Geraint Thomas presents Frenchman Armirail with the pink jersey of the Giro d’Italia | Sports

Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic are two old lions who fight defensively, more careful not to get clawed than to give them, economical patients who wait, wait, and save. They are friends and residents in Monaco. His children play together in the park and they watch each other and play with the Giro, in which nothing happens except the fight for the victory of stages – second victory in three days for the German on the run and on a roll Nico Denz in Cassano Magnago, the town of Ivan Basso, at the gates of Milan, where the peloton returned from Switzerland arrived after crossing the giant Sempione, the Simplon of the Orient Express, and the descent, 35 kilometers, towards the placid and broken shores of the Lake Maggiore—and the little sleight-of-hand tricks of the favourites, which result, by the end of the 14th stage, two-thirds already consumed, than an unknown 29-year-old Frenchman, Bruno Armirail –all-terrain wheeler, appreciated gregarious, a giant of 1.90 meters who in his career has not won more than one French time trial championship-, becomes the fourth leader of the Giro after the sick Evenepoel, the Norwegian Andreas Leknessund and Thomas.

There are no naive pups that can break the paralysis dynamic.

Roglic, 33 years old, three Laps won and one Tour lost, is satisfied because he is the only one of all who has attacked one day, five minutes of effort on the Capuchin slope, and only Tao, retired due to a fall, and Thomas resisted. to his wheel. The Slovenian covers both legs every day with plasters and bandages that show that he has suffered falls, and lets it fall that he is not as well as he seems, that he suffers, that he is not 100% and that he does not intend to move, that it is enough for him with deep breathing hour after hour on the neck of Thomas, from whom he is only two seconds away in the general classification.

The 36-year-old Welshman, a Tour won, decides that he has worn himself out enough, he and his team, an Ineos that only has six riders left, and that it is not a bad idea to leave the jersey a rose that weighs so much for so many stupid days to a runner from another team who can consider it a gift and thank them. Going up to 2,000 meters from Sempione, a break of 29 is formed. Everyone is offside in the general. The closest to Thomas of them, Armirail, sits at 18m 37s overall. Great initiative from Movistar. High-flying strategy. His Colombian sprinter, Fernando Gaviria, sneaks into the breakaway. He is accompanied by Carlos Verona, who leads everyone up the Sempione –20 interminable kilometers, one hour—at the pace dictated by the Colombian, and Will Barta, an American from Boise, Idaho, prepared to close gaps in the last kilometers. The plan explodes 62 kilometers from the finish line, when Alberto Bettiol attacks, a winner in Flanders whom the rain and the cold, and the stupid suffering they cause him, puts the fans and all his teammates in as bad a mood -“ I had never been so cold in my life”, says the Italian, who explodes the leak and makes a mistake in the sprint and does not win, which increases his anger; “It was not easy to remain lucid after 200 kilometers. I only wish all those who have written so many things about us to endure what we have had to endure at the top of Sempione” – and neither Verona nor Barta can close the gap. The Movistar are dead. Little by little, in small groups, a dozen runners are escaping from their vigilance, risking victory in the soaked streets of the town of Basso. Denz wins, who in celebrating by raising his arms inadvertently hits the unfortunate Canadian fighter Derek Gee, three times second in this Giro, in the face with his right hand, who tries to rush him to the last kidney blow.

Extremely grateful to the decision of their Welsh leader and their director, Matteo Tosatto, the Ineos gregarious march slowly, at a walking pace, watching the timer, careful not to go overboard or fall short. At his wheel, undeterred, the peloton reached 21m 11s behind Denz, and 20m 18s behind Armirail, the new leader of the Giro with a 1m 41s advantage over Thomas. His team, Groupama, will carry the brunt of the race in Sunday’s grueling stage, 195 kilometers through Lombardy deep in mountains and forests, four insidious passes and dangerous descents, to Bergamo.

At the finish line the ritornello Of all days, the Giro starts tomorrow. The atmospheric cyclone, the result of the fight between the African winds and the cold air from the north, moves away. The old lions rest.

This has been the classification of the 14th stage:

Position Runner Equipment Time
1 Nico Denz Bora-Hansgrohe 4:37:30
2 Derek Gee Israel-Premier Tech 4:37:30
3 Alberto Bettiol EF Education 4:37:30
4 Laurenz Rex Intermarche-Circus-Wanty 4:37:31
5 david ballerini Quick-Step 4:37:31

This is the general classification:

Position Runner Equipment Time
1 Bruno Armirail Groupama-FDJ 56:17:01
2 Geraint Thomas Ineos Grenadiers +1:41
3 Cousin Roglic Jumbo-Visma +1:43
4 Joao Pedro Almeida UAE Team Emirates +2:23
5 Andreas Leknessund Team DSM +2:23

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