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The sprint to decide stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia
Team Colombia looking to animate the race in the mountains
In the final moments of the Giro d'Italia's stage 14, it appeared that Dario Cataldo (Team Sky) and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) would duel for win only for Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF) to trump them both and take a memorable win. After the stage, Pantano was in tears having been part of a breakaway that lasted for the best part of 150km only to come up just short.
"I had a great chance, [I was] really close to winning a Giro stage. I feel sad now, but aware it was a great result for Team Colombia and me personally," said Pantano after he finished third on the stage, fading in the final meters once Battaglin had made his move.
While Pantano was agonising over what might have been, Team Colombia’s manager Claudio Corti was proud of how the 25-year-old had ridden.
"We've just to applaud Pantano with no regrets. Giro climbs inspire our riders and I strongly believe we'll be in the spotlight again, hopefully there is a good day for Fabio Duarte to come as well," Corti said.
The first of the Giro's high mountain stages was full of fireworks with several races going on within the race as the large breakaway — which contained 21-riders — tired to last to the line. Back in the peloton, the GC men were starting to make their moves and displayed no interest in making the catch of the leaders on the road, letting the likes of Pantano to chase a stage win.
On the third climb of the day as the racing was heating up, Colombian national champion Miguel Angel Rubiano, suffered a nasty fall. Although he suffered no breaks or fractures, Rubiano collected several bruises, adding injury to the insult of missing out on victory.
"It was quite a bad blow," team Doctor Marco Pallini said, "Miguel reported a number of bruises, particularly on the left side, on his legs, arms, hands and face. The bright side is he suffered no fractures, but his condition will obviously need to be reconsidered tomorrow in the morning."