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Giro d'Italia 2014: Stage 14

Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia.

We're into the mountains at the Giro d'Italia for an important double-header of stages in this year's race. First up today we have the 164km test from Agliè to Oropa. Four categorised climbs on the route with a uphill finish in Oropa. It's a day where we should certainly see changes in the GC, with Rigoberto Uran set to take on the likes of Cadel Evans and Nairo Quintana.

And we're roughly 20 minutes from the official roll out with yesterday's winner Marco Canola (Bardiani CSF) the man with the biggest smile of all. The Italian stole the show with an excellent stage win and is the centre of attention once again this morning. He's likely to take a backseat today as the GC contenders come out to play.

 

Here's where we stand on GC coming into the stage:

 

1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 53:15:06
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:37
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:52
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:32
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:50
6 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:29
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:37
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:04:06
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:20
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:04:41

Right now the riders are signing on. Big cheers, as you would expect for the Italians in the race, Ivan Basso waves to the crowd but Cadel Evans, Quintana and Uran also receive warm receptions from the crowds that have gathered at the start.

At 8km the Alpe Noveis is one of the shorter climbs of the day but it is probably one of the more difficult. The hardest part of the climb is in the second half as the road surface begins to deteriorate and the gradient begins to get harder. The average for the final few kilometres is 11% and peaks at 16% and once the riders descend the Noveis to Coggiola, they begin climbing once again.

The Bielmonte at 1482m is the highest climb of the day and has a ski station at the top. It is a long descent from the climb down to Biella where the riders must ready themselves for the last ascent of the day.

The Giro has finished at Oropa four times in its 96 previous editions but it is Marco Pantani's win here in 1999 that is most memorable. He lost 30 second at the base of the climb but coolly composed himself to take the victory by 21 seconds ahead of Laurent Jalabert (ONCE-Deutsche Bank).

For a video preview of today's stage, click here.

We're less than ten minutes from the roll out. The jersey leaders are on the front of the peloton and a reminder of how things stand in the KOM because the fight for blue could have a really important affect on the break, even the stage, today:

 

1 Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing 75 pts
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 39
3 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF 26
4 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 20
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 15
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 15
7 Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar 15
8 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge 14
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 14
10 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar 14

There's a third category climb before the 30km point, a perfect launch pad for an attack but the road to the first climb isn't flat either and there are a couple of undulating sections where attacks could take place. A lot of riders will want to be in the break today, that's for sure. Not just breakaway specialists either because some of the GC contenders might want to position riders up the road for later too.

Today's a real test for Omega Pharma. They're strong, no doubt, after that TT performance when they posted four riders inside the top four and Uran wiped the floor with the competition.
But it's one thing winning a time trial and being strong.


Defending a grand tour lead is totally different and requires a new skill set. They'll need patience, and to remain calm as they're going to face a number of testing moments during the race. He may be a sprinter but Petacchi could be crucial, for his brain and knowledge, if not his legs. The Belgian team has never been in this position before so it's new territory for them.


Cadel Evans will know all of this and will be looking to exploit any weakness he can find. Evans, he doesn't necessarily have to get any better in order to win this Giro, he could just wait to exploit a mistake or see Uran weaken.

The peloton rolls out from the start for 164km of racing in the mountains. As Stephen Farrand said in his story yesterday,

 

"The stage to Oropa is only 164km long but includes three major climbs. The Alpe Novies has a steep middle section but comes too early for important attacks, the Bielmonte climb is 18km long but is constant, meaning the final climb to the Oropa Sanctuary is likely to inspire any attacks. The middle section kicks up at 8.5% for 2.5km, with the remaining four kilometres at 7.6%."

Interestingly Stephen Farrand also points out that the GC riders will be looking to put time into Quintana today. The Colombian has been on the back foot in the last week due to a crash, injuries and illness. Evans, Uran, Majka, they'll want to end Quintana's GC hopes now if they can.

 

"Quintana is sixth overall, 3:29 behind compatriot Uran. That is a significant gap behind a strong looking Uran but if he manages to avoid losing further time on the climbs to Oropa and Montecampione, then he could give this Giro d'Italia a further twist during the three remaining mountain stages," writes Farrand.

 

You can read the complete story, right here.

 

 

We already have a break up the road but the gap is still less than 30 seconds: Domont, Agnoli, Frapporti, Battaglin, Longo Borghini, Monsale, Quemeneur, Timmer, Cataldo.

Not a huge surprise to see Cataldo go in the break. He was meant to lead Team Sky's overall ambitions in the race but finds himself almost 40 minutes down in GC. He can win mountain stage though. His one in the Vuelta a few years ago, while at Omega, was highly impressive. He beat Thomas De Gendt that day, dropping him on the final climb and holding off the charge from Rodriguez and Contador. Cataldo is also a former winner of the Baby Giro.

There are more attacks though and the bunch is split at the moment into two large groups, with the initial move still clear. Action from the gun.

The break has around 12 seconds over the peloton and we've covered 4km so far.

There's a good chance that we might see fireworks between the GC riders before the final climb today. Pierre Rolland has been on the attack a few times already but as he's now almost six minutes down on Uran he'll have to be aggressive in the mountains in order to claw himself back into the fray. He could certainly attack on the penultimate climb in a bid to anticipate the moves that may come later from his rivals. He's a good bet for a stage win in this year's race.

Away from the Giro d'Italia but staying with Europcar, we caught up with Dan Craven. He's about to sign for the French WorldTour team and we interviewed him about his hopes for the rest of the season and cycling in Namibia. You can read the interview, right here. If you're a fan of beards, basically a hipster, you'll certainly enjoy it, but Craven certainly has some interesting things to say too.

Omega are on the front and riding tempo but the break is still up the road and with 136km to go the gap is at 3'32.

Boasson Hagen and Roche are also in the break. We'll bring you a full down of the complete break as soon as we can.

And it's Petacchi on the front for Omega at the moment, just controlling the race and keeping things nice and steady for the peloton. The Italian will do his work early today and then let the better climbers in the team take over. The gap has gone out to 3'33.

No rain today, the sun is out, so the conditions are perfect for racing. There were a few dark clouds at the finish earlier.

There are no GC threats in the break, but there are around 20 riders in the mix. That's a lot but they're working well and Omega seem willing to let them go.

Arredondo isn't in the break, which is interesting. He's in the bunch at the moment and will not pick up any KOM points at this rate. Movistar, Omega, Katusha, FDJ, and Garmin are the teams who have missed the break.

Sella has made it into the move, and there are two men from Savio's team in fact. There's an attack from Wellens, who is in the break and he's looking for the KOM points at the top of the third cat climb.

Vermote is in the break for Omega as Petacchi continues to set the pace at the head of the field.

The peloton move to one side as a number of team cars pass them and head to the break. Wellens was first to the top of the climb, Hondo was second.

Quinziato has matched Vermote and is in the break for BMC today. We have 130km to go.

Here's the complete run down of the riders in the break.

 

Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Axel Domont (Ag2r la Mondiale), Marco Frapporti and Emanuele Sella (Androni Venezuela), Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani CSF), Martijn Keizer (Belkin), Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Paolo Longo Borghini (Cannondale), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), Mattia Cattaneo and Jan Polanc (Lampre Merida), Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Julien Vermote (Omega Quick Step), Ivan Santaromita (Orica GreenEdge), Albert Timmer (Giant Shimano), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Darico Cataldo and Boasson Hagen (Sky), Nicolas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff), Danilo Hondo (Trek) and Yonathan Monsalve (Neri Sottoli).

The break and the peloton now are on the descent, the gap at 4:14.

Good morning to our followers in the US and Canada, who are up early and following the action from stage 14 of the Giro. You can watch this video preview of the stage, right here.

Wellens is now up to 5th in the KOM competition and he's Arredondo's most dangerous rival today. If he picks up points over the next two climbs he could really move into contention for the blue jersey. Hondo for Trek doesn't really have the legs to match him if we're basing things off what happened on the first climb.

123km remaining from 164km

123km to go, the leaders have a gap of around four minutes as riders swap turns on the front. We can't see any passangers at the moment but that could change once we move off the flat section that we're currently on. So far, so good for Omega Pharma QuickStep.

The peloton are on flat roads too and they've lined out with the gap at 4'25, the biggest it has been so far in the stage. With it being a fairly short stage the bunch aren't going to be too generous, especially as Omega will need to keep the pace fairly high on the climbs.

Weather update:


Agliè: blue skies, a little cloud, 18.9°C. Wind: weak, NE 7 kph
Cossato (km 62.5): blue skies, a little cloud. 21.6°C. Wind: weak, E 3 / 6 kph
Bielmonte (km 122.4): scattered clouds with possible light rain, 12.9°C. Wind: weak, SSE 8 kph
Oropa (stage finish): scattered clouds with possible light rain, 17°C. Vento: weak, S 4 / 10 kph

118km remaining from 164km

118km to go. There are 21 riders up the road if you're just joining us. They are: 


Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Axel Domont (Ag2r la Mondiale), Marco Frapporti and Emanuele Sella (Androni Venezuela), Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani CSF), Martijn Keizer (Belkin), Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Paolo Longo Borghini (Cannondale), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), Mattia Cattaneo and Jan Polanc (Lampre Merida), Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Julien Vermote (Omega Quick Step), Ivan Santaromita (Orica GreenEdge), Albert Timmer (Giant Shimano), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Darico Cataldo and Boasson Hagen (Sky), Nicolas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff), Danilo Hondo (Trek) and Yonathan Monsalve (Neri Sottoli).

Italian road champion Santaromita has made it up into the break. He's a capable climber and will want to show off his jersey today. He rode the first week for Tuft and then Matthews but the Orica team are on the hunt for more stages in the race. Omega are keeping things together though, they're not giving the break much room. A few Astana riders pull over, Aru needing a comfort break.

A reminder of where things stand in the GC: 

 

1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 53:15:06
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:37
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:52
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:32
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:50
6 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:29
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:37
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:04:06
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:20
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:04:41

Up ahead Borghini and Boasson Hagen swap turns as back in the peloton a gaggle of Movistar riders gather around their man for the overall, Nairo Quintana. He needs to try and do something today, at the very least to ensure that he doesn't lose any further time. He and Pozzovivo are the riders who can blow this race up on the climbs.

A real test of Quintana's pedigree today. Nearly everything went right for him in last year's Tour de France - he had the form to help in that - but he's been under pressure at the Giro here, first because he was the favourite, and then because of his crash, loss of time, and illness. No Movistar man in the break today, so he has his entire team ready to help him, so they're still confident in their leader. He's at 3:29 so still very much in the race.

107km remaining from 164km

A fast start to the stage this morning and we've just over 100km to go but plenty of climbing on the menu. Petacchi still on the front for Omega and setting the pace.

There's been a huge crash in the peloton with a number of riders on the deck. It happened as a roundabout with Dekker, Rabottini 15th on GC, Siutsou among those involved.

Roughly a dozen riders hit the deck in total with 102km to go for the break.

Everyone is back and on their bikes with Arashiro one of the riders who also fell.

Omega have knocked the pace off just for now as they allow riders to come back to the peloton. This will push the gap to the break up to around five minutes.

Trying to think of GC riders Petacchi would have worked for/with in the past. I don't think Scrigno had a GC rider for stage races but at Fassa Petacchi would have ridden with Belli, Frigo, Rumsas (before his podium in the Tour), Basso, Casagrande, Kirchen, Bruseghin (if we're adding Kirchen), Cioni (if we're adding those two), Aitor Gonzalez, although he was poor at GC once he left Kelme, Danielson, and young Nibali. There’s also Di Luca, an aging Savoldelli, Cunego, Simoni, and Scarponi, who is at the front of the peloton right now.

96km remaining from 164km

The crash has seen the break move out to around 8 minutes clear of the peloton. The bunch has eased up quite a bit since that big fall.

No troubles for Omega at the moment on this flat section of the stage. They have plenty of riders who can sit on the front and control the peloton under these circumstances.

86km remaining from 164km

The leaders have 10'36 with 86 km to go as they head through the feedzone.

Iljo Keisse is now swapping turns with Petacchi on the front of the peloton as the race nears the second climb of today's stage.

On the next climb we're very likely to see the sprinters and a number of domestiques drop back for the day. Some may come back on the descent but it really depends on how the GC riders and their respective teams set the pace on the climb.

At the back of the break Boasson Hagen and Hondo have a very brief chat as back in the peloton the pace begins to rise again with the gap down to just over ten minutes.

The road begins to gentle rise for the break but they're still not at the foot of the next climb.

 

At 8km the Alpe Noveis is one of the shorter climbs of the day but it is probably one of the more difficult. The hardest part of the climb is in the second half as the road surface begins to deteriorate and the gradient begins to get harder. The average for the final few kilometres is 11% and peaks at 16% and once the riders descend the Noveis to Coggiola, they begin climbing once again.

The gap is down to around nine minutes as the break go uphill with 82km of racing remaining.

Decisions on the road are crucial and one man that knows a lot about that is Eisel, Team Sky's road captain. We caught up with him and made this short video about what it's like to be a road captain and what's involved. You can watch the video, right here.

 

And you can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, right here too.

78km remaining from 164km

78km to go and the climb has started for the break with the gap at 9'29.

Santaromita takes a turn on the front, and then it's Agnoli. The break are really pushing on here as they need to keep that gap intact on this climb if they're to stay ahead today.

Wellens is at the back of the break at the moment and Hondo will be looking to keep him at bay in order to defend Arredondo's lead in the KOM.

The gap is now down and under nine minutes as Omega take the final descent before the climb begins.

Agnoli has dropped back to the Astana team car for some instructions.

There's a nasty roundabout but luckily the peloton make it through without any problems.

Marco Frapporti sets the pace in the break, Sella is the better climber of the two on paper, for hte Androni team and Hondo is going backwards and has been the first rider to be dropped.

They're on a really steep section of the climb with Marco Frapporti siill leading. At the front of the peloton AG2R have moved up alongside Omega.

Omega continue to set the pace with Uran and Quintana close to each other in the bunch. The gap is down to 8:30.

The leaders are on the hardest part of the climb, around half-way up and they're losing seconds all the time. The gap is at 8'27.

BMC have moved closer to the front with Cadel Evans eager to keep close to the action.

Petacchi is still near the front of the peloton so the pace is steady rather than electric.

A number of unzipped jerseys in the break now as well as a few strained faces as Mattia Cattaneo sets the pace.

Movistar have shown up at the front of the peloton for the first time today too. Weening we hear has abandoned the race.

Just four riders left in the race for Orica after their stellar first week in the Giro.

There's talk on race radio that Kanstantsin Siutsou has also stopped and left the race but we'll confirm that as soon as we can. More bad new for Sky in the race.

Kanstantsin Siutsou came down in that large crash earlier today.

Petacchi is still on the front for Omega, even on this really steep section. The gap is at 8'18.

Confirmation in that Kanstantsin Siutsou has quit the race due to the injuries he picked up in that crash. They still have Cataldo and Boasson Hagen in the break today. Can they turn things around?

Timmer! leads the break up the climb, with 71km remaining in the stage. The pace is steady as Petacchi peels off from the peloton but Uran still has plenty of teammates with him. Petacchi may come back on the descent of course.

De Gendt and Poels sit by Uran. Both riders are going to be key in this race, and this stage, as Omega look to defend the jersey.

He's back. Hondo has made it back to the break. He didn't panic when he slipped back and set a steady pace in order to return to the action.

69km remaining from 164km

69km to go and the gap is at 6'59. Wellens now moves up towards the front of the break.

Agnoli leads and the pace goes up. Sella is close there too.

Hondo is just trying to survive.

Monsalve goes but it's Wellens who beats him on the line. The Lotto rider is moving into contention in the KOM. Wellens had just nine points at the start of the day but he's eating in Arredondo's lead after wining the first two climbs today.

The entire break are over the climb, the peloton still climbing and at 7'46. Wellens is now on 45 points and is second in the KOM competition. Arredondo still leads with 75 points. Arredondo will be looking after Kiserlovski today.

It's a tricky descent, especially in the early sections but so far, so good for the break. The sun is out, the roads are dry although the road surface isn't great.

Michael Rogers begins to set the pace at the front as the peloton go over the top of the climb. The gap is at 7'11.

As De Gendt stuff some newspaper down his jersey in a bid to remain warm on the descent.

58km remaining from 164km

Straight into the climb for the break now with 58km remaining. Both Androni riders have lost contact on the descent though so work to be done for Savio's men.

Cataldo and Santaromita, both in with a chance of the stage win today, have a quick chat at the back of the break. In the bunch Cunego has a puncture but he's had a quick change and is chasing back already.

It looks as though the break has made it back together as they start the climb. The Bielmonte at 1482m is the highest climb of the day and has a ski station at the top. It is a long descent from the climb down to Biella where the riders must ready themselves for the last ascent of the day.

Rogers is still near the front of the bunch but it's Omega who do most of the work. Movistar have also moved up again with Quintana neatly tucked in.

Rolland, Scarponi, Aru, they're also near the front of the peloton. What chance of the French climber attacking on this climb or the descent before the finish? They break is still quite far ahead though and that might make him wait.

For our complete video preview of today's stage, click here.

A number of riders in the bunch have taken the chance to go back to the team cars so the peloton haven't really put their foot down just yet. Uran is sitting around 5th back with Pozzovivo close by and Evans just a little bit further back. To give you an idea of the pace, Bouhanni is still with the bunch. He's near the front so he's well positioned. This is a strong indication that he wants to get through this race and win the red jersey. He has Jussi Veikkanen by his side.

Ventoso has dropped back to the Movistar team car for food, drinks and instructions as up ahead Wellens takes a turn on the front. If he can take maximum points on this climb he'll have cut Arredondo's lead dramatically today in the KOM competition.

Some of the riders in the break are really starting to suffer though, Timmer is one of them, while Roche looks comfortable. Agnoli sets the pace and allows the Irishman through for a turn.

With 52km to go the gap is at 8'59. The bunch is taking it pretty easy at the moment but saying that Cannondale and BMC have organised themselves and moved closer to the front.

It's still Omega doing most of the work, however, but Uran and his team will be content with how the stage is playing out. They've not been put under any pressure yet as the GC riders look to wait for the final climb.

There are still 10km to go until the summit of the climb with the harder sections still to come. A few riders are starting to drop off the peloton as well.

Kiserlovski, 10th on GC, is near the front and has Arredondo on his wheel. The pint-sized climber will be there to defend his team leader on the final climb one might think but he could also attack given that he didn't make it into the break today.

The break with 50km to go still have over eight minutes on the peloton but they've lined out with a few shoulders starting to rock.

More riders are being distanced by the peloton and the same could happen to Hondo because Monsalve is lifting the pace as the gradient kicks up.

Less than 10km to go until the top of the climb as Hondo and Frapporti have been dropped.

Boasson Hagen is now setting the pace for the break but a few riders are starting to miss turns. We're into the final 50km of racing with the break at 8'10.

Finally a prediction comes true and Rolland ups the pace and attacks with a teammate leading him out.

Aru at the start this morning:

I think Ag2r will try to make the race hard because they’ll want to help Pozzovivo gain time. As for me, I’ll be keeping an eye on how the others are on the final climb, but the whole stage is difficult and you have to stay concentrated all day long.

 

And now Omega are under pressure with Amador also going clear and trying to bridge up to Rolland and his Europcar teammate.

Zoidl has also put in a dig.

Zoidl makes it three riders with Rolland and Thurau together and clear of the peloton.

The main peloton are down to less than 70-riders at a guess with Rolland sitting in and letting his teammate set the pace.

And Garmin copy Europcar with Haas leading Hesjedal clear.

This is a crucial stage and more and more riders are trying to go clear. Rolland has a minute on the bunch.

The peloton are going to have to react as Hesjedal and Haas put in their dangerous move. They can't let the former winner get a gap even at this stage.

Rolland at the start:

It’s true that we’re coming into the decisive stages. For the moment the only time I’ve lost has been in the time trials – the team time trial and the one the other day – and in the crash at Montecassino. But over the next two days we’ll see the real gaps start to open.

 

Up ahead and Sella looks nervous as Hesjedal leaves Haas.

Hesjedal and Haas have been joined by Izaguirre. Up ahead the main break is down to around a dozen riders, if that. Rolland has roughly 30 seconds on the peloton.

Haas has done his work and he's done it well with Hesjedal and Izaguirre making it to the Rolland group.

That's a handy looking quintet of riders. Rabottini is also on the move and that's interesting as he's 15th overall, one place ahead of Hesjedal.

The break has just 5'22 with 46km to go. The Hesjedal group have 30 seconds on the peloton.

Haas is now marking Rabottini.

Hesjedal is working with Rolland. He'd probably like Rabottini with him just for the extra help.

The Hesjedal group have nearly 40 seconds on the peloton.

The Canadian isn't holding back here, and it's a pretty gutsy move given that we've still got such a long way to go.

 

44km remaining from 164km

44km to and Roche has attacked from the break.

Nearly 50 seconds for Hesjedal and Rolland. Pirazzi has attacked from the peloton too.

Roche is looking around for help to see if anyone will join him but Thurau lifts the pace and it looks like Hesjedal is struggling.

Pirazzi, Rabottini, and Haas have merged into a group and Hesjedal is having to chase a little bit.

Back in the bunch and Uran and Omega are just watching their main rivals. No real need to chase the likes of Rolland or Hesjedal at the moment. Here's a reminder of the top 15 overall in the race.

 

1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 53:15:06
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:37
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:52
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:32
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:50
6 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:29
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:37
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:04:06
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:20
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:04:41
11 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale 0:05:09
12 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:05:45
13 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:05:57
14 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:06:24
15 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo 0:06:48

Roche has a bit of a gap as he closes in on the top of the climb.

The Irishman is out of the saddle and climbing well but he's got a huge task on his hands given that we still have 42km to go. It's a long 30km of descent and then another 11km of complete climbing towards the finish.

Roche certainly isn't waiting for help though as he crests the climb on his own.

He has a gap of around 10 seconds with Wellens taking second.

In the peloton BMC have moved closer to the front as well so Uran will have to watch for attacks on the descent too.

Hesjedal is back with Rolland now as Thurau does an excellent job of setting the pace. The Canadian doesn't look great at the moment though.

Roche had ten second at the top of the climb and the Rolland group is at 4'25. The Haas, Pirazzi group is at 5'05, the peloton at 5'48.

So Rolland and Hesjedal are pulling themselves back into top ten contention. Cannondale are leading the peloton on the descent, probably to keep Basso near the front and the pace steady, rather than dangerous.

34km remaining from 164km

Roche is still clear and pushing the pace on the descent. He's risking everything on the descent as he looks for the stage win. He can't let the chase group catch him on the descent. Does Hesjedal have a mechanical because he can't hold the wheels on the descent but he can keep at the same pace. Haas has attacked from the Rabottini group.

Hesjedal sits at the back of the Rolland group as it looks like Agnoli is leading the chase of Roche.

31km remaining from 164km

Just over 30km of racing remaining in the stage with Roche still out on his own.

There has been a crash on the descent an it's Rubiano who is down. He's sitting up at least.

The Rolland - Hesjedal group have picked up a few riders on the descent from the early break.

Haas has been caught by Rabottini, Zardini, and Pirazzi.

We still have around 15km of descending ahead of us, with 26km to go until the finish.

Roche leads, a group of around  8 riders chasing, then the Rolland/Hesjedal group and then the peloton. All within five minutes of each other.

Timmer and Quinziato are together on the descent but more and more riders are being picked up by the Rolland group.

Quemeneur has been caught so Rolland has two riders with him.

Roche has been caught on the descent. Cataldo, Timmer, Roche, Quinziato and a few others are in the lead group and the BMC rider has attacked with Timmer on his wheel.

There are roughly a dozen riders left in the first group. We started off with 21.

Roche is at the back and taking his time to recover after his effort. Does he have anything left? Sella, both Sky riders, Santaromita and Agnoli are all there too. They have 4'49.

Just over 18km to go and it looks like the break has a real chance of surviving at this stage.

Timmer and Quinziato still lead, with the Giant rider getting a quick draft from a motorbike.

Just 4km of descending left before the final climb starts.

Cannodale are still leading the peloton at the moment with Majka and Uran close to each other.

No time gaps on the Hesjedal-Rolland group but they're certainly still clear of the chasing peloton.

Rolland is letting his two teammates drive the second group, with Hesjedal and another four riders in the mix. Timmer and Quinziato still lead the race.

The two leaders are closing in on the foot of the final climb.

In the bunch Movistar's entire team, minus one rider up the road, have moved up with Quintana near the front.

The two leaders are now climbing but the gradient is fairly gently at this stage.

The Rolland group are riding well together but they're unlikely to catch the leaders now. They could still put time into the main field though.

The early break is starting to fracture on the lower slopes of the final climb with Boaason Hagen and Wellens in the mix.

The Sky rider is leading the break at the moment with Timmer and Quinziato still off the front of the break.

And Quinziato has a mechanical and has to stop. He taks a few bike but that's his chances gone, surely.

The Rolland group is climbing too and Thurau gets out of the saddle with his team captain on his wheel.

Into the final 8km of racing with the bunch about to start the climb as well.

Thurau is done and now Hesjedal takes over with Rolland on his wheel.

Timmer leaders the race. Movistar are leading the peloton.

Arredendo has attacked from the peloton. Riders are all over the road, there are so many groups and battles going on.

Timmer is having the ride of his life today.

We've no time check at the moment but the Rolland group is down to four riders.

Arredondo is still clear and it looks like Uran is having to do all the work. Evans is on his own with no BMC teammates with him.

Timmer is now on the hardest part of the climb as Hesjedal leads Rolland.

Into the final 6km but we have no time checks from the race organisers.

Timmer has 48 seconds we understand.

Izaguirre takes a turn in the Rolland group, the maglia rosa group is down to 10 riders.

Timmer is grinding his way up the climb.

Cataldo has made a move from the group that stil contains Wellens, Roche and a handful of other riders.

Arredondo leads the maglia rosa group and Quintana is in second wheel. Will the Movistar rider attack?

Timmer has 5km to go as Cataldo goes clear with Cattaneo.

Arredondo has cracked and Quintana looks around and Pozzovivo is here too

Pozzovivo has two teammates on the front. Quintana, Majka, Uran, Evans are all there.

The Rolland - Hesjedal group are still working but it looks like it's just Rolland and Hesjedal as the other two riders slip back.

AG2R are setting the pace for Pozzovivo, Uran has Evans on his wheel, with Poels hanging on for dear life at the back of the maglia rosa group.

Pozzovivo is putting his rivals under huge pressure at the moment. Surely he'll attack soon.

Aru is in the maglia rosa group too. Timmer has 36 seconds, the Hesjedal group has less than 40 seconds over the pink jersey. We're into the final 4km of racing.

Timmer is really starting to struggle and Cataldo and one other rider are closing.

Pozzovivo attacks and Majka responds.

Evans and Aru are losing ground.

Quintana is on Pozzovivo's wheel. Uran, Kelderman and Majka can't respond.

As Evans works his way back to the Uran group.

Quintana and Pozzovivo are working together as Poels moves up to help for Uran.

Rolland and Hesjedal are still working together as Quintana and Pozzovivo link up with Izaguirre

Timmer has been caught with 2km to go by Cataldo and Pantano. Pantano to win on a day that many use to remember Pantani?

Quintana and Pozzovivo have a gap still on Uran and Evans.

And Cataldo attacks but Pantano goes with him.

They've dropped Timmer

Now Pantano attacks.

Cataldo closes the move down.

As back down the road Pozzovivo and Quintana share the pace. The gap is maybe 8 or 9 seconds to the maglia rosa.

Hesjedal and Rolland still together but no time check for them.

We now have four riders in the lead with Timmer and Cattaneo coming back to Cataldo and Pantano with 1km to go.

The Lampre rider leads them around a corner

It's Polanc for Lampre.

Timmer has cracked, he's gone.

Three riders but there are more coming back.

Polanc is doing all the work.

Battaglin is there.

 But Cataldo goes for it.

Wow it's Battaglin who takes the win. He came from way back to make the lead group and then snatch it from Cataldo at the line.

Roche comes over the line. Pantano was third.

Pozzovivo still leads Quintana but there's no time check to the maglia rosa group. It was less than 15 seconds last time we had one.

Into the final 500m for Quintana and Pozzovivo.

The Italian has done most of the work but here comes Aru and Majka. Uran is losing time.

Hesjedal and Rolland finish  and Quintana drops Pozzovivo.

Evans is dropping Uran before the line too.

The race leader holds pick but will lose a few seconds to Evans and maybe 10-20 seconds on Pozzovivo and Quintana.

Aru and Majka came back towards the end. I think Kelderman was in there too. Basso has most a lot of time though.

That's Battaglin's second stage in the Giro and his team's second win in two days.

We're just waiting for the official time gaps but Evans, Pozzovivo and Quintana all eat into Uran's lead. The worry isn't that he missed the snap of Pozzovivo or Quintana, it's that Evans was able to put time into him.

1 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF 4:34:41
2 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:00
3 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia 0:00:07
4 Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida 0:00:17
5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:22
6 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:26
7 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:28
8 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:33
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:39
10 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge 0:00:54

And here's how GC stands after today's stage:

 

1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 57:52:51
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:32
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:35
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:11
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:33
6 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:04
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:16
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:04:01
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:05:07
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:05:13

So Uran loses five seconds to Evans. Pozzovivo takes just over 20 seconds, Kelderman 18 seconds and Quintana 25.

Kiserlovski, he lost time too. Trek had Arredondo set the pace earlier on the climb but when he blew Kiserlovski was on his own. He cracked too when Pozzovivo and Quintana attacked. He remains in the top ten. Hesjedal and Rolland will have moved up slightly on GC but put in a lot of effort for their rewards.

We're just updating our top ten on GC as Rolland moves up to 9th. You can find the results, our report, and race images, right here.

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