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Giro d'Italia Stage 14: Alberto Contador back in race lead as Vasil Kiryienka wins ITT

Tinkoff-Saxo rider puts nearly three minutes into Fabio Aru to get maglia rosa back.

Alberto Contador, who lost the overall lead in the Giro d'Italia to Astana's Fabio Aru after cashing late on yesterday's stage, is back in the maglia rosa after putting more than two and a half minutes into the Sardinian on today's long individual time trial to Valdobbiadene, won by Team Sky's Vasil Kiryienka.

Contador put in the third fastest time on another rainswept afternoon, covering the 59.4km course, flat in the first half but more challenging later on as it headed into the hills of the Prosecco wine-growing region, in 1:18:06.

Only Kiryienka, who put in a time of 1:17:52, and Astana's Luis Leon Sanchez, 12 seconds back, went faster than the Spaniard, who had held an advantage of 17 seconds at the start of yesterday's Stage 13 but was caught in a crash just before the 3km to go mark.

Aru avoided that crash and as a result took over the race lead - the first time anyone has ever taken a Grand Tour leader's jersey off Contador - but he lost the best part of three minutes to the Tinkoff-Saxo man today.

He now lies second, 2 minutes 28 seconds down, and today's stage, as expected, has created significant gaps in the overall standings. with the closest rider behind him being Andrey Amador of Movistar, 58 seconds further back.

Afterwards, Contador said: "The result is a big surprise for me. I gave it all I had, and paced myself carefully all the way. I was faster than expected over the first part, but I saw that the flags had changed direction, so it was normal. And I overtook Landa before the halfway point.

"I now lead Aru by a good margin, especially after the fall yesterday, but I have to keep my head. The Giro is still long. Today has been a good day for us, and now we’ll take it day by day.

Today marks Kiryienka's third career stage win at the Giro d'Italia, the previous ones coming in 2008 and 2011, both on road stages in the mountains.

On each of those occasions, it was Contador who finished the race on the top step of the podium in Milan, although he would be stripped of the 2011 victory due to his positive test for clenbuterol on the previous year's Tour de France.

The Team Sky rider said: "It was a long, hard, nervous wait for Alberto Contador [to not beat his time]. It was close, but I had a good day, and some luck.

"I knew I’d lose something on the climbs, but it was OK for me. It was grey and wet, but it turned out be a beautiful day for me.

"I’ve waited a long time for a time trial win. Our boss said, this morning, Today we’ll win the time trial - he didn’t say who with. We haven’t had a lucky Giro: we’ve achieved some results here, and we will be in the running in the next GTs."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago

Richie Porte was involved in a crash yesterday and injured one of his knees, this could be the reason for his (relatively) poor show today....that or he's given up on the overall and is going for a stage win so tried to rest up a bit today.

fukawitribe replied to 2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago
2 Wheeled Idiot wrote:

Richie Porte was involved in a crash yesterday and injured one of his knees, this could be the reason for his (relatively) poor show today....that or he's given up on the overall and is going for a stage win so tried to rest up a bit today.

Indeed - he did forego the warm-down yesterday saying "my knee is fucked" - so maybe it was. Or not. Sky also started talking about stage wins rather than the overall. Pity it's gone this way though, much preferred having more people in the fight... the Giro is never dull though, and high mountains to come. It would be a bold move to bet against Bertie there even if Aru and Porte were close but the scenery is going to be stunning so what the hell.

pauldmorgan | 9 years ago

All that talk of Porte regaining time and… nada. He does seem to fall off the pace in the later stages of GTs which is a shame given the promise he shows in shorter stage races.

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