20/05/16 - 11:30
Palmanova - Cividale del Friuli
Giro d'Italia • Stage13

Palmanova - Cividale del Friuli

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Here he is... Costa Rica's first ever Grand Tour leader!


But the day belongs to Mikel Nieve, who saved Sky's race with a superb solo win in Cividale del Friuli.


Bob Jungels comes home about 2:15 down so his stint in pink is over. Andrey Amador (Movistar) is the new race leader.


Vincenzo Nibali beats Alejandro Valverde in a sprint for third place - and takes the remaining four bonus seconds that sees him leapfrog the Spaniard in the overall standings. They're about 1:17 down on Nieve.


Giovanni Visconti crosses the line 44 seconds down for second place.


Spain's Mikel Nieve has time to sit up and celebrate as he crosses the line to take the second Giro stage win of his career.


Under the flamme rouge for Mikel Nieve of Team Sky...


Nieve will surely win this unless he gets a puncture or comes off. The Spaniard has 50 seconds on Visconti and 1:45 over the Nibali/Valverde group. Jungels rides a further 45 seconds back.


Jungels now has some help in Gianluca Brambilla, his Etixx team-mate. But will it be enough to close the gap?


Amador has been dropped by the main group ahead of the summit but he's fought back on during this descent. They're now on the flat - the question is whether or not Jungels manages to catch them before the finish...


Nieve has 54 seconds on Visconti and 1:54 on the main GC favourites. The important gap to monitor will be the one between Amador and Jungels.


This is such a steep and narrow descent - the pace never gets too high because of the technicalities.


The pack of main favourites cross the summit two minutes down - and bravo Zakarin, the Russian has managed to latch back on. Jungels then comes over with Hesjedal and Atapuma - they're 47 seconds down on the other GC favourites so, as it is, Amador will be the new race leader.


Nieve crests the summit and he has 58 seconds to play with over Visconti. It's looking good for the Sky rider.


Huge acceleration by Nibali to put his rivals in pressure! Zakarin is dropped - he can't stand these changes of pace.


Scarponi and Fuglsang are back on the front of this main pack, driving the pace for Nibali. Meanwhile, Nieve continues on his way. He still has 40 seconds as he approaches the summit and should be able to hold on, provides he doesn't crash on the descent.


Jungels has now joined forces with Atapuma and Hesjdal as they dig deep 2km from the summit. The Luxembourg youngster may be in white tomorrow having lost his pink jersey to Amador. He only trails the Nibali group by 20 seconds though, at the moment, so don't discount him just yet.


Visconti is 40 seconds down on lone leader Nieve.


Amador and Uran have managed to claw their way back. Pozzovivo has been dropped and Jungels is still distanced.


Now Valverde takes it up... and then NIBALI ATTACKS! He opens a small gap but it them comes back together. Jungels is well and truly gone now, but so has Uran and Amador. Zakarin has fought back on. Kruijswijk, Chaves, Majka, Pozzovivo and Formolo are all here too, as is Fuglsang.


Back with the chasers, Montaguti has been caught and passed by Visconti and Dombrowski. They trail Nieve by 50 seconds. Now Visconti rides clear and leaves the other two to join forces.


Esteban Chaves takes it up in the main pack - this is the first time we've seen the Colombian from Orica-GreenEdge on the offensive. And the pink jersey has been dropped as a result...


We're onto the final climb of the day now, the Cat.2 ascent of Valle (6km at an average gradient of 8.5%). Nieve has 50 seconds now over his pursuers and 2:15 on the pink jersey group.


Montaguti has caught and passed Visconti and Dombrowski on the descent. Remember, he finished second in Arezzo on the day Gianluca Brambilla won and moved into pink.


Nieve has 30 seconds over the two chasers, Visconti and Dombrowski, and 2:30 on the pack.


Ryder Hesjedal. the 2012 winner, has rejoined this main pack on the descent having been tailed off on the climb.


Amador is really piling on the pressure on the descent, but Nibali has his back wheel - and then pulls through in front. But they're not making any headway on their rivals, who are behind in a long line.


Amador puts in a dig and he's followed by Nibali. They're in single file on this twisting, narrow road, which cuts through dense woodland. It's going to be an aggressive downhill, for sure.


Scarponi leads the pack over the summit 2:25 down on lone leader Nieve. Now for the descent...


Damiano Cunego crosses the summit around 54 seconds back, so he's still in the mix.


Boaro has been caught now by the pack, who are picking off these escapees one by one. Amador is back with Valverde on the front. And Nieve passes over the summit. He has about 27 seconds on his two pursuers, with Visconti talking the points for second place ahead of Dombrowski.


Bob Jungels is on the back of this main pack alongside Amador, Pozzovivo and Hubert Dupont. He's digging deep to hold on... De Marchi has been caught by the pack, whiel Visconti and Dombrowski are together in pursuit of Nieve.


Kangert has dropped back for Astana now, so they have three on the front - Nibali, Scarponi and Fuglsang. All the big favourites are here: Chaves, Kruijswijk, Zakarin, Majka, Uran, Pozzovivo, Amador and Jungels... but the maglia rosa has no team-mates now and will be put under big pressure on the next climb and the two descents.


Nicolas Roche (Sky) has been dropped from the main pack - but Mikel Nieve still rides clear on the front of the race, with now Visconti his closest pursuer.


Nieve sets the tempo on the front with the young American, Dombrowski, his jersey unzipped, following as best as he can. They have Visconti in pursuit. And Dombrowski has now been dropped. Nieve has 2:10 on the pack, which is being led by four Astana riders. All the big guns are there, including Bob Jungels, who is pretty isolated now in pink.


Visconti, Clarke, Henao and Cunego ride in pursuit of Nieve and Dombrowski. No, it's not Clarke - he's just been caught by the pack. So that must mean Moser has dropped back after his initial attack.


Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) leads the chase on Moser from the break, with Dombrowski right on his wheel. Sky really need to salvage something from this disaster of a Giro of theirs.


Meanwhile, it's Astana who drive the pace in the pack of main favourites through Scarponi, with Nibali in his wheel. They have Alejandro Valverde just behind, and then another Astana rider, Jakob Fuglsang, a few riders further back with Tanel Kangert.


Moreno Moser (Cannondale) makes the first attack from the break - and that's because the gap has come down to just one minute for the escapees.


We're onto the Cat.1 Cima Porzus climb which has an average gradient of 8.9% and peaks at 16% two kilometres from the top.


I think there are two more riders in this break: Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx-QuickStep), and Alexandr Kolobnev (Gazprom-RusVelo).


Here's the make up of this leading group, which has 3:15 over the peloton ahead of the next two climbs: Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Ilya Koshevoy (Lampre-Merida), Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Simon Clarke (Cannondale), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Jose Joaquim Rojas (Movistar), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Stefan Denifl (IAM), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r La Mondiale), Johan Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Jaco Venter (Dimension Data), Damiano Cunego (Nippo Vini-Fantini), Grega Bole (Nippo Vini-Fantini), Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sebastian Henao, Mikel Nieve (Team Sky), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff), Matteo Busato (Wilier-Southeast), Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo).


There's no worry - for now - for Bob Jungels or Etixx-QuickStep. He may have lost the virtual maglia rosa but most of that break will be reeled in once the climbs get going. That said, if the Luxembourger is still in the race lead tonight then that will be a big, big performance from the 23-year-old.


The riders cross the finish line at Cividale del Friuli for the first time ahead of an undulating lap that takes in a couple of large climbs before the finish. The gap is 2:52 for the 24 leaders, so Ulissi is back in the virtual maglia rosa.


The riders have passed through the feedzone at Ponte San Querino but there's no time to eat - the race is on and this break's advantage is coming down fast. It's now just 2:15 for the 25-odd riders in this lead group.


Perhaps Denifl sat up because his work for the day was done - after all, he's made history out there...


The gap is down to 2:30 for the break and so Ulissi is no longer the virtual maglia rosa. They're coming to the end of the long, twisting descent - and so far no one has come a cropper. Although Denifl did stop mysteriously and let the break re-absorb him.


Bizarre: Stefan Denifl pulls up and waits for the escapees. What's that all about? Must have been team orders - or perhaps he didn't like riding these descents on his own?


Diego Ulissi is the virtual maglia rosa. The Italian, already with two stage wins in this Giro, is 2:47 down on leader Bob Jungels on GC - and the break has around 2:50 over the pack at the moment, with Denifl almost two minutes further up the road.


Etixx and LottoNL-Jumbo lead the 60-strong pack over the summit of this Cat.2 climb to Crai. They're 4:05 down on the lone leader, Stefan Denifl.


Over the top goes Denifl and that's two from two for the Austrian, who's riding up the blue jersey points standings. Talking of which, Cunego has placed himself in the wheel of the Lampre trio on front of the chasing group. He opens up the sprint - Visconti latches on - they go shoulder to shoulder - and it's the Italian who just takes second place. So that's 1-1 between the pair - although, thankfully, this time no one crashed.


Denifl is approaching the summit of the climb to Crai, which is right on the border with Slovenia. He has 1:30 on the chasing group.


There are four Slovenians in the race riding very close to home today: Luka Mezgec (who memorable won in Trieste in front of home fans a couple of years ago), Primoz Roglic (winner of the Chianti time trial), Matej Mohoric (who's in the break and has been described as "too intelligent to be a pro cyclist") and Grega Bole (who is also in this break).


Denifl has managed to increase his lead again on the climb - he certainly prefers going up to going down. The Austrian has 1:15 on the break and 3:30 on the Etixx-led pack. They've completed the steep section of this climb and hit that section which includes some downhills and false flats before the final rise to the summit.


The flame-haired Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) is also in this break - and he's a local lad from the area, so will be extra motivated. Meanwhile, Sacha Modolo of Lampre-Medira - who was in the break - is about to be caught by the pack, which is now three minutes behind the lone leader, Stefan Denifl of IAM Cycling.


Cannondale also have Joe Dombrowski in this break alongside Clarke and Moser. The trio in green are tucked behind Lampre's trio in pink and fuschia - Ulissi, Koshevoy and Mohoric.


Carlos Betancur is struggling in this climb and has been dropped by the breakaway, which is now being driven by that Lampre-Merida trio.


We're onto the second categorised climb of the day, the Cat.2 ascent to Crai, which is a tale of two halves: the first one is pretty gruelling, peaking out at a maximum of 16%. The second half is pretty leisurely - a series of false flats at an average of 3.6%.


Etixx-QuickStep are still leading the chase in the peloton, with four riders - including Jungels, the maglia rosa - on the front and ahead of Movistar's Alejandro Valverde.


Denifl continues to ride his luck - he's overcooking many of these bands and almost overruns into a wall on that hairpin. His nerves are playing a big role in his inability to stay out ahead - indeed, the gap is down to 30 seconds now for the Austrian.


Team Sky have three riders in this break - Christian Knees, Seb Henao and Mikel Nieve. They're racing for stages now that Mikel Landa has withdrawn through illness.


Denifl is over the summit and now gingerly negotiating the descent ahead of the next categorised climb. He's not confident on these roads, that for sure. They're very narrow and it will be easier to ride downhill on your own than in a pack, that's for sure.


Cannondale duo Moreno Moser and Simon Clarke are leading the chase in the break ahead of Lampre's three riders - Ulissi, Koshevoy and Mohoric. They trail Denifl by a minute and lead the pack by 50 seconds.


Stefen Denifl almost loses control on the first part of the descent - a reminder of how tricky these corners are. The Austrian lone leader is now on a small uncategorised climb - the Passo di San Martino (2.4km at 7.6%) - which breaks up this descent. Denilf has 1:10 on the chasing group and 1:55 on the pink jersey group.


It wasn't Sutterlin but Gio Visconti, Movistar's Italian climber, who hit the deck. Let's hope he's ok. If it's consolation, he did win the sprint ahead of Cunego... Here's that crash...


CRASH: Cunego bounds clear to take the points for second place but a Movistar rider - probably Sutterlin - latches on and pushes him right to the line. In fact, it looks like the German manages to pip the Italian for second, but it's a tight bend atop a steep ramp and he crashes as soon crosses the line, losing his front wheel and skidding down hard. Cunego slows and shows concern, but there's nothing he can do - and he wasn't to blame. If anything, it was the narrowness of the road and the lurking soigneurs handing out drinks who caused the fall...


Denifl is onto the 15% section near the summit. The road is very narrow and is lined with spectators - including many Slovenians from across the border. In fact, there are more Slovenian flags than any others. The Austrian lone leader crosses the summit and starts the descent.


Movistar clearly trying to unsettle Jungels and Etixx today by throwing so many riders ahead: that have Visconti, Betancur, Rojas and Sutterlin all riding ahead of the pack, in which Valverde and Amador are tucked in behind the Etixx train.


The riders trying to chase down the break are Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Davide Formolo (Cannondale). Gazprom's Alexander Folofonov has also attacked from the Etixx-led peloton, where the maglia rosa Bob Jungels is riding.


One rider in the break with aspirations today is Damiano Cunego, the veteran Italian. He's in the blue mountains jersey and he'll be hoping to add some extra points today to consolidate his lead. As it stands Cunego has 56 points, with Giulio Ciccone, the winner a few days ago, on 27 and that man Wellens on 25.


Austrian Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) has attacked from the break, which has totally disintegrated - with some of the lesser climbing likes such as Demare having been dropped and reabsorbed by the main pack, which itself has fragmented.


We join the race live now on the Cat.1 climb of Montemaggiore and that group has 1:45 over the pack. But it's all sparking into life with more Movistar riders in pursuit of the break, plus Belgian Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) who won a stage earlier in the race. This is an 8km climb but much of the final three quarters of it are above 10% with the gradient peaking at 15% near the summit. The road is narrow and it's entirely wooded, making it quite beautiful to watch.


A big group of 30-odd riders then broke clear ahead of the first climb of the day: Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Davide Malacarne, Andrey Zeits (Astana), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Simon Clarke, Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navardauskas (all Cannondale), Jaco Venter, Johan Van Zyl (both Dimension Data), Matteo Trentin, Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx-QuickStep), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Alexandre Kolobnev (Gazprom - RusVelo), Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling), Diego Ulissi, Ilya Koshevoy, Sacha Modolo, Matej Mohorič (Lampre-Merida), Pim Ligthart (Lot Soudal), Carlos Betancur, Jasha Sütterlin, Joaquim Rojas (Movistar), Grega Bole, Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Bert De Backer (Giant-Alpecin), Enrico Battaglin, Maarten Tjallingi (LottoNL-Jumbo), Sebastian Henao, Christian Knees (Team Sky), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and Matteo Busato (Wilier-Southeast).


Arnaud Demare (FDJ) picked up maximim points at the intermediate sprint. The Frenchman trails Giacomo Nizzolo in the points classification and it's the Italian who's wearing the red jersey today following Greipel's withdrawal yesterday.


This came to nothing and it was back together ahead of the intermediate sprint.


It was a frantic start as numerous riders tried breaking clear before a group of six formed: Blel Kadri (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Alessandro De Marchi and Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Matteo Busato (Wilier Triestina-Southeast).


There was an attack from the first kilometre as Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin) darted off the front, but it came to nothing for the Swede.


Sunny skies as the riders pulled out of Palamanova to get this all-important stage under way.


The two sprinters who came first and second yesterday did not take to the start today: Andre Greipel has pulled out alongside his Lotto Soudal team-mate Jurgen Roelandts, while Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) has also called it a day alongside Nicola Ruffoni of Bardiani-CSF.


Heavy rain dogged the long and uneventful stage in north-east Italy and forced the race organisers to neutralise the finish and take the times for the overall standings at the conclusion of the first of two highly-technical eight-kilometre laps through the centre of the seaside resort. All this means there were no changes on the overall standings, with Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) maintaining his 24-second lead over Costa Rican Andre Amador (Movistar) in the fight for pink.


Yesterday, German veteran Andre Greipel benefited from a flawless Lotto Soudal train to win stage 12 at Bibione – before bidding farewell to the 99th edition of the Giro ahead of the mountains. It was Greipel’s third win in this year's 99th edition of La Corsa Rosa and a record-equalling 20th Grand Tour scalp for Germany.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia as the race hits the mountains with four steep peaks and as many twisting descents in a 170km ride from Palmanova to Cividale del Friuli.