Author: Lee Rodgers
Published: 05/20/12 09:17
Andey Amador of Movistar won Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia and in the process made history, as the first Costa Rican to win a stage in a Grand Tour. He was part of an eight man group that managed to stay clear on a mountainous day that also saw Canadian Ryder Hesjedal reclaim the race lead from Joaquim Rodriguez.
“We knew that today and tomorrow would be good opportunities that a breakaway would stay clear,” Amador said at the finish. “I rode the first 10km of the final climb alone, trying to conserve my energy because I knew they could catch me. We were all very tired in the end, but I had enough legs to win. I am very happy.”
The break at one point had a thirteen minute advantage but this began to fall quickly as the escapees, including Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol), Jan Barta (NetApp), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Nelson Oliveira (RadioShack-Nissan), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli) and Pierpaolo De Negri (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), hit the last of the day’s climbs.
The action really started on the Cat 1 Col de Joux, a tough climb of over 20km, where Barta took the chance to attack the leaders. Amador though caught Varta on the wet descent, with a group of Montaguti, De Negri and De Marchi chasing behind.
De Marchi and Barta then rejoined the eventual winner but it was obvious that Barta was tiring as he could no linger work at the front of the group. With 10km to go the leader’s advantage was falling as the GC contenders began to motor up the final climb. Liquigas-Cannondale’s riders began to set the pace which meant that the gap to the three up front fell quickly, but they had enough time to let them fight it out for the won between themselves. Barta tried valiantly for the win but was not quick enough to outsprint Amador.
"It is a dream to win in the Giro, especially when it is one of the mountain stages like this," said Amador. "I am proud. This victory shows that if you work, the results follow. This year I have done many things, mentally and physically."
"It was a long hard day. I tried to manage what little I had left, and I'm very happy for the victory."
Hesjedal retook the Pink Jersey after a strong ride over the last 4km.
"I felt good. It felt easy when the guys were setting the tempo," Hesjedal said. "When some guys started to accelerate a bit, I knew it eased off after 3km, and I figured I'd give it a go and test myself. I wasn't really thinking of anything except putting in an effort and seeing how the other guys did."
He finished 20 seconds down on the winner but 26 ahead of the group containing Rodriguez. After almost 60 hours of racing he now leads the race by just 9 seconds.
Author: Lee RodgersPublished: 05/20/12 09:17