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Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) received his second Giro d’Italia stage in three days, triumphing as soon as once more from the breakaway on stage 14 to Cassano Magnano.
The German, who received in Rivoli on stage 12, virtually celebrated too quickly on the finish of the 194km stage, however simply held on to beat out Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) for the victory. Alberto Bettiol (EF Schooling-EasyPost) rounded out the rostrum after main out the dash after the lead two break teams got here collectively inside the ultimate kilometre.
“I felt tremendous good as we speak and I received from the start the chance to go for the break, which I used once more,” Denz stated after the stage. “I used to be marking Trek, Israel and Movistar, who had been all with numbers. I assumed we misplaced it as a result of it appeared that they couldn’t shut it.”
“However then the assaults went on the hills within the closing. I nonetheless felt actually good and adopted. Ultimately, we virtually closed it however once we stopped pushing, I assumed it was all for nothing. I didn’t need fourth as a result of I already received so I closed it after which Bettiol launched. I jumped on his wheel and went full to the road and – once more, loopy.”
53 seconds after the battle for the win, Groupama-FDJ man Bruno Armirail rolled throughout the road in fifteenth place. Taken in isolation it wasn’t a standout end result, however with the Ineos Grenadier-led peloton driving a go-slow for a lot of the stage, the Frenchman could be elevated into the maglia rosa. The peloton finally crossed the road at simply over 21 minutes down, giving the 2023 Giro d’Italia its fourth chief and the primary French chief of the race since Laurent Jalabert in 1999.
Denz, Gee, and Bettiol had been all a part of the chase group behind a lead group of three heading into the dying kilometres of the stage, with Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Davide Ballerini (Soudal-QuickStep) all out entrance having attacked at round 50km to go.
As they raced into the ultimate, it had seemed like they might contest the victory, however issues got here again collectively contained in the final kilometre of the race. Bettiol, Denz, and Gee instantly got here excessive across the closing bend, with the German punching previous on the ultimate rise to the road.
Gee, who has been among the many revelations of the race, completed quick however fell simply half a wheel brief and could be compelled to accept a 3rd second place of his debut Giro d’Italia.
The way it unfolded
Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia would take the remaining riders again throughout the Swiss border and again into Italy, with a 193km stage from Sierra to Cassano Magnago in Lombardia.
A largely flat stage, the only real problem alongside the way in which would however be a serious one, coming with the Simplonpass, a 20km climb averaging 6.2%, although the height got here some 140km from the end line.
From the beginning, there was an enormous battle for the breakaway, one that will go on for 30km in the beginning of the stage earlier than a big group of riders established themselves off the entrance. 19 males received off the entrance after lots of forwards and backwards and loads of assaults via the opening kilometres.
Maglia azzurra contender Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa) was in there together with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Alberto Bettiol (EF Schooling-EasyPost), and sprinters Davide Ballerini (Soudal-QuickStep) and Fernando Gaviria (Movistar).
A gaggle of seven got here throughout partway up the Simplonpass, with Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and Israel-Premier Tech trio Simon Clarke, Derek Gee, and Stephen Williams amongst them. Additional up, Eolo-Kometa pair Mattia Bais and Mirco Maestri received throughout having solely attacked after the peloton slowed all the way down to let the break go.
The rain as soon as once more started to fall on the riders as they headed uphill, the peloton six minutes down on the break as they raced to the two,004-metre summit. On the prime, Bruno Armirail tried to fend off Davide Bais on behalf of his Groupama-FDJ teammate, mountain classification chief Thibaut Pinot.
Nevertheless, the Italian, who spent six days in blue between Pinot’s spells within the classification lead, had an excessive amount of for Armirail, coming from behind within the closing metres to seize 40 factors and retake the jersey.
The hole again to the peloton solely grew increasingly more because the riders flew down the huge, easy highway of the descent. Because the riders crossed the border it was previous 9 minutes, and by the point Marius Mayrhofer (Crew DSM) beat Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Gee on the intermediate dash, it was as much as 11.
The scenario would stay the identical for a while on the flat roads south in the direction of Lake Maggiore, at the least till Bettiol ventured off the entrance at 62km to go. Racing via the still-pouring rain, the Italian set off a series response of strikes behind because the battle for the stage win received underway.
Stage 12 winner Nico Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) got here throughout first earlier than the rest of the group finally joined in, bringing all of it again collectively. Laurens Rex (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Skujins, and a bridging Ballerini had been the subsequent to go, stealing a march on the remainder into the ultimate 50km.
Extra assaults flew behind on the counter however the 4 out entrance constructed their result in over 30 seconds earlier than Movistar and Bahrain Victorious set their handful of males to work on behalf of sprinters Gaviria and Andrea Pasqualon.
That benefit grew out to 50 seconds because the riders raced in the direction of the ultimate 20km, whereas the slow-moving peloton at 17 minutes behind the chase threatened to present the maglia rosa to Armirail.
A small rise at 17km to go provoked assaults from the chase, with Gee and Bettiol main the offensive. The upping of the tempo introduced the leaders’ benefit all the way down to 30 seconds because the riders hit the ultimate 13km, whereas Gaviria was among the many riders dropped from the transfer.
Out entrance, Skujins used an increase within the highway to push on and drop Rex from the transfer, whereas again within the chase Mayrhofer and Denz joined Gee and Bettiol on the assault. Rex was caught by that group quickly after at slightly below 20 seconds down on the leaders.
Skujins, Ballerini, and Oldani labored collectively properly into the ultimate 5km, holding an ever-decreasing hole because the metres raced by. That hole edged down in the direction of the 10-second mark heading into the ultimate kilometre earlier than Oldani made his transfer on the entrance.
It wouldn’t be a victorious leap, nevertheless, with a closing push from Denz introduced the chasers throughout 500 metres from the end.
From there, Bettiol led the chasers instantly previous the trio that they had simply caught, with Denz as soon as once more proving the strongest man from a small breakaway group to shoot to a different Giro stage victory.
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