Last-minute Giro starter Mikel Nieve, who stepped in for Sergio Luis Henao, made up for Team Sky’s disappointment after the loss of their captain Mikel Landa to illness by winning stage 13, five years after his first stage win at the Giro d’Italia.
In the Maglia Rosa, Bob Jungels rode with intelligence and courage but, when he was dropped on the last climb, an opportunity opened for Andrey Amador to make Costa Rica the 24th different nation to lead the overall classification of the Corsa Rosa.
Maglia Rosa Andrey Amador declared during the press conference: “It’s true that it is an historic day for me and for my country. I’m not a favourite for the Maglia Rosa, but I have it after thirteen stages. Luckily I have the experience of last year’s Giro [fourth overall]. I’m not a pure climber. I can handle a change of rhythm or two uphill but no more, so I climbed at my own speed in the last hill today, knowing that I’d make up the lost time on the descent. We came to the Giro hoping to win it with Alejandro Valverde. Nothing has changed, except that we unfortunately lost Javier Moreno in a crash and he’s normally a very important rider for us in the mountains. I’ll enjoy wearing the Maglia Rosa tomorrow and Alejandro would be a worthy successor”.
Stage winner Mikel Nieve said in the press conference: “I took the opportunity that presented itself to win a stage after getting in the long breakaway. Had Mikel Landa stayed in the race, for sure I wouldn’t have been racing for the win today. I’d have been helping him ride for GC instead. I wasn’t scheduled to ride the Giro. I was entered at the last minute. Therefore it’s a great satisfaction to get a stage victory”.
Best young rider Bob Jungels: “I’m very tired but I have no regrets. My team and I gave everything to keep the Maglia Rosa. I tried to stay in the group of the best climbers but I suffered more than them on the second last climb and I didn’t manage to follow them on the last one. I still have the Maglia Bianca. I’ll try to hold it till the end of the Giro d’Italia. I have to recover from my efforts. There’ll be good days and less good days from now on.”