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Uran moves into third with 10th stage win

Sky rider Rigoberto Uran overtakes teammate Bradley Wiggins as Italian Vincenzo Nibali stays in the pink jersey.

Last Modified: 14 May 2013 17:10
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Sky are on the right track with two riders in top four, Wiggins and stage winner Uran (pictured) [AP]

Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran won the first big mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday, and Vincenzo Nibali held onto the overall leader after the 10th leg.

Pre-race favourite Bradley Wiggins dropped further behind on the steep, uphill finish, while defending champion Ryder Hesjedal dropped out of contention on the first climb.

The 26-year-old Uran, who rides for Wiggins' Sky team and won the best young rider's jersey during last year's race, clocked more than 4 ½ hours over the 167-kilometer (104-mile) leg from Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio, which featured two difficult climbs, including a long, grueling uphill finish.

Another Colombian, Carlos Betancour, finished 20 seconds behind in second. Nibali, an Italian with Astana, won a sprint for third, 31 seconds back to keep the pink jersey.

"We had three cards to play - me, (Sergio) Henao and Wiggins - and it worked for me today... We have the strongest team"

Colombian rider Rigoberto Uran

Mauro Santambrogio was fourth and 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans crossed fifth, both also 31 seconds back. Wiggins crossed 10th, 1:08 back.

Nibali earned an eight-second bonus for finishing third and increased his lead over Evans to 41 seconds. Uran moved up from ninth to third, 2:04 back. 

Wiggins remained fourth but now trails by 2:05, while Robert Gesink of the Netherlands is fifth, 2:12 behind.

"We had three cards to play - me, (Sergio) Henao and Wiggins - and it worked for me today,'' Uran said.

"We have the strongest team."

The first climb over the Cason di Lanza pass lasted 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) at gradients as high as 16 percent with snow lining the road. The finishing climb to Montasio, in the Giro for the first time, lasted 21.9 kilometers (13.6 miles) with leg-breaking stretches at 20 percent gradients.

Earlier this year, fans were allowed to send in messages for the stage via Twitter, which were printed on the road leading up to Montasio, which is located in the northeastern corner of Italy.

The stage began with a 13-man breakaway, which fell apart on the first climb. Nibali had a tire puncture but quickly caught back up to the main pack with the help of his teammates.

On the finishing climb, Sky rode up front to set up Uran's attack with 8 kilometers (5 miles) to go.

Before Tuesday's start, German sprinter John Degenkolb withdrew. He won the fifth stage.

Stage 11 Wednesday is a 182-kilometer (113-mile) leg from Tarvisio to Vajont featuring two category-2 climbs.

The race ends May 26 in Brescia.

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Source:
AP
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