Einer Rubio gives Movistar victory in the shortened queen stage of the Giro d'Italia 2023
Disappointing day in the Giro d'Italia in what should have been one of the great days of the race thanks to the monstrosity of more than 5,000 m of elevation gain that the organization had prepared. The bad weather and the boycott of the cyclists left the day in just over 70 kilometers in which, despite the terrain, the show was only offered by those who sought the stage victory.
The queen stage of the Giro d'Italia has been shortened
The bad weather that has been mistreating the cyclists throughout this tough Giro d'Italia has ended up having consequences on the least expected day. The story of what happened today starts a few days ago when the peloton tried to cut the mileage of the longest stage, day, almost like all the previous week, marked by cold and rain.
In the morning, in the starting area, it was raining once again and it was the moment when the spokesmen of the Association of Professional Cyclists lobbied for the suspension of the stage, one of the queen days of the Giro d'Italia 2023. Finally, the tug of war between riders, among whom were raised discordant voices such as Damiano Caruso, and the organization was that the climb to Grand Saint Bernard, which had already been cut days before because of the danger of avalanches, would be avoided.
The images of the dry road at the top of Grand Saint Bernard, the descent of Croix de Coeur and Crans Montana, made unjustifiable the arguments of the riders in what, clearly, has been shown as a boycott in protest for not cutting the previous stages and that, once again, gives a tremendous bad image of the internal struggles that traditionally exist in cycling between riders, teams and organizers.
The stage would start with the second difficulty of the day, the Croix de Coeur, or what is known as the climb to Verbier, to which we would add 7 kilometers more, to leave the stage in a sad 74.6 kilometers. Obviously, it did not take long to appear those who said that in return we were going to see an explosive stage and full of spectacle, but, neither.
After the curious images of cyclists warming up intensely on the turbo trainer, this stage started, as expected, with continuous attacks on this occasion, of men of quality because the hardness of the Croix de Coeur did not make it suitable for anyone to be there in front.
In fact, a dangerous break with riders such as Pinot, Healy, Vine and Carthe was formed initially, which raised all the alarms and forced INEOS-Grenadiers to squeeze ahead of schedule to close such a dangerous gap. Shortly after, there was another cut, this time more modest, with Jefferson Cepeda or Einer Rubio as the most prominent riders who quickly obtained the approval of the peloton.
Thibaut Pinot saw the movement from behind and, still in time, started from the peloton to reach the lead and, from there, make the selection and go to the front in the company of Rubio, Cepeda and Derek Gee in what would be the good breakaway of the stage, crowning the Croix de Coeur with a 1'50'' advantage over the peloton.
An advantage that would be just under 3 minutes at the beginning of Crans Montana that coincided with the start of hostilities between the escapees with Thibaut Pinot who launched a hard attack to which Jefferson Cepeda responded easily, linking little by little at pace. For his part, Einer Rubio, also managed to connect.
This was the tone of the whole climb, with Pinot launching constant attacks that were easily answered and that ended up causing the desperation of the Frenchman who even came to face Cepeda. A provocation in which the Ecuadorian fell, who shortly after launched an attack that cost him to close the Groupama FDJ rider. Meanwhile, Einer Rubio survived at his own pace and to return each time to the wheel of his companions.
Meanwhile, behind, in the peloton, there was no movement. The INEOS-Grenadiers train was leading the race as it pleased and, with the exception of an attack by Hugh Carthy that only managed about twenty seconds, no movement was attracting attention.
Jefferson Cepeda launched an attack/sprint from far away, at about 400 m, to which this time, the one who had spent the least, Einer Rubio, managed to respond and climb up to go to the finish line. Pinot started behind him and for a moment it seemed that he could give chase but ended up sitting down so the victory went to the Movistar rider, a team that needed something like this after a Giro in which they were going completely unnoticed.
Behind, the typical rush to the finish, but nothing more than fireworks, arriving all the favorites together in a day, at least if we compare it with the expectations we had in it, totally disappointing.
Stage 13 Classification
- Einer Rubio (Movistar) 02h16’21”
- Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), +06”
- Jefferson Cepeda (EF Education-EasyPost) +12”
- Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech) +01’01”
- Valentin Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën) +1’29”
- Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) +1’29”
- João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1’35”
- Eddie Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) +1’35”
- Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +1’35”
- Primo? Rogli? (Jumbo-Visma) +1’35”
- Geraint Thomas (INEOS-Grenadiers) 51h20’01’’
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +02’’
- Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +22’’
- Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) +42’’
- Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) +01’28’’
- Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +01’52’’
- Eddie Dunbar (Jayco-AlUla) +02’32’’
- Thymen Arensman (INEOS-Grenadiers) +02’45’’
- Laurens De Plus (INEOS-Grendiers) +03’08’’
- Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ) +03’13’’