Stage 20 – Silandro – Tre Cime di Lavaredo – 210km
25 May 2013
Report: Luke Webber
The hopes of British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme athlete Mark Cavendish winning the points jersey in all three grand tours were dealt a final challenge, on the penultimate stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
Above: Mark Cavendish out of the red jersey, but keeping the dream alive
The achievement, which would add to Cavendish's already formidable palmares, took one step forward, but two steps backward on an amended stage twenty following an enforced rest day due to adverse conditions on Friday.
Racing was able to restart in the valley roads of the Dolomites, with riders encountering more favourable conditions. Indeed, Cavendish remained in the bunch long enough to pick up four points in two intermediate sprints - the first of which with 50 kilometres remaining.
Meanwhile the early breakaway were being controlled by the peloton, to the tune of five minutes. Containing Adam Hansen, Yaroslav Popovych, Giairo Ermetti and Pavel Brutt, the quartet hit the snow-lined climb of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, as Cavendish's mind turned to what Cadel Evans - his closest rival for the red jersey - could do to gain points on the finish line.
With 20 kilometres to ride the toughest slopes were reached, the break fragmented and Cavendish was jettisoned from the bunch.
Evans made his presence known immediately at the head of the peloton, but it was race leader Vincenzo Nibali who attacked for the stage win, in the process securing enough points to take an unexpected lead in that classification as well.
With the final stage expected to end in a sprint Cavendish can take solace, however he will be now be required to end in style to be assured of the maglia rossa.
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:27:41
2 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 0:00:17
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:19
4 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:44
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:48
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:54
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:58
9 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia 0:01:00
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:04