(Road Bike Action & AFP; Photo: Bettini)
Italian Astana rider Fabio Aru took over as leader of the Giro d’Italia from Alberto Contador on Friday after the rain-hit 13th stage was won by Sacha Modolo. Italian Modolo hung on in a sprint finish to edge compatriots Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani at Jesolo, near Venice. A mass crash less than 5km from the line saw long time race leader Contador fall of his bike and the 40secs dropped on Aru saw the pink jersey handed to the Italian by 19secs heading into Saturday’s time trial.
Australian Richie Porte also took a tumble and lost over 2mins and is now well down the rankings and out of contention at nearly 6mins off the pace. The 24-year-old Aru, who finished third overall last year, takes the leader’s jersey for the first time in his career. Spaniard Mikel Landa is third overall at 1min 14secs. On a day of steady rain and run over 147km of flat racing, a trio of Italian Marco Frapporti, Frenchman Jerome Pineau and German Rick Zabel opened up an escape before being reeled in towards the finale. The mass accident then played havoc with the chances of several contenders, including Contador, before the rest of the pack raced for home. It then came down to a long sprint finish that Modolo won by half a bike length after being led in by two of his Lampre teammates.
Saturday will feature a tough 59.4km time-trial from Treviso to Valdobbiadene and is guaranteed to shake up the overall standings and give Contador a chance to recover his lost time.
1. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) 3hr 03min 08sec
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE) same time
3. Elia Viviani (ITA/SKY) s.t.
4. Aleksandr Porsev (RUS/KAT) s.t.
5. Eduard-Michael Grosu (ROU/NIP) s.t.
6. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/LAM) s.t.
7. Moreno Hofland (NED/LNL) s.t.
8. Nicola Ruffoni (ITA/BAR) s.t.
9. Luka Mezgec (SLO/GIA) s.t.
10. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/IAM) s.t.
1. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 54hr 20min 35sec
2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) at 19sec
3. Mikel Landa (ESP/AST) 1:14
4. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 1:38
5. Dario Cataldo (ITA/AST) 1:49
6. Rigoberto Uran (COL/ETI) 2:02
7. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 2:12
8. Andrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 2:21
9. Giovanni Visconti (ITA/MOV) 2:40
10. Yury Trofimov (RUS/KAT) 3:15