The first half of the stage was mainly flat with a couple of small kickers to keep everyone honest. Multiple attacks were launched during the flat section to try and get an advantage before the three big climbs in the last half of the stage but none were really successful. Marco Chianese, the intermediate sprints leader, broke away to take the first sprint while Davide Martinelli, 2nd in the classification, won the 2nd sprint with Chianese in 3rd.
Once the town hit the hamlet of Saxon, Simone Andreetta (Zalf-Euromobil) took off at the foot of the Col du Lein and was the carrot for a group of chasers all the way up the climb. Felix Grossschartner (Gourmetfein-Simplon) was solo behind Andreetta while a group including Alexey Vermeulen (BMC Development), Giulio Ciccone (Colpack), Patrick Bosman (Tirol) and Alexis Guerin (Etixx). Andreetta led the group over the Col du Lein and even through the descent, he kept a gap on the groups behind him.
On the Col des Planches, things got interesting. While Andreetta plowed on ahead, the chasing group behind him was morphing. Thanks to attacking the descent and the bottom part of the climb, overall leader Bernardo Suaza and Manuel Senni bridged to the chasing group, proceeded to bust through it. Senni and Suaza brought with them Ciccone and Bosman. As the riders went off the descent and through Martigny, Manuel Senni bridged up to Andreetta just before the final summit finish to Les Marecottes.
Senni and Andreetta arrived on the final climb together and were working together but Andreetta was going to learn that there are no fucking gifts. With 8 kilometers to go, the kilometers caught up with Andreetta and Senni began to accelerate and he distanced the Zalf-Euromobil rider. Thanks to the chase losing some impetus, Senni's gap back to the fairly large chasing group was 1'45" with 5 kilometers to go. The chasers had really messed around but Senni's leg were burning and the gap began to tumble.
Bernardo Suaza (4-72 Colombia) was suffering like a dog on a hot day. He saw Senni ride away from him on the climb previous and now he was making up for his mistake. Suaza was in the chasing group with the Norwegian duo of Odd Eiking and Sindre Lunke, Patrick Bosman, Paolo Bianchini, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev and Edward Ravasi. Manuel Senni was riding away with the lead but the gap was falling rapidly and Suaza was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. While Senni topped out over the KOM point with 50 seconds, there was still a kilometer left and while he was pedalling squares, the chase was speeding up.
Great day for @teamcolpack2013 in #ValledAosta: Manuel Senni conquers stage and yellow jersey! http://t.co/gvsLLeff4a pic.twitter.com/DCgd9vYvY2Senni was able to hold on to take his 2nd stage win in a row while Odd Eiking led in the furious chase at 20 seconds back with Bosman and Lunke in 3rd and 4th. Suaza fell off in the last kilometer and rode in 33 seconds down. His 28 second lead on Senni became a 5 second deficit heading into the final 2 stages. While he lost the yellow jersey, Suaza could have been a lot worse off and is around to fight another day.
— Northwave (@NWcycling) July 18, 2014
Once again, Colpack was putting on a clinic and now they have 2 stages wins thanks to Senni, the overall lead (Senni), the KOM jersey (Ciccone), the points jersey (Senni) and the lead in the team's classification.While Senni has been brilliant so far, he is by no means in the clear. Suaza is just 5 seconds back while Eiking is just 30 seconds back. Ravasi, Bianchini and Lunke are all within one minute of the lead so with a "transitional" stage and an uphill time trial, no one is in the clear.
Stage (Full Results)
- Manuel Senni (Colpack)
- Odd Eiking (Norway) +20"
- Patrick Bosman (Tirol) +21"
- Sindre Lunke (Norway) s.t.
- Paolo Bianchini (Delio Gallina) +26"
- Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Astana Continental) +30"
- Bernardo Suaza (4-72 Colombia) +33"
- Edward Ravasi (Colpack) +41"
- Tilegen Maidos (Astana Continental) +1'12"
- Matvey Mamikin (Russia) +1'38"
- Suaza +5"
- Eiking +30"
- Ravasi +37"
- Bianchini +42"
- Lunke +57"
- Giulio Ciccone (Colpack) +2'00"
- Mamikin +2'13"
- Daniel Peason (Zappi's) +2'49"
- Maidos +3'07"