After joining a 17-rider breakaway at the 62-kilometer mark, Colnago rider Manuel Belleti avoided the many late-race attacks and conserved his leg for the final sprint, winning Stage 13 of the 2010 Giro d’Italia.
Katusha’s Filippo Pozzato won Stage 12 the day before, giving the Italian fans their first win by an Italian rider in the first two weeks of the Giro.
In a race dominated by Australians this year, Belleti became only the second Italian to take a stage win in his nation’s most prestigious cycling event.
The stage was not exceedingly hard, but featured a pair of Cat 2 climbs in the final quarter, which sapped the will of the tired peloton.
The large breakaway rode will discipline until the final 30 km, when attacks came frequently.
Katusha rider Joan Horrach and Fotoon rider Iban Mayoz, along with Rabobank’s Tom Stamsnijder and Bouyge’s Mathieu Claude, tried an attack, then Stamsnijder, Mayoz, and Cofidis’s Mauro Facci and Quickstep’sKalle Kriit masde a good effort.
With 8 km to go, it seemed the four they might stay away, but the chase picked up and they were ridden down.
With 4 km left, Katusha’s Serguei Klimov attacked with Facci. Again it seemed this pair might make good on the attack, so Manuel Belleti bridged to them. A kilometer down the road, this attack was absorbed.
The best sprinter in the break was Team Sky’s Greg Henderson. He was the rider everyone wanted to crack. But as the break started the final kilometer, it was HTC-Columbia’s Craig Lewis who came from nowhere to open a sizeable lead.
Lewis had been holding back and waiting during all the scrapping, saving his energy. Unfortunately, he moved too soon.
100 meters from the line, Lewis was ridden down by the rest of the break, as Manuel Belleti edged Greg Henderson, with Iban Mayoz just behind.
The peloton came in 7:27 behind the break, so the General Classification was not much rearranged. Saxo Bank’s Richie Porto keeps his pink jersey for another stage, leading by 1:42 over Caisse d;’Epargne’s David Arroyo and by 1:56 over Robert Kiserlovski of Liquigas.