CYCLING: Ecuador’s Carapaz wins brutal stage 14, takes the Maglia Rosa over Roglic

New Giro d'Italia leader Richard Carapaz (ECU)

The 102nd Giro d’Italia is turning into a battle royal with the third new leader in the last four stages after the formidable Stage 14 with four major climbs and an uphill finish to the Skyway Monte Bianco.

Slovenia’s Jan Polanc had the lead by 2:25 over countryman Primoz Roglic coming into Saturday’s stage, with Friday’s stage winner Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) standing third. The contenders stayed more or less together until the final major climb of the route, the Colle San Carlo, starting with about 36 km left in the 131 km course.

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz – fourth in last year’s Giro – attacked and immediately established a lead that he was able to maintain through the long descent and then on the final climb. While he was rolling to the finish, extending his lead from 20 seconds with 12 km left to 1:17 with just 5 km remaining.

Behind him, Britain’s Simon Yates was chasing, trying to get back into contention in the overall standings. He finished second and closed the gap to at the finish to 1:32. Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali also got back into contention, finishing third at 1:54 back, a time shared by Roglic and others.

Said Carapaz afterwards, “With 25 km to go, we realized that the Maglia Rosa was reachable, providing that I rode well downhill before the third category finishing climb that I knew would suit me well. The Maglia Rosa has been my dream since I first got interested in cycling at the age of 15, watching the Giro on a cellphone.”

With the time bonuses included, Carapaz not only won his second stage, but took the famed Maglia Rosa jersey as the race leader into Sunday’s hilly stage before a rest day on Monday. But the standings have been scrambled again:

1. 58:35:34 Richard Carapaz (ECU)
2. +0:07 Primoz Roglic (SLO)
3. +1:47 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
4. +2:10 Rafal Majka (POL)
5. +2:50 Mikel Landa (ESP)

Polanc finished 7:41 back of Carapaz and fell to seventh overall, 3:29 back; Zakarin was 7:20 back and is now 11th, some 6:04 behind the leader. Yates is now ninth and is 5:28 back of Carapaz.

The most difficult stage of the Giro got easier as cold and snow in the Alps has caused Tuesday’s 16th stage to be rerouted away from the Passo Gavia, which was to have been the highest point in the race. The threat of an avalanche made the climb too dangerous and the planned 227 km route will be shortened to 194 km, but with the same start and finish.

Summaries so far:

UCI World Tour/Giro d’Italia
Italy ~ 11 May-2 June 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (8.0 km Time Trial): 1. Primoz Roglic (SLO), 12:54; 2. Simon Yates (GBR), 13:13; 3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), 13:17; 4. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL), 13:22; 5. Tom Dumoulin (NED), 13:22. Also in the top 25: 21. Chad Haga (USA), 13:48.

Stage 2 (205.0 km): 1. Pascal Ackermann (GER), 4:44:43; 2. Elia Viviani (ITA), 4:44:43; 3. Caleb Ewan (AUS), 4:44:43; 4. Fernando Gaviria (COL), 4:44:43; 5. Arnaud Demare (FRA), 4:44:43.

Stage 3 (220.0 km): 1. Gaviria (COL), 5:23:19; 2. Demare (FRA), 5:23:19; 3. Ackermann (GER), 5:23:19; 4. Matteo Moschetti (ITA), 5;23:19; 5. Giocomo Nizzolo (ITA), 5:23:19. (Viviani (ITA) won the race, but was disqualified for impeding another rider at the finish.)

Stage 4 (235.0 km): 1. Richard Carapaz (ECU), 5:58:17; 2. Ewan (AUS), 5:58:17; 3. Diego Ulissi (ITA), 5:58:17; 4. Ackermann (GER), 5:58:19; 5. Florian Senechal (FRA), 5:58:19.

Stage 5 (140.0 km): 1. Ackermann (GER), 3:15:44; 2. Gaviria (COL), 3:15:44; 3. Demare (FRA), 3:15:44; 4. Ewan (AUS), 3:15:44; 5. Matteo Moschetti (ITA), 3:15:44. Also in the top 25: 13. Sean Bennett (USA), 3:15:44

Stage 6 (238.0 km): 1. Fausto Masnada (ITA), 5:45:01; 2. Valerio Conti (ITA), 5:45:06; 3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP), 5:45:39; 4. Ruben Plaza (ESP), 5:45:39; 5. Giovanni Carboni (ITA), 5:45:44. Also in the top 25: 20. Brent Bookwalter (USA), 5:52:20.

Stage 7 (185.0 km): 1. Pello Bilbao (ESP), 4:06:27; 2. Tony Gallopin (FRA), 4:06:32; 3. Davide Formolo (ITA), 4:06:32; 4. Lucas Hamilton (AUS), 4:06:36; 5. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA), 4:06:36. Also in the top 25: 23. Joe Dombrowski (USA), 4:07:34.

Stage 8 (239.0 km): 1. Ewan (AUS), 5:43:32; 2. Viviani (ITA), 5:43:32; 3. Ackermann (GER), 5:43:32; 4. Fabio Sabatini (ITA), 5:43:32; 5. Manuel Belletti (ITA), 5:43:32.

Stage 9 (34.8 km Time Trial): 1. Roglic (SLO), 51:52; 2. Victor Campenaerts (BEL), 52:03; 3. Bauke Mollema (NED), 52:52; 4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), 53:57; 5. Tanel Kangert (EST), 53:02. Also in the top 25: 6. Haga (USA), 53:06.

Stage 10 (145.0 km): 1. Demare (FRA), 3:36:07; 2. Viviani (ITA), 3:36:07; 3. Rudiger Selig (GER), 3:36:07; 4. Ewan (AUS), 3:36:07; 5. Nizzolo (ITA), 3:36:07. Also in the top 25: Bennett (USA), 3:36:07.

Stage 11 (221.0 km): 1. Ewan (AUS), 5:17:26; 2. Demare (FRA), 5:17:26; 3. Ackermann (GER), 5:17:26; 4. Viviani (ITA), 5:17:26; 5. Davide Cimolai (ITA), 5:17:26. Also in the top 25: 10. Bennett (USA), 5:17:26.

Stage 12 (158.0 km): 1. Cesare Benedetti (ITA), 3:41:49; 2. Damiano Caruso (ITA), 3:41:49; 3. Eddie Dunbar (IRL), 3:41:49; 4. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), 3:41:51; 5. Eros Capecchi (ITA), 3:41:55.

Stage 13 (196.0 km): 1. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS), 5:34:40; 2. Mikel Nieve (ESP), 5:35:15; 3. Mikel Landa (ESP), 5:36:00; 4. Carapaz (ECU), 5:36:18; 5. Bauke Mollema (NED), 5:36:25. Also in the top 25: 13. Dombrowski (USA), 5:39:05.

Stage 14 (131.9 km): 1. Carapaz (ECU), 4:02:23; 2. S. Yates (GBR), 4:03:55; 3. Nibali (ITA), 4:04:17; 4. Rafal Majka (POL), 4:04:17; 5. Mikel Landa (ESP), 4:04:17. Also in the top 25: 9. Dombrowski (USA), 4:04:17; … 24. Sepp Kuss (USA), 4:09:43.

26 May: Stage 15 (232.0 km) ~ Ivrea to Como (hilly)
27 May: Rest day
28 May: Stage 16 (194.0 km) ~ Lovere to Ponte di Legno (mountains)
29 May: Stage 17 (181.0 km) ~ Commezzadura to Anterselva/Antholz (mountains)
30 May: Stage 18 (222.0 km) ~ Valdaora / Olang to Santa Maria di Sala (flat)
31 May: Stage 19 (151.0 km) ~ Treviso to San Martino di Castrozza (mountains)
01 June: Stage 20 (194.0 km) ~ Feltre to Croce D’Aune-Monte Avena (mountains)
02 June: Stage 21 (17.0 km Time Trial) ~ Verona to Verona