CyclingRevealed's Giro '08 Perspective
Tappa 14, May 24th, Verona to Alpe di Pampeago / Val Di Fiemme, 195 km Mountain Finish
Leave Them ALL Behind
The famous Italian City of Verona sent the riders on the first real mountain stage of 2008. Cool temperature in the mountains and snow on the finishing climb Alpe di Pampeago gave the peloton even greater obstacles to conquer.
Thirteen kilometers into the 195 km stage a group of 10 escaped the pace of the group and built a 7'16” lead by km 78. Christian Vande Velde (Slipstream), Paolo Bettini (Quick Step), Jure Golcer (LPR), Emanuele Selle (CSF), Jose Rujano (Caisse d'Epargne), Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne), Vasili Kiryienka (Tinkoff), Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R), Jens Voigt (CSC) and Charles Wegelius (Liquigas). Soon after they were joined by Maxim Iglinsky (Astana), Francisco Perez Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) and Yoann Le Boulanger (Française des Jeux). Many in the breakaway were top riders but not considered “danger men” for the General Classification.
With 70 km to go the peloton increased the pace intent on catching the 13 escapees. But the breakaway working well together held a solid 7'40” lead.
Next up the Paseo Manghen (23km, ave. 71%, max. 15%) with 50 km to the finish, it is “make it or break it ” time for the lead group. The lead had dropped to 6'35” and toughest part of the stage was coming. On the steep section of the Manghen Sella attacked the breakaway and opened a small gap. The peloton still charging is 5'50” behind and closing.
The contenders are all together in the first chase group, but the Maglia Rosa Giovanni Visconte is dropped. An inspired Emanuele Sella continues to increase his lead on a now shattered breakaway. His gap to the chasing contenders has grown to 8 minutes.
Over the summit of the Manghen Sella's nearest rival is 2'42” back with the contenders group 10'57” behind.
Sella stomps up the 16% grade on the Alpe di Pampeago [ Images © La Gazetta ]
Sella hit the bottom of the 7.8 km finishing climb of the Alpe di Pampeago (ave. 9.6%, max. 16%). A huge crowd lined the road as Sella's inspirational ride continues as the “Devil” runs along side. Out of the saddle Sella stomps on the peddles on the 16% gradient. He suffers mightily but can see the 1 km to go banner. Across the finish line a jubilant Emanuele Sella salutes the crowd. Riding solo for the final 50 kilometers Sella did something no one else could do… “He left them all behind!”
Stage winner Emanuele Sella left them all behind [ Images © La Gazetta ]
From the original 13 rider breakaway Vasili Kiryienka (Tinkoff) held on for 2nd place with Spain 's Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) 3rd .
Out of the contender's group Denis Menchov and Franco Pellizotti led the way, but Gabriele Bosisio captures the race lead by 5” over Alberto Contador to become the new wearer of the Maglia Rosa.
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