenkolb after wining stage 5 (Image: Jered Gruber)

Stage 6: Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia, 154km

Recap

A routine bunch sprint win for Mark Cavendish, his second of this Giro. On the podium he held up dossard 108, the number worn by Wouter Weylandt, to commemorate the second anniversary of his death on stage three of the 2011 race.

Stage winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

General classification: 1. Luca Paolini, 2. Rigoberto Uran +0:17, Benat Intxausti +0:26.

Excitement factor: 1/5.

Stage 7: San Salvo to Pescara, 177km

Recap

Adam Hansen broke free from the breakaway to ride the last 20km solo to victory. Several riders came to grief on yet another slippery final descent: Vincenzo Nibali recovered without losing time, but a tentative Bradley Wiggins lost 2½ minutes. Luca Paolini finished alongside him to concede the race lead to Benat Intxausti.

Stage winner: Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol).

General classification: 1. Benat Intxausti, 2. Vincenzo Nibali +0:05, 3. Ryder Hesjedal +0:08.

Excitement factor: 4/5.

The team man becomes a winner as Hansen savours a rare victory on stage 7 (Image: Lotto-Belisol)

The team man becomes a winner as Hansen savours a rare victory on stage 7 (Image: Lotto-Belisol)

Stage 8: Gabicce Mare to Saltara, 54.8km individual time trial

Recap

Alex Dowsett led a British one-two ahead of Bradley Wiggins on a long, challenging and varied time trial course. Vincenzo Nibali finished fourth to take over the maglia rosa.

Stage winner: Alex Dowsett (Movistar).

General classification: 1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:29, 3. Robert Gesink +1:15.

Excitement factor: 2/5.

Stage 9: San Sepolcro to Firenze, 170km

Recap

Another slippery descent, another solo attack as Maxim Belkov completed the last 50km on his own to take Katusha’s second victory of the opening week. Bradley Wiggins yo-yoed off the back – in his own words “descending like a girl” – but successfully rejoined, whereas defending champion Ryder Hesjedal looked down and out, losing a minute.

Stage winner: Maxim Belkov (Katusha).

General classification: 1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:29, 3. Robert Gesink +1:15.

Excitement factor: 4/5.

Stage 10: Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio, 167km

Recap

A big team effort by Sky set up Rigoberto Uran for a winning attack which saw him ride the final 8km to this year’s first summit finish on his own, 20 seconds ahead of Carlos Betancur. Vincenzo Nibali was a comfortable third on a day on which the tempo proved too much for several of the big GC names.

Stage winner: Rigoberto Uran (Sky).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:41, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:04.

Excitement factor: 5/5.

Rigoberto Uran celebrates winning stage 10 (Image: Sky)

Rigoberto Uran celebrates winning stage 10 (Image: Sky)

Stage 11: Tarvisio to Vajont, 182km

Recap

The peloton allowed a 20-man break to stay away, from which Ramunas Navardauskas accelerated away from BMC’s Daniel Oss 7km from the finish to claim a solo win by over a minute.

Stage winner: Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:41, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:04.

Excitement factor: 1/5.

Stage 12: Longarone to Treviso, 134km

Recap

On the shortest road stage of this year’s race, Omega Pharma-Quick Step worked their lead-out train to perfection to deliver Mark Cavendish to the line. It was his third win in this race and his 100th career victory overall.

Stage winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:41, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:04.

Excitement factor: 1/5.

Cavendish celebrates his 100th career win (Image: OPQS)

Cavendish celebrates his 100th career win (Image: OPQS)

Stage 13: Busseto to Cherasco, 254km

Recap

OPQS organised and controlled the pursuit of a breakaway which at one point held a 12-minute lead on this year’s longest stage. Left to fend for himself in the closing kilometres, Cavendish sat patiently before launching a long-range sprint which propelled him to win number four.

Stage winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +0:41, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:04.

Excitement factor: 2/5.

Stage 14: Cervere to Bardonecchia, 180km

Recap

With race leader Vincenzo Nibali at his shoulder, Mauro Santambrogio emerged victorious from the mist at the top of the Jafferau. Nibali put significant time into all his other rivals on a cold day where a string of attacks on the final climb blew the GC group apart.

Stage winner: Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +1:26, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:46.

Excitement factor: 4/5.

Santambrogio emerges from the gloom like a two-wheeled headlamp to win stage 14 (Image: Davide Calabresi)

Santambrogio emerges from the gloom like a two-wheeled headlamp to win stage 14 (Image: Davide Calabresi)

Stage 15: Cesana Torinese to Les Granges du Galibier (Monumento Pantani), 145km

Recap

On a subdued day of racing, Giovanni Visconti attacked over the top of the Col du Telegraphe and continued unassailed to the finish on the Galibier 20km later. Carlos Betancur registered his third second place of the race, while the top GC riders all finished together.

Stage winner: Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +1:26, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:46.

Excitement factor: 3/5.

Stage 16: Valloire to Ivrea, 238km

Recap

Benat Intxausti won a three-up sprint from a group which had slipped away with just over a kilometre remaining, the last of a succession of aggressive attacks which peppered the final 20km.

Stage winner: Benat Intxausti (Movistar).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +1:26, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:46.

Excitement factor: 4/5.

Intxausti celebrates his maiden grand tour stage win (Image: Movistar)

Intxausti celebrates his maiden grand tour stage win (Image: Movistar)

Stage 17: Caravaggio to Vicenza, 214km

Recap

Movistar recorded their third win in a row (and fourth overall) as Giovanni Visconti followed up his Galibier heroics with another solo effort in Vicenza. His victory was made possible by a concerted effort by several teams which popped Mark Cavendish out of the back on the day’s only but late climb.

Stage winner: Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +1:26, 3. Rigoberto Uran +2:46.

Excitement factor: 3/5.

Stage 18: Mori to Polsa, 20.6km individual time trial

Recap

Vincenzo Nibali crushed his rivals as he took victory in the uphill time trial, establishing a near-insurmountable advantage as Cadel Evans suffered the kind of day he would rather forget. The Australian started three minutes ahead of Nibali but finished only 24 seconds in front, narrowly escaping the embarrassment of being caught before the finish.

Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Cadel Evans +4:02, 3. Rigoberto Uran +4:12.

Excitement factor: 2/5.

Stage 19: Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal, 160km

Stage cancelled due to bad weather.

Stage 20: Silandro to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 210km

Recap

In freezing blizzard conditions on the steep and snow-lined climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Vincenzo Nibali bided his time before attacking in the final 3km to ride everyone off his wheel to put the final stamp on his overall victory. Colombian riders Fabio Duarte, Rigoberto Uran and Carlos Betancur finished second, third and fourth – Uran jumped from third to second on GC, while Betancur moved up to fifth and reclaimed the white jersey of the best young rider.

Stage winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Rigoberto Uran +4:43. 3. Cadel Evans +5:52.

Excitement factor: 5/5.

Nibali salutes both stage and overall victory at the summit of Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Image: Giro d'Italia)

Nibali salutes both stage and overall victory at the summit of Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Image: Giro d’Italia)

Stage 21: Riese Pio X to Brescia, 197km

Recap

Mark Cavendish was untouchable in the bunch sprint on the streets of Brescia as he claimed his fifth stage win, while Vincenzo Nibali freewheeled over the line in the middle of the pack to claim overall victory.

Stage winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

General classification:  1. Vincenzo Nibali, 2. Rigoberto Uran +4:43. 3. Cadel Evans +5:52.

Excitement factor: 1/5.

Roll of honour

Overall winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

Points winner: Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).

King of the Mountains winner: Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox).

Best young rider: Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale).

Team prize: Sky.

Link: Official website

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