Cautious Basso still puts time into his rivals
The Giro d'Italia made its second foray into the mountains, and once again it was Ivan Basso (CSC) who showed himself as the best climber in the race. Basso took second in the stage behind Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval), after the latter dropped the maglia rosa on the wet and potentially treacherous 8 km descent into La Thuile. Basso lost 44 seconds to his compatriot, but he wasn't overly concerned. His main jobs were to stay on the bike and to put time into his rivals, which he did. The best of the rest was the consistent Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak), who led Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval) home at 1'19, 35 seconds behind Basso.
After a fast first two hours of racing (50 km/h), a breakaway had formed with Benoît Poilvet (CA), Christian Knees (Milram), Olivier Bonnaire (Bouygues), Jose Cayetano Julia Cegarra (Caisse d'Epargne), Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre-Fondital), and Jose Serpa (Selle Italia). None of them were threatening on GC, and in any case, the break wasn't allowed more than six minutes. The real action began on the day's only climb, the 10.5 km at 9.8% ascent of the Colle San Carlo at 19 km to go. Once again, Basso dropped everyone and was left with Piepoli at the top. On the descent, Basso was super careful, allowing Piepoli to win the stage. But at the end of the day, Basso's nearest rivals on GC all lost time, with Gutierrez now at 3'27 and Savoldelli at 5'30.
See also: Stage 13 full results, report & photos and .