FinaasdfRussia’s Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) took a solo stage win on the snow-capped summit finish of a very chaotic 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia today. The stage also saw some big movement in the overall picture for the Giro. Jan Polanc (Team UAE) held onto the overall lead while Primoz Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali finished together 2min 57sec back. Simon Yates and Miguel Angel Lopez were an additional two minutes behind.
Zakarin was the sole survivor of the day’s early break, not only did he walk away with the stage win, but he propelled himself to third in the overall standings. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) also survived the break to finish second on the stage.
The day’s biggest loser was Simon Yates who was dropped by all the key favorites when Landa made a strong attack on the lower slopes of the final climb. Miguel Angel Lopez also lost time after suffering a mechanical. The pair are now over five minutes down on Roglic.
Roglic and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished together over a minute and a half behind Landa.
The break began with 14 riders but was whittled down to just six, including EF’s Joe Dombrowski, on the steep lower portions of the final ascent. Eventually left with just Nieve and Mollema for at his side, Zakarin attacked with 5km to go. Nieve fought his way back to him but the effort was for naught as the Russian dropped the him in the last two kilometres.
“The attack wasn’t planned. I just happened to be in the front when people started to move,” Zakarin said. “I didn’t feel very good in the middle of the stage but I started to find a rhythm and gave everything in the end.”
The big news was behind the stage winner, though. With Landa attacking at 15km remaining and bridging up to team mates Hector Carretero and Andrey Armador he clawed his way back up the GC standings to eighth overall, within three minutes of Roglic. Landa’s move put the hurt on Yates and Polanc who immediately fell behind the core group of chasers. Roglic and Nibali took to only matching each other’s efforts while the race went on around them. Nibali had the following to say:
“Today I said: ‘Listen Roglic, if you want to come and do a photo at my house, I’ll show you my bag of trophies whenever you want.’”
“I don’t need to prove anything. But he understood that I wasn’t going to do anything, that I was a bit fed up of the attitude that he had. After that he started to work.”
“I think if he wants to win this Giro, that’s not the way he should ride.”