Geraint Thomas retains pink jersey at Giro d’Italia as Einer Rubio wins shortened stage

Geraint Thomas celebrates his overall leader’s pink jersey on the podium

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Einer Rubio won a shortened and weather-affected 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday for his first victory in a Grand Tour, while Geraint Thomas remained in the leader’s pink jersey as there was little movement in the overall standings.

Rubio, who rides for Movistar, had time to raise an arm above his head and point to the sky as he crossed the line just ahead of fellow escapees Thibaut Pinot and Jefferson Alexander Cepeda. They had sprinted for victory at the top of the tough climb up to the summit finish at Crans-Montana.

The route had already been changed earlier in the week with the top of the Passo del Gran San Bernardo cut because of snowfall and a risk of avalanches.

And on Friday morning it was announced that that climb would be removed completely because of adverse weather conditions in Italy, with the riders instead starting past the halfway point and the stage slashed to 80 kilometers.

Race organizers said they had “decided to meet the athletes’ requests by applying the Extreme Weather Protocol.”


Colombia’s Einer Rubio Reyes celebrates winning the 13rd stage

That saw the riders set off at the original start in Borgofranco d’Ivrea but, immediately after the neutral zone, they got off their bicycles and onto team buses which took them to the new start in Switzerland, at the foot of the brutal climb up Croix de Couer.

When the day’s racing eventually started, Pinot immediately attacked and he was followed by Cepeda, Rubio and Derek Gee.

They had an advantage of nearly two minutes on the overall leaders when they crossed the snow-covered summit of the Croix de Couer and extended that to nearly three minutes at the foot of the final climb.

Pinot and Cepeda took turns to attack toward the top of the climb but Rubio quietly stuck with them before accelerating in the final few hundred meters.

The main contenders for the overall title rolled across 1 minute, 35 seconds behind. Thomas remained two seconds ahead of Primo* Rogli* and 22 ahead of Jo�o Almeida.


Saturday’s 14th stage has a top-category climb near the start in Sierre but — after the descent — is then almost entirely flat on the rest of the 193-kilometer route to Cassano Magnago.

The Giro ends in Rome on May 28.

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