ORICA-GreenEDGE Duo Survive Penultimate Giro d'Italia StageSat 31 May 2014
Michael Rogers won the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia atop Monte Zoncolan. Part of the large rider breakaway group that shattered up the summit finish, Rogers crossed the finish line alone. He set a blistering pace on the upper slopes of the monstrous mountain, and only Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) could match the tempo.
Bongiorno was on Rogers' wheel when an ill-advised fan pushed him from behind, in what appeared to be an effort to provide assistance to Bongiorno. Instead, Bongiorno lost momentum on the steepest part of the mountain and was forced to unclip. Unaware of what had transpired behind him, Rogers climbed on toward the summit. Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) crossed 38” after Rogers while Bongiorno settled for third place at 49”.
Race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was never under threat. He crossed the finish line alongside his nearest rival, Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step), to maintain his 3’07 overall advantage heading into Sunday’s final stage. The lessor places on the general classification saw minor changes with Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) passing Cadel Evans (BMC) to move into seventh place.
Michael Hepburn and Svein Tuft survived another day in the mountains. Barring any unforeseen overnight incident, the duo will line up to the start the last day of what has proven to be an eventful Grand Tour for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
“The boys got through,” said Sport Director Matt White. “It’s one of the most epic days in cycling and one of the most famous climbs in the Giro d’Italia.”