Rigoberto Uran of Team Sky attacked on the first big mountain stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia at Altopiano del Montiasio, with his fellow Colombian Carlos Betancur of AG2R second, some 20 seconds back. However, there will be little cause for celebration at Sky, with Bradley Wiggins losing more than half a minute to rivals including race leader Vincenzo Nibali of Astana, who also picked up bonus seconds for finishing third, 31 seconds behind Uran.
Uran, winner of the best young rider's jersey in last year's Giro, now lies third on GC, 2 minutes 4 seconds behind Nibali and 1 second ahead of Wiggins, and it's possible that Sky may now have to assess whether it's the Colombian - who sacrficed time earlier in the race to help look after his team leader - who may in fact now represent its best challenge to Nibal and Cadel Evans, who remains second, 41 seconds off the lead, for the overall win.
Team Sky had sent Uran, who lay 9th on GC this morning nearly 3 minutes off the race lead, up ahead on the climb to the first big summit finish of this year's race, the Altopiano del Montiaso, and the Colombian rode off to what would be a convincing victory, but the big drama was happening in the GC group behind.
Hitting the toughest part of that ascent, which lasted about a kilometre or so and had a gradient hitting 20 per cent at its maximum, the GC group was split apart with Wiggins losing contact with rivals including Nibali and BMC Racing's Cadel Evans. Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp had already been dropped on the day's first big climb, the Passo Canson di Lanza, his title defence over as he lost more than 20 minutes by the end of the stage.
Sky had been in control of the stage as the road headed upwards for the final 21.5km towards the summit finish this afternoon, and in scenes reminiscent of Wiggins’ successful Tour de France campaign last year set the tempo at the front of the GC group as the final members of a 14-man group that had formed earlier on in the stage were picked off.
The final escapees, who had struggled to get away with the opening hour of the 167-koilometre stage from Cordenons ridden at a blistering pace, were swept up with 10km to go, just before Uran launched his attack.
With Kanstantsin Siustou having put in a huge turn at the front of the GC group now handing over to Dario Cataldo, and Nibali only having Valerio Agnoli at his service among his Astana team mates, it seemed that the advantage was with Wiggins.
An intermediate sprint point just before the hardest part of the climb saw Nibali jump ahead of the GC group to lead it across and take bonus seconds, and as the gradient increased, Wiggins, as well as Blanco’s Robert Gesink, began to fall off the back as AG2R’s Domenico Pozzovivo upped the pace and threatened to get clear.
In fact it was his team mate Betancur who got away in pursuit of Uran, taking second place for the second stage in a row, although unlike in Florence on Sunday, this time he was aware that the stage had already been won.
Nibali meanwhile outsprinted his rivals to take a few more bonus seconds on the line to consolidate his hold on the maglia rosa ahead of Evans, who at present seems to represent the biggest threat to the Italian adding this race to his sole previous Grand Tour victory, the 2010 Vuelta.
Giro d'Italia Stage 10 result 1 URAN Rigoberto SKY 4:37:42 2 BETANCUR Carlos ALM 00:20 3 NIBALI Vincenzo AST 00:31 4 SANTAMBROGIO Mauro VIN 00:31 5 EVANS Cadel BMC 00:31 6 MAJKA Rafal TST 00:31 7 POZZOVIVO Domenico ALM 00:31 8 KISERLOVSKI Robert RLT 00:47 9 INTXAUSTI Benat MOV 01:06 10 WIGGINS Bradley SKY 01:08 11 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw LAM 01:10 12 SCARPONI Michele LAM 01:10 13 TROFIMOV Yury KAT 01:10 14 GESINK Robert BLA 01:16 15 PELLIZOTTI Franco AND 02:11 16 CARUSO Damiano CAN 02:11 17 CATALDO Dario SKY 02:11 18 KANGERT Tanel AST 02:25 19 HENAO Sergio SKY 03:14 20 MOUREY Francis FDJ 03:16 Overall Standings after Stage 10 1 NIBALI Vincenzo AST 38:57:32 2 EVANS Cadel BMC 00:41 3 URAN Rigoberto SKY 02:04 4 WIGGINS Bradley SKY 02:05 5 GESINK Robert BLA 02:12 6 SCARPONI Michele LAM 02:13 7 SANTAMBROGIO Mauro VIN 02:55 8 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw LAM 03:35 9 POZZOVIVO Domenico ALM 04:17 10 MAJKA Rafal TST 04:21
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.