Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal, of the Garmin team, claimed the overall leader’s pink jersey after Costa Rican Andrey Amador (Movistar) won the 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday. The Canadian, who was fourth in the stage, now sits 9 seconds ahead of overnight leader Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain (Katusha), with Astana’s Italian rider Paolo Tiralongo in third at 41 seconds. Hesjedal was 17 seconds down on Rodriguez at the start of the wet and cold stage, but finished 26 seconds ahead of the main peloton.
Amador, whose mother is Russian, clocked 5:33:36 over the stage, a testing 206km run from Cherasco to here, boasting two stiff climbs at Joux and Cervinia, with the finish line at over 2,000m altitude. The Costa Rican was first home in a sprint off with his last two breakaway companions, Czech Jan Barta and Italian Alessandro De Marchi. It was the 25-year-old Amador’s first stage success in four years as a professional cyclist. Amador had caught up with Barta after the first climb, and then struck out alone, but was himself reeled in on the 27km-long second climb by the Czech and De Marchi.
Sunday’s 15th stage sees the riders tackle a 169km run from Busto Arsizio and Lecco, with three climbs scheduled before a final 7.8km ascent above Lake Como.