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Giro d'Italia: Contador climbs into maglia rosa on summit finish to Abetone

The first mountain finish of the Giro d'Italia to Abetone in the Apennines sparked a battle royal for the pink jersey with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) going on the attack in the final five kilometres of the climb to the ski resort.

Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) won the stage alone after being in the long break of the day, taking the first win of his professional career just a few days after his 23rd birthday. He distanced Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) who just managed to hang on for second place at 1:31.

After responding to Contador’s initial attack, Aru won the sprint for third place to take a four-second time bonus but Contador pulled on the leader’s pink jersey after finishing in the same time. Porte was fifth on the stage in their slipstream. Aru is now two seconds behind Contador, and pulled on the white best young rider jersey, with Porte third overall at 20 seconds. Simon Clarke finished four minutes back, ending Orica-GreenEdge’s control of the pink jersey.

Contador last pulled on the pink jersey in 2011 but those results were cancelled when he tested positive for Clenbuterol and lost his subsequent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He won the pink jersey in 2008, when he took his second of six Grand Tour victories.

“I didn’t think I’d get the pink jersey so early, the goal is to get it in Milan at the finish. This is just a taste of what is to come,” Contador said.

“Of course I’m really happy to have it because everybody knows how much I like the Giro d’Italia and how important this jersey is to me. We might not try too hard to keep it but it will be up to the others to take it away from me. The good thing of today is that we’ve distanced Uran and that my legs felt good.”

Polanc was overjoyed to win the stage alone and give himself a special birthday present.

“The first victory is always special and I’m really happy that it came at the Giro d’Italia. It’s a great present for my birthday,” he said.

“I was 23 on the day I travelled to the Giro, on Wednesday. I just want to thank the team who gave me this chance and all my family and friends who have helped me. They help me in the bad times and in the good times like this.”

How it happened

The 152km stage again started in the sun with riders clearly enjoying the early summer during the opening stages of the Giro d’Italia.

The peloton stayed together for the opening 16km, with not much of a fight to get in the break.

After 16km five riders went clear and the peloton was happy to let them go. Axel Domont (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Serghei Tvetcov (Androni Giocattoli), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) and Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida) were in the move, with Matteo Montaguti (Nippo Vini Fantini) belatedly trying to go across.

Compared to the two stages in the Ligurian hills, the peloton and the leading teams were happy to let them go, perhaps preferring to save their legs for the final climb to the finish at Abetone –the first of seven mountain finishes in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The break quickly opened a gap on the lethargic peloton and their lead touched four minutes after 35km of racing. The peloton and race leader Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) were not worried about losing the pink jersey because Polanc was the best-placed overall at over 10 minutes back.

The break and the peloton continued to ride steady on the long category three climb of Foce Carpinelli, with the gap reaching nine minutes. Malaguti failed to reduce his gap to the break on the long descent into the Garfagnana valley and so finally sat up to wait for the field. Orica-GreenEdge accepted the responsibility of race leadership and led the peloton.

Domont took the mountain points and Tvetcov secured the sprint points in Barga after 97km of the stage. The Romanian rider almost crashed on the descent, totally miss-judging a corner. He was lucky he could head down a dirt road and quickly get going again. He needed some quick taping from his team car to repair a shoe but continued in the break.

The valley road to Abetone began with 36km to go in Bagni di Lucca, with the official climb starting at 17km to go. The five attackers continued to work together and began the climb with 5:33 on the peloton.

Behind, Orica-GreenEdge was riding to protect Johan Esteban Chaves.

Chavanel was the first to attack from the breakaway with 13km to go to push up the speed in the hope of staying away. The ever-aggressive Frenchman was quickly joined by Domont, Dillier and Polanc. Only Tvetcov was cast aside.

After other attacks, Polanc got away alone and began his personal ride to victory. Behind the Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana teams gathered on the front alongside Orica-GreenEdge, with the two super teams of this year’s Giro d’Italia squaring up for a fight.

Diego Rosa (Astana) was the first to attack with eight kilometres to go but Ivan Basso (Tinkoff-Saxo) chased him down. Then Mikel Landa (Astana) jumped away and joined Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani CSF), who had also made a move but they were gradually pulled back by Tinkoff-Saxo, who had three riders to work for Contador.

Aru and Porte sat just behind Contador but Porte had just Leopold Konig with him in the front group after his other teammates were quickly left behind with five kilometres left to race. Clarke also lost contact at this point. He fought to hang on but finished the stage four minutes down on Contador.

As Clarke was dropped, Contador attacked hard, on the steepest part of the climb. He danced on the pedals but also pushed a big gear. Behind, only Aru and Porte could react with any decision and the two gradually got up to his wheel. The fight for overall victory suddenly seemed reduced to three riders.

Uran, Hesjedal and the rest had to fight to limit their losses.

Contador, Aru and Porte should have worked together to distance their rivals but instead they watched each other and then Porte attacked, jumping into the slipstream of a motorbike. When he was pulled back, Aru had a go but he was also caught. His Astana teammate Mikel Landa managed to cross the gap from behind after a long chase and immediately hit the front to do the work. He ended the chances of the chase group to close the gap, despite Movistar leading the chase and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) trying to attack.

Aru, Contador and Porte finished 1:31 minutes behind Polanc, in the same time as Chavanel. It was a good day for all of them, however, Uran lost a further 28 seconds. Hesjedal lost a little less but has also slipped out of overall contention.

After just five stages of racing, the battle for pink jersey is a battle between just Contador, Aru and Porte.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida4:09:18
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling0:01:31
3Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
4Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
5Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
6Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:01:44
7Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:53
8Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
9Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
10Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team
11Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
12Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
13Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky
14Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team
15Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
16Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
17Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:59
18Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida0:02:06
19Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team
20Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling0:02:15
21Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
22Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdge
23Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
24Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:28
25Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:02:32
26Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
27Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
28Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:51
29Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:54
30Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:57
31Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:03
32Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
33Alexandre Geniez (Fra)
34Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
35Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
36Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Southeast Pro Cycling0:03:53
37Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky
38Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
39Kenny Elissonde (Fra)
40Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
41Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
42Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:04:09
43Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
44Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
45Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:04:12
46Fabio Felline (Ita) TrekRacing0:04:17
47Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:07
48Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:05:10
49Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
50Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
51Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
52Ivan Basso (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
53Gianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
54Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky
55Sylwester Szmyd (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:05:46
56Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha0:05:47
57David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:05:55
58Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:23
59Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling
60Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
61Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step0:07:12
62Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli
63Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling0:08:05
64Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:09:36
65Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
66Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
67Francis Mourey (Fra)
68Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
69Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) TrekRacing
70Janier Acevedo (Col) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:09:42
71Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-Merida
72Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:09:50
73Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
74Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:28
75Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) TrekRacing0:10:33
76Anthony Roux (Fra)
77Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
78Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:12:00
79Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
80Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:12:01
81Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:12:58
82Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
83Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step0:13:02
84Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
85Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
86Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
87Giacomo Berlato (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
88Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF
89Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
90Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
91Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
92Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
93Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
94Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
95Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
96Sergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
97Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
98Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
99Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:41
100Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
101Calvin Watson (Aus) TrekRacing0:14:29
102Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin0:16:18
103Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
104Cédric Pineau (Fra)
105Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling0:16:35
106Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
107Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
108Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:17:51
109Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
110Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
111Marek Rutkiewicz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
112Mauro Finetto (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
113Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
114Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
115Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
116Gang Xu (Chn) Lampre-Merida
117Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
118Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
119Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha
120Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team
121Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
122Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)
123Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
124Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha
125Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
126Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-Alpecin
127Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
128Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:18:11
129Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:19:34
130Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
131Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
132Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
133Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Southeast Pro Cycling
134Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
135Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
136Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini
137Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
138Fabio Silvestre (Por) TrekRacing
139Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) TrekRacing
140Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
141Alessandro Malaguti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
142Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
143Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin
144Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
145Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
146Iljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
147Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
148Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
149Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
150Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge
151Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
152Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
153Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
154Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
155Boy Van Poppel (Ned) TrekRacing
156Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal
157André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
158Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
159Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
160Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)
161Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
162Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
163Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
164Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
165Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
166Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
167Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
168Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
169Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
170Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
171Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
172Manabu Ishibashi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
173Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky
174Kévin Reza (Fra)
175Arnaud Courteille (Fra)
176Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
177Elia Favilli (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
178Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky
179Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha
180Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF
181Alexander Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha
182Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team
183Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
184Marco Coledan (Ita) TrekRacing
185Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) TrekRacing
186Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
187Oscar Gatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
188Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
189Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida0:20:11
190Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha0:21:11
OTLTiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida34pts
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling23
3Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli20
4Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team12
5Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo8
6Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
7Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky6
8Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team5
9Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team4
10Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha3
11Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team2
12Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team2
13Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team1

Mountain 1 - Foce Carpinelli - km 57
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale7pts
2Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team4
3Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling2
4Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli1

Mountain 2 - Abetone - km 152
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida15pts
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling8
3Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team6
4Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo4
5Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky2
6Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team1

Sprint 1 - Barga - km 97
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli10pts
2Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida6
3Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling3
4Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2
5Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team1

Sprint 2 - Bagni di Lucca - km 114
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli10pts
2Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale6
3Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida3
4Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling2
5Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team1

Premio della Fuga
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida136pts
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling125
3Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team125
4Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale125
5Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli122

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida16pts
2Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling12
3Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli10
4Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale8
5Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team5
6Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo3
7Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team3
8Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky2
9Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team1

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Astana Pro Team12:33:02
2BMC Racing Team0:00:31
4Movistar Team0:01:06
5IAM Cycling0:01:10
7Team Sky0:02:09
8Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:03:10
9Lotto Soudal0:07:12
10AG2R La Mondiale0:09:25
11Etixx - Quick-Step0:09:58
13Team Katusha0:12:08
14Androni Giocattoli0:12:24
15Bardiani CSF0:14:15
16Orica GreenEdge0:14:18
17Trek Factory Racing0:19:18
18Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:20:17
19Nippo - Vini Fantini0:22:45
20Southeast Pro Cycling<