Garmin-Barracuda's Ryder Hesjedal has narrowed the gap in front of him for the 2012 Giro d'Italia general classification lead, trailing Joaquim Rodriguez by just 17 seconds now. Hesjedal finished second on Friday's Stage 19 behind Roman Kreuziger by 19 seconds. However, he finished 13 seconds ahead of third-place Rodriguez, shaving 13 seconds off the 30-second delay he had at the start of the day.
No other rider is within 1:39 of Rodriguez. Michele Scarponi currently holds that delay, but the Giro now appears to be a duel between Rodriguez and Hesjedal over the final two days of the race.
Head over to Podium Cafe for analysis of this race, but here's a teaser:
Hesjedal continually looked back at his rivals' faces, digging deeper each time to press his advantage. He was in sight of Kreuziger, but the Czech climber and former GC hopeful was holding it together and got his deserved victory. Scarponi suffered badly in the final km and lost Hesjedal's wheel, while Purito and Basso more or less held their pace, with Rodriguez coming past a faltering Scarponi right at the line.
The cyclists stay in the high mountains on Saturday before an individual time trial on Sunday to close out the race.
Here is how the top 10 played out (full stage standings):
|7||Rigoberto Uran Uran||COL||SKY||6:19:00||0:57|
|8||Mikel Nieve Ituralde||ESP||EUS||6:19:21||1:18|