Mikel Nieve won the Friday stage of the Giro d’Italia, a balm on the wounds of Team Sky for whom this is proving to be a disappointing Giro, after the withdrawal of rider Mikel Landa crippled the team.
It was Nieve’s second Giro stage win, and it was manufactured by his attack on the penultimate climb that left the pack scattered and broken, He then scorched the downhill, and took the final climb, descent and approach solo with no-one in sight.
Behind Nieve a battle for the pink jersey was developing as the race leader found himself in a bunch with many other big names.
Stage 13 was the first into the big mountains, and Bob Jungels couldn’t hang on to the lead, which now passes to Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador. Jungels moves into second place overall, while Vincenzo Nibali is now third, ahead of Alejandro Valverde.
Some big names in there, all reduced to mortal status riding clean and under scrutiny, and no longer so untouchable, it seems.