Bruno Armirail takes the maglia rosa of the Giro d'Italia from Geraint Thomas

Road 20/05/23 17:17 Migue A.

A new transition day after yesterday's embarrassment and, once again, rain and a breakaway were the protagonists of the race on a stage in which the peloton was so lethargic that the lead was taken by Bruno Armirail, one of the brave riders who managed to avoid the nap with a beautiful finish worthy of a good spring classic in which Nico Denz won the race.

The Giro d'Italia dresses up as a classic in a 14th stage won by Nico Denz

Stage, on paper, quiet in today's menu of the Giro d'Italia in which the race returned from Swiss lands to the Lombardy region, specifically to the town of Cassano Magnago, near Milan. A 193-kilometer route that, at last, dawned without rain and in which the cyclists had to overcome the Alps through the long Passo Sempione that would return them to Italian lands.

The rest of the stage, with a practically flat profile, could point to a new day for the sprinters, but the numerous casualties among their ranks and the fact that Jonathan Milan has practically assured the maglia ciclamino made this day an ideal day for a quality breakaway to look for the stage.

As happens on these occasions, the start becomes a series of attacks and counterattacks at a furious pace until, finally, after more than ten kilometers, a large group with names such as Luis León Sánchez, Bauke Mollema, Alessandro de Marchi, Fernando Gaviria, Alberto Bettiol or two of the three survivors of Soudal-QuickStep: Pieter Serry and Davide Ballerini, prospered.

From behind, seeing that it was going to be the good breakaway, Carlos Verona and Israel-PremierTech rider Stephen Willians jumped out and were joined a few kilometers later by another small group of riders among whom Arensmann and Kamna had filtered in, which immediately set off the alarm in the peloton, causing the Jumbo-Visma riders to close the gap immediately.

Finally, the two men dropped off, allowing the chasing group, which also included names such as Simon Clarke, Warren Barguil and Toms Skujins, to prosper and, at the foot of the Passo Sempione, to connect with the lead group, already more than 3 minutes ahead of the peloton that had given its blessing to the breakaway.

Without hostilities passed the long ascent of 20 kilometers to this Alpine pass in which, as they approached Italy, the weather worsened until the return of the pounding rain that has accompanied the riders since the first stage. This made the peloton take things very calmly, causing the gap, once back on the flat, to increase to more than 10 minutes.

With 62 kilometers to go, hostilities began among the escapees with Alberto Bettiol's solo attack. Evidently, he didn't get anywhere, but it was the starting signal for the attacks that ended up consolidating in a break that included Davide Ballerini, Stefano Oldani, Laurenz Rex and Toms Skujins. Behind, as it usually happens in these cases, they try to close it with attacks, which only makes the gap increase little by little.

In the end, although Movistar, with Verona, Barta and Gaviria taking the lead in the chase, they can't prevent the advantage from going beyond 40 seconds. Meanwhile, the peloton continues to linger, making the gap more than 16 minutes, leaving the race lead within reach for Bruno Armirail, 18 minutes and 37 seconds behind Geraint Thomas.

The final part was designed as a classic with a series of hills that put sauce to the end of the stage. Derek Gee does not think about it and in the first of them accelerates the pace and, although they catch him wheel manages to select the chasing group and approach the leaders, finally leaving a small chasing group of 4 riders: Gee, Bettiol, Denz and Mayrhofer who begin to understand each other perfectly and to reduce the difference with the 3 leaders.

Being aware of this, Skujins tries to escape on another of the slopes, but his attack only serves to unhook Rex. From that moment on, we would live an exciting chase that would culminate in the last kilometer when they began to look at each other in front and to calculate the moment, which made the 4 behind finish to reach their wheel.

In desperation, 800 m from the finish, Oldani started strongly in a finish that went uphill but did not get very far because Bettiol came from behind like a bullet. What the Italian didn't expect was the magnificent demonstration of strength of Nico Denz, who was able to overcome him with ease and crossed the finish line with his arms raised for his second stage victory in this Giro d'Italia.

50 seconds later, a small group including Bruno Armirail arrived and began to count down the time to wear the pink jersey, something he achieved comfortably by finishing the peloton more than 19 minutes behind the winner.

Stage 14 Classification

  1. Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) 04h37’30’’
  2. Derek Gee (Israel-PremierTech) +00’’
  3. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) +00’’
  4. Laurenz Rex (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) +01’’
  5. Davide Ballerini (Soudal-QuickStep) +01’’
  6. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) +04’’
  7. Marius Mayrhofer (Team DSM) +10’’
  8. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +20’’
  9. Andrea Pasqualon (Bahrain-Victorious) +50’’
  10. Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa) +50’’

General Classification

  1. Bruno Armirail (Groupama FDJ) 56h17’01’’
  2. Geraint Thomas (INEOS-Grenadiers) +01’41’’
  3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +01’43’’
  4. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +02’03’’
  5. Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) +02’23’’
  6. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) +03’09’’
  7. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +03’33’’
  8. Thymen Arensman (INEOS-Grenadiers) +04’26’’
  9. Laurens De Plus (INEOS-Grendiers) +04’49’’
  10. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) +04’57’



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Geraint Thomas cede la maglia rosa del Giro de Italia a Bruno Armirail