20/05/11 - 11:45
Spilimbergo - Franz Josefs Höhe
Giro d'Italia • Stage13

Spilimbergo - Franz Josefs Höhe

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Le Mevel, Garzelli and Serpa are all well over three minutes down on today's winner Rujano.


Gadret looks like he'll take third... Yes, he crosses the line 1:27 down, followed by Dupont and Anton. The other chasers come home about 1:35 down.


Rujano comes up the inside and Contador let's him take the win!


But it's the pink jersey leading the charge...


The two leaders enter the last kilometre. Surely Contador will let Rujano take the win today?


Massive accelaration from Joaquim Rodriguez!


Contador is so strong it's unreal. He's the ultimate rider. He's won the past five grand tours he's raced - and he's about to make it six.


Anton attacks from the pursuing group. No time gaps as yet, although the two leaders look to have over a minute.


Yup, it's Hubert Dupont and Gadret together. Although, Gadret has now passed his countryman and team-mate.


Gadret is now solo in his pursuit it seems - although pictures are terrible. The heli cam is stuttering and the bikes don't seem to be in the thick of it at all. In fact, it looks like Gaderet has been joined by another AG2R rider now...


Contador puts in another dig, turning round to say something to Rujano.


John Gadret is in the chasing group as well. And it looks like he's attacked with Arroyo...


The leading duo are now onto the final climb, taking it in turns on the front, both in the dancing position.


Rujano did take the points over that summit, with Contador in second and Scarponi further back in third.


The conditions are horrendous here. Not even Nibali wants to push it on this descent - saving a few seconds is not worth coming off your bike at top speed.


The wet roads are going to make this downhill section very difficult.


The rain may have stopped at the finish, but it's still coming down here, as they approach the summit of the Kasereck section of this climb.


Menchov is riding with Nibali and Kreuziger and two others. Anton and Arroyo. They catch Scarponi.


The rain has stopped atop the Grossglockner, which translates roughly as Massive Bell Ringer.


Scarponi is riding solo in pursuit but it's one from Contador or Rujano today, that's for sure. Contador is completely unbeatable over three weeks in this form.


ATTACK: Too easy for Contador, who lifts the pace a touch and rides away with ease. Scarponi and Anton can't take his wheel, but Rujano can.


Arroyo is there too. And Rodriguez, but it's splitting up a bit... No Le Mevel it seems.


The trio are caught by a small group containing Contador, Nibali and Kreuziger. No sign of Svitsou from HTC...


No reaction as yet from Contador, Nibali or Kreuziger. The trio have about 6 seconds.


ATTACK: Now it's Scarponi's turn, who breaks clear and takes Rujano and Anton with him.


ATTACK: Rujano jumps clear of the peloton! Anton tries to follow with Contador and it comes back together. Both Weening and Sarmiento are caught.


It's Didi the Devil! But the Tour mascot is entirely decked out in pink, but for his red horns... Weening can't believe his eyes, double takes, and then sees Sarmiento speed away.


Weening looks pretty tidy out there, but it will take a monumental ride for him to stay out - especially once the attacks start coming from the main GC riders.


Weening and Sarmiento have dropped Kiserlovski and are riding about 35 seconds ahead of the peloton.


ATTACK: Dutchman Pieter Weening rides clear of the remaining escapees in pursuit of Kiserlovski.


Some of the breakaway riders are now being swept up and passed by the streamlined peloton. Garzelli is right up there with two Acqua & Sapone team-mates. Behind, there's Le Mevel and a Garmin-Cervelo team-mate. Arroyo is there for Movistar. Scarponi too. And Nibali and Kreuziger. And there's Contador, tucked in about 15 back.


Oddly enough, Contador is not that near the front of the peloton at the moment...


Kiserlovski has 40 seconds on the chasing group and 1:25 over the peloton. The rain is getting heavier.


Mountains jersey Filippo Savini has been dropped. He won't be in green tonight.


It's Liquigas and Colnago on the front now. The heavens are beginning to open. Not nice conditions for riding, that's for sure. Kiserlovski still out alone.


Farnese Vini pair Oscar Gatto and Matteo Rabottini have already been dropped by the peloton.


The Grossglockner is rather tough. The first portion to Kasereck has an average gradient of 6.3% over 13.6km before there's a false flat and then a final 4.5km climb to the finish which averages at more than 10%. There are some sections of the climb as steep as 14% so expect fireworks.


Contador has a slight mechanical problem then. He sinked to the back of the bunch and adjusted his brakes and left pedal before returning to the front.


Euskaltel still punishing themselves by leading the chase from the peloton. The Saxo Bank team of race leader Alberto Contador must be most pleased. The gap to Kiserlovski is now 2:22 as the Croatian passes the 20-to-go banner.


Kiserlovski hits the rain - not what you want to see just before a final climb to the finish.


The peloton is riding at 3:07 from the lone leader Kiserlovski, who has 1:03 over the chasing group. It's still the orange men of Euskaltel on the front. News in that both Daniele Appollonio (Sky) and Martin Kohler (BMC) have thrown in the towel.


There's a long 20km drag before the final climb to Grosslockner and so the Astana man will find it tricky to stay out ahead.


Dicey descending by Kiserlovski, who is hunched forward over his handlebars. One slip and it's curtains when you're like that.


Euskaltel still setting the pace. The fifth orange rider slows to put on another jersey in anticipation of the cold descent. They pass under the 40-to-go banner... and then a bit later the summit, 3:43 down on lone leader Kiserlovski.


Double Movistar attack from the leaders: that has split the 15-man group but may be the shock they need - Kiserlovski has passed over the summit with a 49 second advantage.


Surprise from the peloton: Liquigas climbing super domestique Sylvester Szmyd has been dropped. That will be a blow for Vincenzo Nibali. Apparently Szmyd has been feeling under the weather in this year's Giro. Back with the leaders, Kiserlovski is still out ahead by about 15 seconds.


No action from the pack as yet, the main players clearly waiting until the final ascent to Grossglockner before revealing their hands. It's pretty torrid at the finish today: the clouds are grey, rain is falling in fits and bursts, the temperature is just 8 degrees - and there's still snow in patches on the side of the mountain.


RadioShack's Manuel Cardoso is also suffering off the back. This is precisely why the likes of Cavendish and Petacchi called it a day after yesterday's final flat stage...


Sky's Russell Downing is already suffering on this climb. The Brit has been dropped by the peloton.


ATTACK: Astana's Robert Kiserlovski goes on a solo break as soon as the leaders his the second category Iselsbergpass. The Croatian rider has a bad day a couple of days back, falling and chipping two teeth. Team-mate Kreuziger will like knowing that he has support further up the road.


The host broadcaster is not showing the time gaps today, annoyingly, but it's still around three minutes we're informed. Euskaltel still lead the chasing peloton, with Saxo Bank and Lampre tucked in nicely.


Quick Step's Kristof Vandewalle is riding well in the front group, despite bandages on his left arm and a big plaster across his chin. The Belgian must have been involved in one of those spills yesterday.


With the weekend's stages really hard, it's unlikely that the main protagonists will go hell for leather today. Saturday's stage 14 features the controversial Crostis descent and finishes atop the Zoncolan, while Sunday features the dreaded Fedaia, the race's highest peak in the Giau and a summit finish at Val di Fassa.


The hard work done by Euskaltel on the front of the peloton has seen the lead dropped to 3:15. The Basque boys in Orange clearly preparing the ground for their man Igor Anton, who is lurking just over two minutes down on the GC.


The leaders are approaching the second climb of the day, the third category Gailbergsattel.


CRASH: HTC's Frantisek Rabon and a Quick Step rider hit the deck from the peloton. Rabon looks ok, but Kevin Seeldrayers takes a bit of time before getting up off the tarmac.


Lastras is still wolfing down some of his lunch as he checks over his shoulder to see where his pursuers are. He looks pretty serene - he's clearly not looking to ride solo on to the next climb. Ah, here they are. Lastras is back with the other 15 escapees.


Lastras has a lead but it looks like he's sitting up to wait for the others. Liquigas, Androni and Euskaltel are busy leading the peloton down the back of the mountain.


Lastras built up a little lead with that attack for the points and he's descending solo at the moment. Three Euskaltel riders are on the front of the peloton, which is riding at 4:10 from the leaders.


At the summit of the Passo di Monte Croce it's Lastras who takes the points ahead of Spezialetti and Weening. An Euskaltel rider has just jumped the peloton. Time gap coming up.


The two men from Movistar - Lastras and Samoilau - are driving the pace on the front of the leading group. Back in the bunch, Saxo Bank have things under control.


Good call from 'lEmpereur' below in the comment section: Geox's Rafael Valls­ Ferri could well be one to watch today - he's in that leading group and he's not a bad climber at all. Him and Weening could drop the others on the climbs...


The leading group of 16 riders are onto the lower slopes of the second category Passo do Monti. The gap is 4:45.


Some interesting names in the leading group. Belgian Vandewalle has been quite prevalent in this year's race, often cropping up in breaks. Weening has worn the maglia rosa and Vicioso won that fateful stage 3 the day Wouter Weylandt passed away. Nordhaug has been busy for Sky of late, while both Nocentini and Hoogerland have had their moments in the limelight.


Group in full: Pablo Lastras (MOV), Pieter Weening (RAB), Robert Kiserlovski (AST), Cayetano Sarmiento (ASA), Rafael Valls (GEO), Branislau Samoilau (MOV), Alberto Losada (KAT), Angel Vicioso (AND), Craig Lewis (THR), Lars Petter (SKY), Andrea Noe (FAR), Johnny Hoogerland (VCD), Rinaldo Nocentini (ALM), Kristof Vandewalle (QST), Cameron Meyer (GRM), Alessandro Spezialetti (LAM). They have 3:40 over the peloton.


The lead is creeping up to the three-minute mark as the riders approach the intermediate sprint before today's first climb.


ATTACK: 16 riders finally break out of the peloton. They include former pink jersey Pieter Weening (Rabobank), stage three winner Angel Vicioso (Androni) and oft-futile breakaway specialist Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil). The best placed rider is Pablo Lastras (Movistar) who is 6:58 down on Contador on the GC.


Yesterday, maglia rosa Alberto Contador was awarded a pink accordion at the start of stage 12. Why? Well, read the latest Blazin' Saddles blog and find out more...


It may be sunny at the start in Italy, but we're hearing reports of rain and wind at the finish in Austria...


So, who are your tips for today's stage? Send in your suggestions, with good reasons, below. The chap who suggested this was an ideal day for Petacchi was clearly jesting... but he may have a point about Rujano - he could shine on the Grossglockner. Oh, and finally, apologies for the comment about the Grossglockner being the second highest mountain in the Alps. It is, by only in terms of prominence.


No movement in the peloton as yet, the 180 riders keen to conserve some energy before the leg-sapping climbs begin.


So, yesterday Britain's Mark Cavendish won his second stage in the Giro with a trademark dash into the streets of Ravenna. It was the last thing he would do before bidding adieu to the race and hopping on a plane back to the UK.


To clarify, the Grossglockner is Austria's tallest mountain - and the second largest (by prominence) in the whole of the Alps (after Mont Blanc). It's 3,798m above sea level - although the riders will not reach the summit today, stopping instead at 2,137m. The climb is used regularly in the Tour od Austria but it has not been covered by the Giro for 40 years.


And they're off! 180 riders took to the start, with surprisingly just six withdrawals: Mark Cavendish (HTC), Mark Renshaw (HTC), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), Danilo Hondo (Lampre), Manuel Belletti (Colnago) and Francisco Ventoso (Movistar).


Following the longest non-rest day transfer in this year's Giro, the remaining riders swap the beaches of the Adriatic coast for the mountains of the Italian Eastern Alps. After an opening category two climb in Italy, the race heads into Austria for two climbs (a third catergory and a second category) before taking on the highest mountain in Austria, the Grossglockner. It's going to be pretty tough... Action due to start at 11:45 GMT.


Stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia sees the riders - minus all the sprinters who left the race last night - head into the Dolomites in Northern Italy for a testing 167km slog which ends atop the first category Grossglockner in Austria.