Hesjedal back in pink at the Giro

Ryder Hesjedal re-claimed the overall leader's pink jersey after Andrey Amador narrowly won the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

I think I can take time back on anyone in the final time trial in Milan but I'm not thinking that far ahead. I'm where I'm at and that's how I approached the race today.

Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda), who was fourth in the stage, now sits 9sec ahead of former race leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), with Astana's Paolo Tiralongo in third at 41sec.

Hesjedal was 17sec down on Rodriguez at the start of the wet and cold stage, but finished 26sec ahead of the main peloton.

"I felt good. There was just three kilometres to go, the pink jersey was there to take and so I went for it," Hesjedal said.

"I was a little sad when I lost it and so I feel fortunate to pull it back on now. You never know if it's going to be your last day in pink.

"I think I can take time back on anyone in the final time trial in Milan but I'm not thinking that far ahead. I'm where I'm at and that's how I approached the race today.

"I'm going to continue to do that and we'll see what happens at the end of the Giro d'Italia."

Amador clocked 5hr 33min 36sec over the stage, a testing 206km run from Cherasco to Cervinia, boasting two stiff climbs at Joux and Cervinia, with the finish line at over 2,000m altitude.

The Movistar rider was first home in a sprint off with his last two breakaway companions, Jan Barta (NetApp) and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli)

It was the 25-year-old Amador's first stage success in four years as a professional cyclist.

Amador had caught up with Barta after the first climb, and then struck out alone, but was himself reeled in on the 27km-long second climb by Barta and De Marchi.

Amador said he had bounced back in good time from a bad year in 2011 during which he fractured a collarbone, injured an ankle and "my own problems when some thieves tried to kidnap me".

"At Movistar we're a very united team and our results prove it," he said. "In 2011 I fractured my collarbone while I was getting ready for the Giro.

"I also had an ankle problem while I was preparing for the Tour de France. It was a year to forget. Last winter I changed my training and I'm going well thanks to that."

"On this stage, we knew you had to have a big lead before the two big climbs," Amador added. "We found ourselves at the foot of the climb with a 13-minute lead. It was doable."

At 58km Amador, Barta and De Marchi were part of a eight man group to race clear of the peloton at speeds approaching 50kph, and rode on to build a massive lead of  12min 47sec with 75 kms to go.

It was on the Col de Joux that the race began to come alive with Barta accelerating out of the leading peloton and a lead of 45sec over a split breakaway group.

During the descent of the Col de Joux Amador catches up with and drops Barta, then continued on through the intermediate sprint at Chatillon (178km) with a 29sec lead ahead of the regrouped trio, Montaguti, De Negri and Barta.

With 5km to go and the gap down to 2min 40sec, the peloton continued their chase of the remaining riders at the front, Amador, Barta and De Marchi.

It was at that point Hesjedal made his move with race leader Rodriguez counter-attacking, but the Garmin-Barracuda rider powered on to gain ground on the leading trio and by the last kilometre all that separated them was 27sec.

In front of Hesjedal, on the 1st category climb to Cervinia, Amador crossed the finish line ahead of Barta and De Marchi, but Hesjedal had also done enough to claim a victory of his own, taking the pink jersey for the second time in the three-week race.

Orica-GreenEDGE riders Matt Goss and Brett Lancaster, Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and J.J. Haedo from Saxo Bank do not start.

The 15th stage sees the riders tackle a 169km run from Busto Arsizio and Lecco, with three climbs scheduled before a final 7.8km ascent above Lake Como.

Stage 14: 205km, Cherasco to Cervinia
1 Andrey Amador (CRC) Movistar Team 5hr 33min 36sec
2 Jan Barta (CZE) NetApp
3 Alessandro De Marchi (ITA) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:02
4 Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:20
5 Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) Astana 0:00:46
6 Rigoberto Uran (COL) Sky
7 Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha
8 Thomas De Gendt (BEL) Vacansoleil-DCM
9 Michele Scarponi (ITA) Lampre-ISD
10 John Gadret (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale

General classification
1 Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Garmin-Barracuda 59hr 55min 28sec
2 Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha 0:00:09
3 Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) Astana 0:00:41
4 Sandy Casar (FRA) FDJ-Big Mat 0:01:05
5 Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:06
6 Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Astana 0:01:07
7 Benat Intxausti (ESP) Movistar
8 Rigoberto Uran (COL) Sky 0:01:19
9 Michele Scarponi (ITA) Lampre-ISD 0:01:20
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) Colnago CSF Inox 0:01:21

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