Esteban Chaves won Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia, a tough, high altitude, 210km stage from Alpago (Farra) to Corvara (Alta Badia). The Colombian finished just ahead of Steven Kruijswijk who moves into the maglia rosa after the two managed to drop all of their major rivals.
Race leader Andrey Amador (Movistar) was dropped by Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana team on the Passo Giau with 42km to go, while Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quick Step), second at the start of the day, lost contact with the favourites’ group just before that.
While Amador managed to recover on the descent, just as he had on Stage 13, he would soon find himself distanced again.
Vincenzo Nibali attacked on the day’s final categorised climb, the Passo Valparola. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) were the only riders immediately able to follow and while others eventually joined them, it was these two who would shortly afterwards leave everyone behind.
Chaves’ countryman, Darwin Atapuma (BMC), who had been in the day’s break, seemed destined for the win from some way out, but he was caught just before the final kilometre. Chaves was the fastest of the four men who contested the finish with another of the day’s escapees, Georg Preidler (Giant-Alpecin), taking third behind Kruijswijk.
Vincenzo Nibali finished 37 seconds later, but other overall contenders lost minutes. Both Amador and his Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde were over three minutes down.
Earlier in the day, 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal had been forced to abandon with stomach problems.
After the stage, Kruijswijk said:
"I was feeling really good. I asked my sport director if I should save energy for tomorrow's time trial or not. We decided that we wouldn't. I felt I was a little bit better than Vincenzo Nibali so it was the right day to take advantage of it. Luckily a strong guy came with me. It's an enormous satisfaction to take the Maglia Rosa, especially in such a wonderful setting as the Dolomites".