The Alps stood as a healing recipe for a wounded Giro d’Italia, mainly because of COVID and bad weather, in terms of show. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved after a thirteenth stage that will be historically more remembered for the extra-sports than for what happened on the asphalt. The first great day of this edition of the Pink Corsa It was left in crumbs for the great menu it offered: 199 km, more than 5,000 meters of unevenness and three ports with the end in Crans Montana. In the mythical Swiss ski resort, where Laurent Fignon shone in the Tour de France in 1984, Einer Rubio signed the best victory of his career based on head and heart to save in style a Giro until now discreet for Movistar. The favourites, as they already did in Gran Sasso, entered hand in hand, which keeps leading Geraint Thomas. It must be that, with thirteen stages completed, ‘there is still a long way to go’…
Apart from the feat of the Colombian, who got his first win in a grand tour in which he considers his ‘second home’ (he lives in Italy), everything ended as badly as it started. The cyclists decided yesterday to cut the stage arguing a extreme weather in the descent of Croix de Coeur that did not exist, and backed by the ACP they transferred their request to RCS. The organization of the race rejected it, but made a counter offer to the runners that was successful: 75 km of stage, starting at the foot of Croix de Coeur and suppression of about 124 km which included the passage through the Gran San Bernardo (ascension already cut in previous days). The runners clung to the “extreme weather” protocol, but the The lowest temperatures recorded throughout the stage were around 1º and the two descents were not critical: sun and completely dry road in San Bernardo, no ice at Croix de Coeur. Seeing the runners complete 200 meters of the neutralized start and get on the buses to start several hours later was a painful image, to say the least.
The action began in Le Chable, at the foot of a Croix de Coeur which was also in danger due to the possibility of frost on the way down, with the difficult task of making people forget the grotesque. Escape of seven runners in the first ramps of the alpine colossus, with its impressive 15.4 km at an 8.8% average, although about 10 km from the start it fragmented to leave Jefferson Cepeda, Derek Gee, Thibaut Pinot and Einer Rubio in the lead. They began the descent, with irregular and narrow asphalt in its initial part, with an advantage of about two minutes, which allowed them to dream of victory despite the work of an Ineos who hit the block from the start. Valentin Paret-Peintre joined the cause at the equator of the descent. The Frenchman, by the way, did it in short sleeves.
With nothing to report on the flat section, Crans Montana arrived, with two open battles: the stage and the general. While Pinot was pissed off by the non-collaboration of his companions, Ineos paid tribute to his past with the classic ‘little train’. In front, Pinot and Cepeda were the strongest while Rubio barely held on to the wheel. The clash between the French and the Ecuadorian gave an opportunity to the telephone broker, who had suffered at various points. In the sprint, Rubio, who had saved more energy, had a little more spark and took the victory. There the battle ended, on the sidelines of a timid attack by Caruso that went nowhere, as the favorites came hand in hand. A day to forget.
See complete classification
Camaiore – Tortona
Bra – Rivoli
Borgofranco d’Ivrea – Crans Montana
Sierre – Cassano Magnago
Seregno – Bergamo