On what was supposed to be the easiest day of the Giro d’Italia so far, the General Classification was turned on its head with a crash just outside the three kilometres to go banner. As a result, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) had to hand his pink jersey over to Fabio Aru (Astana) – the first time he’s ever lost a Grand Tour leader’s jersey.
Contador now trails Aru by 19 seconds in the overall classification. Richie Porte’s (Team Sky) dismal week continued as he too was caught up in the incident and lost more than two minutes to the stage winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida). Porte already lost time to a puncture and a penalty earlier in the race and this has more than likely ended his GC hopes.
“Today was very hard, in bad weather, on a route that was flat but with lots of roundabouts and other paraphernalia,” Aru said at the finish. “I was always at the front, in a good position to avoid possible falls, and what happened, happened. Now I'm just thinking of tomorrow. It is going to be a very important stage. I will give it everything. But the Giro ends next Sunday in Milan, not before.”
The crash occurred when two riders touched wheels on the left side of the road as the peloton approached the three-kilometre marker. Inside that marker, riders are safe from losing time should a crash or a mechanical occur but they were not protected by this rule when the incident happened just 3.2km from the finish. It was contained at first but as riders pushed forwards it spilled across the road, with race leader Contador coming off his bike. It’s the second crash that Contador has suffered in the latter kilometres of a stage. He dislocated his shoulder on stage 6 of the race but was able to take the start the following day. After stage 13, the Spaniard confirmed that he hadn’t fallen again on his shoulder.
Fortunately for Contador, teammate Matteo Tosatto was nearby and he was able to take the Italian’s bike to complete the stage. Porte wasn’t so lucky and he had to wait around much longer to get a bike from his teammate Vasil Kiriyenka. Despite a frantic chase, the Australian crossed the line 2:08 behind the leaders and now languishes down in 17th spot in the overall classification at 5:05 behind Aru. Team Sky’s other contender, Leopold König, left his leader in the finishing straight to gain a couple of seconds but only sits two positions above Porte in the GC.
After a bad day on the bike during stage 12, Aru had luck on his side. He was momentarily held up by the incident but only lost four seconds on the line, thrusting him into the maglia rosa for the first time. Astana now have two riders in the top three with Mikel Landa sitting in third place at 1:14 down.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||54:20:55|
|2||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo||0:00:19|
|3||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team||0:00:14|
|4||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo||0:01:38|
|5||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:49|
|6||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:02:02|
|7||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team||0:02:12|
|8||Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team||0:02:21|
|9||Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team||0:02:40|
|10||Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha||0:03:15|