17/05/13 - 09:55
Busseto - Cherasco
Giro d'Italia • Stage13

Busseto - Cherasco
Giro d'Italia - 17 May 2013

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 09:55 on 17 May 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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No change at the top of the general classification - but that will not be the case tomorrow, with the first of two back-to-back mountain stages in the Alps.


Result: 1. Cavendish, 2. Nizzolo, 3. Mezgec, 4. Lancaster, 5. Viviani.


Nizzolo of RadioShack was second and Mezgec third.


Victory for Mark Cavendish - his fourth of the race and 101st of his career.


Cannondale open it up but it's the red jersey of Mark Cavendish who powers through - but Nizzolo is going strong...


Final kilometre - and it's going to be a bunch sprint.


Caruso is caught. Cannondale, GreenEdge and OPQS are all there.


Katusha have really ridden an aggressive race - but it won't work today.


Now the teams of the sprinters have moved forward to the front. Caruso has just eight seconds and it's a long and flat run into the finish from here on.


Caruso's going solo as he passes the 5-to-go banner. The peloton is closing in on the other leaders, with Astana controlling the pace for race leader Vincenzo Nibali. Caruso has 15 seconds over the pack.


The Euskaltel rider in the front group is Azanza. He's riding very aggressively. But it's Caruso who puts in a big dig and leaps ahead. They're all attacking each other and there's no organisation.


Just six out ahead now as Caruso has a dig. The gap is pretty small now as Saxo-Tinkoff come to the front as well to help out OPQS. Perhaps Daniele Bennati is feeling good today.


We're onto the final uncategorised hill before the run into the finish. The peloton have caught one of the Vini men - Rabottini.


Some of the leading riders are already looking over their shoulders. The second Vini man is Rabbotini. Katusha's Caruso is here, as is Movistar's Herrada Lopez.


Quite a few of the sprinters - including Goss, Ferrari and Modolo - have been tailed off by the pack. Oscar Gatto is one of the Vini Fantini men in the break - he's a danger man.


The chase by OPQS is fast and furious, with Cavendish in the red jersey tucked in back in fifth position. The nine leaders have 12 seconds over the main pack.


Lastras sits up and is joined by the counter attackers, which include one of his Movistar team-mates. There's a bit of confusion. The peloton is only riding at about 10 seconds.


Cavendish is riding very well as his OPQS men combine to lead the chase. The gap is very small because of their efforts.


Numerous riders are trying to latch on to the Vini Fantini counter - with riders from Euskaltel, Katusha and Movistar. They join Bongiorno and Veuchelen. Bak too, who has been caught. Just Lastras ahead now.


Bongiorno is joined by Vacansoleil-DCM's Frederik Veuchelen. They pass Boem. Then two Vini Fantini riders attack from the main pack. On the front, Lastras has dropped Bak.


The leaders pass through the vineyards of Barolo with an advantage of 25 seconds. Moments after Nicola Boem pops, his Bardiani Valvole team-mate Francesco Bongiorno, a first year pro, attacks from the peloton.


We're on to one of those uphill climbs and Alessandro Proni attacks for Vini Fantini. But then he looks behind him, gesticulates, and drops back. He had opened up a gap - but was either told by his DS Luca Scinto that he wasn't the right man, or had expected some of his team-mates to follow his wheel.


The gap is back up to 43 seconds for the three leaders, but you still wouldn't fancyu their chances. Elia Viviani is surrounded by his Cannondale team-mates - he's still in the hunt for a win in the race. Vini Fantini are near the front too and will no doubt try to attack on one of those small climbs before the finish.


The gap is still 22 seconds for the leading trio but it's all immaterial - they won't be able to stay out ahead. Remember, there are still a couple of uphill digs before the finish so you can expect some counter attacks from riders who'll wish to spoil the sprinters' party.


Many riders were tailed off on that climb - and then the peloton fragmented further on that long descent. Reports coming in that Matt Goss is not with the main pack. The Australian is having a torrid Giro - and GreenEdge may now have to ride for Brett Lancaster for the final.


Lastras leads the three escapees under the 30km-to-go banner as they reach the bottom of the descent. They have 22 seconds over the peloton, which is being led by OPQS. You have to say, Mark Cavendish looks very much a safe bet for the win today.


The trio have 25 seconds on the peloton on this long and fast descent. There are some tight bends but also some long straights meaning the pace is getting quite quick.


Nicola Boem crosses the summit in pole position ahead of Bak and Lastras. Stefano Pirazzi attacks from the pack to take the final point in the KOM competition to consolidate his lead in the blue jersey standings.


The peloton has really strung out on this long climb. Still it's Nicola Boem who sets the pace on the front, jumping out of the saddle frequently to dance his ways up the hill as Lastras poker faces in his wake and Bak grimaces in pain. Back with the pack, it's Vini and Androni who are throwing down the hammer.


It's come back together in the peloton, but the pace is hard. Cavendish is holding on and still in the reckoning. There are just three of the initial break still out ahead, with youngster Boem dicatating the pace with old boys Bak and Lastras in his wheel. The gap is 32 seconds.


Former pink jersey Luca Paolini and team-mate Giampaolo Caruso are amongst the riders to join Garzelli and Rosa. There's another Vini man too - it's Alessandro Proni.


This attack from Garzelli has provokled a reaction from the peloton, with numerous riders combining to chase them down. One of those is Stefano Pirazzi, the blue jersey, who clearly thinks he can get some KOM points in this, the only categorised climb of the day.


Back in the peloton, there's an attack from Vini Fantini's Stefano Garzelli and Diego Rosa of Androni Giocattoli. Garzelli and Hondo are the two oldest men in the peloton - and Lastras must be right up there - so it's an attack of the oldies today.


We're onto the Cat.3 Tre Cuni climb, which has an average gradient of 5%. Nicola Boem has a pop - and that has angered both Lastras and Bak, who have a word with the young Italian once they return onto his back wheel. The gap is only one minute back to the peloton.


The peloton trail the leading seven riders by just 1:14 as they pass through the second intermediate sprint, which was won by again by Andriato. The Brazilian has now done the double in the sprints - for what it's worth.


The riders are now entering the city of Alba, renowned for its truffles and hazelnuts. It is also the home of Nutella, which was first sold in 1964. Hondo should really be having a Nutella sarnie over an energy gel...


Danilo Hondo is about to pop an energy gel. He has it in his mouth and is ready to tear it open with his teeth, but he just needs to use both hands on this winding descent. He and Bak are right at the tail end of the break. The gap is just 1:32 for the escapees.


A couple of Colombia riders go down in the peloton after running into the back of a Saxo rider on a right bend just after the top of this climb. Nothing too serious. The peloton is now zipping down the descent, 1:45 down on the leading septet.


Bike change for Yuri Trofimov of Katusha on this climb. The Russian has a couple of team-mates to help him back to the peloton, including stage nine winner Maxim Belkov. Trofimov is the best placed rider from Katusha in the overall standings, 6:08 down in 15th.


Brazil's Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini) won the intermediate sprint at Castagnole delle Lanze and the riders are now on an uncategorised hill ahead of the second intermediate sprint.


A reminder of the seven leaders who once held a 13-minute lead over the pack, but now just have two minutes to play with: Germany's Danilo Hondo (RadioShack), Spain's Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Sweden's Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos Shimano), Denmark's Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol), Italians Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole) and Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli) and Brazilian Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini).


The umbrellas are coming up at the finish in Cherasco as one of those scattered showers on the forecast decides to strike. But the riders are still riding under blue skies and bright sun.


GreenEdge and Omega Pharma-Quick Step back on the front of the peloton. The peloton is quite strung out at the moment - in fact, the front is all in single file and the pace is high. While the sun is out, it's much more windy today so the GC favourites will have to be careful not to get caught out in a split today.


The seven leaders are on the first hill before the run down to the first intermediate sprint. Pablo Lastras effortlessly pulls clear of the other escapees and then, after turning around, realises he has left them for dead, so he eases up and waits for them to rejoin. That was interesting.


After all those pan-flat kilometres, the road is now entering some lumpy terrain. The gap is three minutes.


The gap was clearly coming down too quickly and the teams of the sprinters have eased off considerably. The last they want is a counter attack and another, stronger, break forming off the front - especially seeing that we still have over two hours of racing left. 3:45 is the latest lead.


Maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali is enjoying a laugh with some of the Lampre boys, plus Dario Cataldo of Sky. They're probably just happy to be applying sun cream again and not covering up with rain jackets. The pace has slowed a bit as the peloton regroups. The break is now 3:20 up the road.


The lead for the escapees is down to 2:45 as the peloton splits in two once again. The pace is so high - but at least the sun is back out here in north Italy. It's quite a novelty to see blue sky and dry roads.


CRASH: Jack Bobridge (Blanco) and Johan Le Bon (FDJ) tangle at the back of the pack and the Australian hits the deck, leaving his bike attached to the back of the Frenchman's steed. Le Bon manages to stay on his feet but Bobridge is holding his wrist and looks to be in a bit of pain.


Brilliant stuff by Omega Pharma-Quick Step who clearly want to see their man to a 101th win before he probably calls it a day. Although, with the red jersey on his shoulders, Mark Cavendish may choose to grit his teeth through the mountains in the hope of a win in Breschia. The lead of the break is down to four minutes now.


The echelon that formed in the peloton has been neutralised and now the pack rides as one, just 5:40 down on the break. It looks like they will reel the leaders back in - perhaps on that Cat.3 climb 40km from the finish.


Having held a maximum advantage of 13 minutes over the peloton, the break has seen their lead whittled down to 6:30. The pace is so high in the peloton that it has split in two, with a second group riding 20 seconds down.


The riders have passed through the feeding zone and the peloton clearly mean business with some strong pulling on the front of the pack. The advantage of the seven escapees is coming down pretty fast.


CRASH: Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) crashes in the peloton. Michele Scarponi's mountain lieutenant is currently 7th on GC, 3:35 down on Vincenzo Nibali. He's back on his bike and with the pack without too much ado.


It will be interesting to see how today's stage pans out. OPQS, GreenEdge and Cannondale will want to bring it together for a bunch sprint - especially seeing this will be the last chance before many of the remaining fast men retire from the race. Lars Bak has the power and experience to win it from the break, but he'll need to solo off the front because Hondo and Andriato are the dangermen if it comes to a sprint. Perhaps Bak will combine with his fellow Scandinavian Ludvigsson on the climbs...


The rain has stopped, which is a bonus for the riders on this, the longest stage of the 96th edition of La Corsa Rosa. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Orica-GreenEdge teams of Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss have come to the front of the peloton to lead the chase. Cavendish is seeking his fourth win today and Goss his first. The Australian has been rather disappointing so far. The advantage of the break is now just the 10 minutes - so the pack has its work cut out.


Of the escapees, both Ludvigsson and Ermeti have already been involved in breakaways during this year's Giro. Androni have been particularly active - as have Vini Fantini - but still no wins for both Pro Continental outfits from Italy. Bardiani Valvole, on the other hand, have that victory through Enrico Battaglin. The fourth wildcard team, Colombia, have attacked a lot but to little end. They have no rider in the break but will look to make an impression in the high mountains.


The only Brazilian in the race, Rafael Andriato is a 25-year-old sprinter who has quite a kick - which should serve him well if this comes down to a group finish for these escapees. The Vini Fantini rider is riding his debut Giro and is still in search of his first European win as a professional.


The second Italian in this break, 32-year-old Giairo Ermeti is a track specialist riding his fourth Giro. The Androni rider is still looking for that elusive major win as a professional - although he has a cluster of minor wins from back in 2004.


That said, Tobias Ludvigsson was just 10 years old! The Swede is also riding his debut Giro d'Italia. The 22 year old is a good climber and a good time triallist, which will serve him well on today's parcours. The question is - how good is his sprint? The gap is down to 12:25 for the seven leaders.


Italian youngster Nicola Boem, 23, is riding his debut Giro d'Italia in his first year as a full professional at Bardiani Valvole. He was just 11 years old when Hondo and Lastras last won stages on the Giro.


A huge 13 minutes now for the seven leaders: Germany's Danilo Hondo (RadioShack), Spain's Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Sweden's Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos Shimano), Denmark's Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol), Italians Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole) and Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli) and Brazilian Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini).


The second intermediate sprint today is held at the town of Alba. It was here that the Ferrero company, founded in 1946, invented a cream of hazelnuts and cocoa to be spread on bread. The recipe was later modified and called Nutella, which was first sold in 1964. No guesses what will be in the sandwiches at the feeding zone today...


The gap is up to 12 minutes and so the chances are that this break will stay out all the way. Movistar (Dowsett), Argos Shimano (Degenkolb), Lotto Belisol (Hansen) and Bardiani (Battaglin) all have wins so far in the race. But RadioShack, Vini Fantini and Androni Giocattoli - the other three teams represented in this break - are still in search of the elusive scalp.


Lars Bak is not the only rider in this group to have tasted glory on the Giro. Germany's Danilo Hondo - the second oldest man in the race at 39 - won back-to-back stages in the 2001 race while riding for Team Telekom. Although given Hondo's history - plus the team he was riding for - you do have to question those victories. Spaniard Pablo Lastras also won a stage in 2001. The Movistar man is one of a select group of riders to have notched wins on all three Grand Tours in his career.


The gap is up to 10 minutes now and it's looking good for the break. But remember how long this stage is - there's still 185km to go, that's 50km longer than yesterday's entire stage.


It looks like this break is here to stick: their advantage is up to nine minutes. Danish rider Lars Bak said he's go on the attack today - and he's kept to his word. He won a stage in last year's Giro. Can he double up?


The average speed for the first hour of the stage was a fast 48.5kmh which is why it took quite a while for this break to form. 187 riders took to the start in Busseto - the birthtown of the famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It's the bicentenary of Verdi's birth this year so there's cause for celebration.


Just the one climb today and so there will be little or no change in the king of the mountains competition, which is about to hot up with the Alpine double bill over the weekend. Stefano Pirazzi is currently wearing the blue jersey. The Italian from Bardiani Valvole has 46 points with Jackson Rodrigurz (Androni) on 26 points and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) on 23.


Rafael Andriato is the only Brazilian in the Giro and he's probably feeling extra motivated today because the finish town of Cherasco sounds very much like 'Churrasco' - the Brazilian word for a meat barbeque. In fact, Eurosport's erstwhile cycling blogger Blazin' Saddles predicted an attack from Andriato today in his rest day round-up earlier in the week...


The gap is growing fast for the seven escapees: 3'40 after about 45km of racing.


The leaders have been joined by two more riders: Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli) and Rafael Andriato (Vini Fantini).


The Astana team of maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali will not be too concerned about the composition of the five-man break: Hondo is the best-placed rider on GC, but the German veteran is over 1hr 20mins down on the Italian.


BREAK: Danilo Hondo (RadioShack), Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos Shimano), Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol) and Nicola Boem (Bardiani Valvole) have edged clear of the peloton.


Numerous riders have tried to form a break so far but nothing has stuck. With his victory yesterday Mark Cavendish moved back into the red points jersey. Here's the top five in that competition: 1. Cavendish 83pts, 2. Evans 73pts, 3. Viviani 60pts, 4. Belkov 55pts, 5. Uran 53pts. Although the last stage of the race is flat, you'd think the likes of Cavendish and Viviani might well withdraw from the race ahead of the weekend - making today's finish their last chance of a(nother) win.


CRAZY STAT: Rigoberto Uran is the only rider in the top 50 to have won a stage so far in the race. Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani Valvole) is 52nd on GC and he won stage four. CORRECTION: Following Hesjedal and Wiggins's withdrawl, Battaglin is 50th.


With Wiggins out of the equation the whole dynamic at both Sky and in the race in general changes. Rigoberto Uran looked very strong in the mountains on Tuesday and he will heap the pressure on both Nibali and Evans this weekend in the Alps. Sky must be ruing their decision to send both him and Colombian team-mate Sergio Henao back to help pace Wiggins back after he was tailed off towards the end of stage four last week. Uran lost about a minute in those bizarre scenes...


Like yesterday - and most days bar the opening weekend in Naples and Ischia - the weather is foul. Rain pours from the grey clouds - although the temperature is quite high at 16 degrees Celsius. In short, this is not the kind of weather you want to be riding in should you be carrying an illness. It's no surprise that Wiggins has packed his bags.


Today's stage is very similar to the Milan-San Remo classic in that there is a long stretch of flat riding in which not very much will happen before a succession of hills, including the punchy Cat.3 Tre Cuni climb, which is followed by a steep and sinuous descent.


Wiggins and Hesjedal are not the only riders to call it a day. Last night, after finishing runner-up to stage winner Cavendish, French National Champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) quit the race. Bouhanni has had a difficult race and has failed to impose himself on the sprints. He has often incurred the wrath of his opponents for his aggressive style - and yesterday he was involved in an incident with Sacha Modolo in the finale.


The longest stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia is under way!


Italian favourite Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) still holds a 41-second lead over the Australian veteran Cadel Evans (BMC) on GC, with Rigoberto Uran (Sky) in third at 2:04. After Wiggins' time loss yesterday, Robert Gesink (Blanco) moved up to fourth place at 2:12 while Michele Scarponi (Lampre) is now fifth, one second further down.


Yesterday, besides all the drama with Bradley Wiggins being tailed off in the rain, Britain's Mark Cavendish secured his 100th professional win in a sodden stage 12 to Treviso. After some expert work by his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mates, the 27-year-old took a fairly straightforward sprint win over French national champion Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) to complete a century of professional scalps as the world's best sprinter.


Wiggins is not the only big-name rider to leave the race: defending champion Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp - who cracked in the first day of the mountains on Tuesday to lose more than 20 minutes - has withdrawn.


The big news today is that Britain's Bradley Wiggins has quit the race due to a chest infection. Wiggins was dropped by the main pack in the last hour of a rain lashed stage 12 on Thursday and finished three minutes and 17 seconds back on winner and compatriot Mark Cavendish. Rigoberto Uran is now the designated team leader for Sky.


Welcome to LIVE coverage of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia - the longest of the race at 254km and, perhaps, another chance for the sprinters to take the spoils ahead of a gruelling weekend in the Alps.