Stage 13: Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese, 157km
Marco Canola won a three-up sprint from the day’s breakaway to take the first stage victory for a wild-card team in this year’s race, justifying his team’s inclusion and making their season.
Friday the 13th stage: unlucky for some?
Today was a relatively short stage, after yesterday’s challenging ITT and ahead of this weekend’s big mountain stages. The peloton had a fairly relaxed day, with former teammates and compatriots having a chat while the inevitable break was some three minutes or so up the road. Today was the last sprint stage before the final day into Trieste and those who’ve so far been thwarted in their quest for stage glory were expected to challenge the man sitting pretty in the points’ jersey, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) – confident but not complacent.
Another tricky technical finish was on the cards with the weather threatening to further complicate matters. Initially, FDJ did much of the work on the front and only Giant-Shimano lent a hand before the other sprint teams reluctantly committed a rider apiece. Rain fell at 40km to go, which 10 km up the road fell as hailstones which the peloton were fortunate to escape.
On the final circuit, with 11km to the finish, splits appeared in the peloton and Bouhanni decided to call everyone’s bluff. Only the GC teams took up the call, leaving the front three from the break, which had split at the intermediate sprint, with over a minute’s advantage with under 10km remaining, with hopes of success. Finally, Garmin appeared at the sharp end of the bunch and the leading three were in sight as the peloton galloped towards the finish. But it was a case of too little, too late.
Bouhanni was best of the rest and extended his lead in the points classification over Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek). The fight for the maglia rossa is going to go down to the wire in Trieste. There were no changes in the overall standings.
VeloVoices rider of the day
He who dares wins. Fortune favours the brave. You have to be in it to win it. Of course, it has to be today’s stage winner, 25-year-old Marco Canola (Bardiani-CSF), who recorded his biggest ever victory following on from the mountains classification in this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico. Canola led the three riders from the early six-man break around the final corner 250 metres from the line. Jackson Rodríguez (Androni Giacottoli) tried to come past him, but the young Italian kept him at bay. Angelo Tulik (Europcar) was third.
Canola said after the stage:
This is a big surprise. It’s my first big victory. I have always hoped that this would happen.It was a spur of the moment. I saw that the team leaders were looking at each other. I saw my opportunity and I took it.
Stage 13 result
1. Marco Canola (Bardiani-CSF) 3:37:20
2. Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giacottoli) same time
3. Angelo Tulik (Europcar) s/t
4. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) +0:11
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) s/t
1. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) 53:15:06
2. Cadel Evans (BMC) +0:37
3. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) +1:52
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) +2:32
5. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) +2:50
6. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +3:29
7. Fabio Aru (Astana) +3:37
8. Wout Poels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) +4:06
9. Steve Morabito (BMC) +4:20
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Trek) +4:41
Points leader: Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ).
Mountains classification: Julian Arredondo (Trek).
Best young rider: Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).
Team classification: Omega Pharma-Quick Step.