- Giro d'Italia, Stage 19
Kreuziger wins brutal Giro stage
Roman Kreuziger rescued something from a disappointing Giro d'Italia with a brilliant win in Stage 19, while Ryder Hesjedal showed his class in the mountains by powering away from Joaquin Rodriguez to close in on the race leader.
Astana rider Kreuziger lost all chance of overall victory earlier in the race, but he took the chance to show his class with a fabulous solo ride in a punishing day from Treviso to Alpe di Pampeago.
He was allowed to go away by the main group on the penultimate climb of the day and he overhauled Stefano Pirazzi and Sandy Casar before riding away to claim the win.
The battle for the GC boiled down to the final four kilometres on the Alpe di Pampeago the team leaders' support riders were left trailing. Hesjedal looked strong all day and a big dig dropped race leader Rodriguez.
Hesjedal had Michele Scarponi for company in the final two kms, but he pulled away and almost caught Kreuziger in the final 500 metres.
Rodriguez came home third to limit his losses, but Hesjedal will be confident given his superior timetrial skills which will come to the fore in the final stage. Ivan Basso lost more time and even his skills in the timetrial are unlikely to rescue him.
Stage 19 result
1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana 6:18:03
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda +0:19
3 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha +0:32
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD +0:35
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +0:43
6 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale +0:55
7 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky +0:57
8 Mikele Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi +1:18
9 Stefana Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +1:18
10 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale +1:22
1 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 84:06:13
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda +00:00:17
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD +00:01:39
4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale +00:01:45
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky +00:03:31
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox +00:03:30
7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale +00:05:36
8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro +00:05:40