Ryder is Back in Pink!

Simply stunning...
Welcome back in Pink Ryder!

Stage 14 on the steep climb to Cervinia.

I didn't really need my early morning coffee to wake me up as I witnessed a brilliant ride by Ryder Hesjedal to wrestle back the Maglia Rosa from Joaquim Purito Rodriguez.

The mountains begin!

Cold, wet and rain. Miserable conditions almost Canadian like temperatures for British Columbia's Hesjedal as he dropped a bomb of a ride attacking with two kms remaining. Rodriguez tried to follow, unable to do nothing to stop him losing the Maglia Rosa to Hesjedal. Was it the inclement weather? or Was he caught, like all the favorites, by surprise ...by the quick thinking Canuck?

Our Canadian hero (aka Weight of the Nation) proved to be the strongest of the contenders attacking to finish fourth in exciting circumstances finishing 20 seconds behind the gutsy winner, Andrey Amador. The Costa Rican won his first Giro stage and looked like losing it on the descent of the Col de Joux. I wouldn't call him reckless but he took many chances on the dangerous slippery roads. I thought he would cook it and fall over the barrier and over the edge.

Amador wins his first Giro stage, Jan Barta (gutsy 2nd),
Alessandro De Marchi (3rd).

Purito did all he could and trailed in seventh 46 seconds behind, good for Ryder to take back the Pink jersey. Today's stage was the start of the really mountains; Col de Joux and the mountaintop finish in the Cervinia ski station was extra hard due to the cold and wet conditions.

Rigoberto Uran was sixth and wears the Maglia Bianca of best young rider.

Hesjedal putting his cards on the table!

Now, Ryder Hesjedal considers himself as a favorite for the Giro,

"With a time trial to finish, yeah, I can take time on anyone on GC."

Michele Scarponi (10th 1:20s behind) said,

"Hesjedal is a fine rider. He anticipated the finale, we waited a bit longer to move and he stayed away. He's certainly not to be underestimated."

Full Results.

Stage 14 Cherasco-Cervinia 206km

Stage winner: Andrey Amador

Maglia Rosa: Ryder Hesjedal
Maglia Rossa: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Michal Golas
Maglia Bianca: Rigoberto Uran

The 14th stage was all DRAMA!

Before stage 14...
One of my favorites, Beppu!