Colombian Esteban Chaves snatched victory on an epic 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia Saturday that saw Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk take the pink jersey and favourite Vincenzo Nibali boost his victory hopes.
Costa Rican Andrey Amador had started the 210km stage from Alpago to Corvara as the new race leader after dispossessing Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels after a first day in the mountains on Friday.
But in what was a hugely disappointing day for Movistar, Amador and his team leader Alejandro Valverde finished nearly four minutes behind Chaves after the Orica team rider dominated a four-man sprint to the line after they had launched a dramatic chase of Colombian Darwin Atapuma (BMC) in the closing kilometres of the six-climb thriller.
Italian favourite Nibali, the 2013 champion, failed to get the stage win but the Astana team leader crossed the finish just 37 seconds in arrears to build a significant advantage on Valverde, one of his main rivals for overall victory in Turin on May 29.
Kruijswijk, of the Lotto team, now leads the race with a 41sec lead on Nibali and a 1:32 lead on Chaves heading into Sunday’s 15th stage time trial, a 10.8km race against the clock which is mostly uphill. – Agence France-Presse