A powerful display of climbing saw Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) take time out of his rivals when many thought he might find the steep slopes of Pampeago too much. Instead, he clawed back time on race leader Joaquim Rodriguez and left Ivan Basso even further behind.
Here’s the overall classification tonight:
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 84:06:12
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Barracuda 0:00:17
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:01:39
4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:45
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
The answer should come tomorrow on the slopes of the Mortirolo and Stelvio tomorrow. A huge stage where some must decide between defending a podium position or winning the race outright.
Right now it looks increasingly likely that Hesjedal can win the race overall, especially because Rodriguez is normally very weak in the time trials.
But anything can happen and tomorrow’s mountain stage is the biggest day in the race including the finish on the Stelvio pass at over 2,700 metres above sea level. A supreme final test in the mountains awaits before the time trial in Milan on Sunday.