The climbing began as soon as the flag dropped in Italy today and if anyone had the notion that a breakaway would go away early, they were quickly proved wrong.
On the first categorized climb, the ascent to Verrayes, the General Classification contenders were all ready playing games with each another, attacking one after one before drawing a group of around 30 riders out at the front of the race.
However, after eight riders from this select were able to open up their own advantage on the category one Verrogne climb, the Maglia Rosa group sat up and allowed the rest of the peloton, which was where CCC Team was sitting after missing the split, to bridge across.
The leaders’ were never allowed to go more than three minutes 30 seconds up the road and despite the group growing in numbers at the start of the Truc d’arne climb, with four riders making the jump, the Maglia Rosa group was never far behind.
With 40 kilometers to go, the race reach the toughest challenge of the day, the category one Colle San Carlo, which at 10.5 kilometers long had an average gradient of 9.8%, and it was here that the fight for pink intensified once again.
De la Parte was sticking to the wheels of the race favorites and he was still well-positioned with 35 kilometres to go when the gap to the leaders fell to one minute 40 seconds and the Maglia Rosa at the start of the day, Jan Polanc (UAE-Team Emirates) was dropped.
With Polanc’s rivals taking advantage of the situation the pace increased once more and it was at this point that the CCC Team rider lost contact with the group of favorites, which went on to catch the breakaway and fight for the stage win.
De la Parte, who showed his determination on yesterday’s final climb, did the same on the way up to Courmayeur, riding his own solid tempo on the eight-kilometer climb to cross the line as CCC Team’s best-placed rider, around seven minutes behind Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team), who took the day’s honors and moved into the leader’s jersey.
The Spaniard’s efforts over the last two days have seen him make small steps up the General Classification and de la Parte now sits 20th overall.
Quotes From the Finish Line
Víctor de la Parte:
“I don’t think everyone expected the race to be so hard at the beginning but right from the start teams were pushing really hard and setting a fast tempo. For me though, I think it was a really good day. I felt better than I did yesterday and maybe that was because the weather wasn’t so hot. I think all of the bunch is really tired so the next stage is going to be very difficult.”
“I was really happy because over the last few days my feelings on the bike haven’t been super but today, I could see myself there with the GC favorites and so for me, it was a good day.”
Stage 14: Saint-Vincent > Courmayeur (8km)
Top 3: 1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 26. Víctor de la Parte 82. Francisco Ventoso 84. Łukasz Owsian