One Rubio won an abridged and weather-shortened stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia on Friday to secure his first Grand Tour win, while Geraint Thomas stayed in the leader’s pink jersey as there was little movement in the standings.
Rubio, driving for Movistar, had time to raise an arm above his head and point to the sky as he crossed the finish line just ahead of fellow fugitives Thibaut Pinot and Jefferson Alexander Cepeda. They had sprinted for victory at the top of the tough climb to the summit finish in Crans-Montana.
The route was already changed earlier in the week and the top of the Passo del Gran San Bernardo was cut off due to snowfall and the risk of avalanches.
And on Friday morning it was announced that this climb would be scrapped entirely due to adverse weather conditions in Italy, with riders starting halfway up the route instead and the stage being shortened to 80km.
Race organizers said they had “decided to accommodate the athletes’ requests by applying the Extreme Weather Protocol.”
The riders started at the original start in Borgofranco d’Ivrea, but jumped off their bikes immediately after the neutral zone and onto the team buses, which took them to the new start in Switzerland at the foot of the brutal Croix de Couer climb.
When the day’s race finally got underway, Pinot immediately attacked and was followed by Cepeda, Rubio and Derek Gee.
Crossing the snow-capped summit of Croix de Couer, they held a nearly two-minute lead over the overall lead and extended that to nearly three minutes at the foot of the final climb.
Pinot and Cepeda took turns attacking to the top of the climb, but Rubio stayed calm with them before accelerating for the last few hundred meters.
The main contenders for the overall title were 1 minute and 35 seconds behind. Thomas stayed two seconds ahead of Primo* Rogli* and 22 seconds ahead of Jo�o Almeida.
Saturday’s 14th stage features a top-category climb right at the start in Sierre, but is almost entirely flat after descending for the remainder of the 193-kilometer route to Cassano Magnago.
The Giro ends on May 28th in Rome.