Jose Rujano wins Giro Stage 13
GROSSGLOCKNER, Austria -- Jose Rujano of Venezuela won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday by edging overall leader Alberto Contador at the finish.
The pair completed the 103-mile stage from Spilimbergo to Grossglockner in 4 hours, 45 minutes, 54 seconds.
"Of course I am delighted to have won this stage and beaten Contador," Rujano said. "I am pleased with the time. I wanted to attack early and give myself a chance of finishing in the top three, so it was even better that I was able to win alongside someone like Alberto Contador."
Contador was content to extend his lead in the overall classification to 3:09 over Vincenzo Nibali.
"It was very difficult today, but at the end my legs responded when I wanted them to," the Spaniard said. "It was a very good day for me and I am delighted that I've been able to extend my lead. There is much of the Giro left, but so far, so good."
Riders faced rainy conditions on the stage, which featured four major climbs, notably the ascent to the Passo Di Monte-Croce Carnico at 4,383 feet.
Sprinters Manuel Belletti, Alessandro Petacchi, Danilo Hondo, Mark Cavendish, Mark Renshaw and Francisco Ventoso opted to skip the mountains and left the race after Thursday's 12th stage.
Early in the ride Friday, a group of 16 riders broke away and built a lead of five minutes. Robert Kiserlovski made a lone break on the next to last climb on the Iselsbergpass, but was caught on the subsequent climb up Grossglockner.
After breaking for the front with less than six miles to go, Contador and Rujano took turns leading the final climb, to the Grossglockner at 7,011 feet, before Contador relaxed and allowed the Venezuelan to cross the line in first place.
The riders remain in the mountains for the next two stages starting with the 130-mile trek from Lienz to Monte Zoncolan. Saturday's 14th stage features a section on Monte Crostis where riders asked organizers to add extra safety measures after the death of Wouter Weylandt in a crash on stage three.
The 21-stage Giro finishes in Milan on May 29.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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