Stage 14 of the 2008 Giro d'Italia was won Emanuele Sella of Team CSF Group Navigare, but Astana's Alberto Contador is just 5 seconds off the lead and ready to pounce.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

Plenty to talk about after the running of stage 14 in the Giro.



I have isolated five key points.

1. No doubt the most impressive performance was that of Emanule Sella whose initial plans of collecting points for the King of the Mountains competition turned to stage honours.

Podcast: video highlights of every stage of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

It was a performance not dissimilar of the late Marco Pantani - Sella rode away from a lead group on the second last climb of the day and stayed away.

It was a fitting tribute to "The Pirate" who himself won on the Alpe di Pampeago in 1999.



2. In terms of Australian interest, there was much to be encouraged at Matt Lloyd's journey.

His tactics worked a treat - Lloyd's decision to stay with members of LPR Brakes was very clever.

By realising Giovanni Visonti's race lead was slipping with every push pedal, Danilo di Luca and Paolo Savoldelli guided Gabriele Bosisio into the leadership, at the same time not harming their own GC hopes.

Lloyd stuck to the wheels of LPR Brakes like superglue and was reqarded with a place in teh top 15.

It probably won't earn the Silence-Lotto rider a place in the Tour de France (that honour has been locked away fellow Aussie Cadel Evans), but Lloyd has done enough to confirm his place in any Grand Tour.

3. Speaking of Cadel, he may have found the solution to his worries of support at the TdF following the controversial departure of former lieutenant Chris Horner from the team.

Belgian Jurgen van Den Broeck rode a brilliant race today and together with Ukraine teammate Yaroslav Popoyvich, the pair will make a formidable combination in supporting cadel on French roads in July.

4. To reigning world champion Paolo Bettini who continues to amaze,

He is such an aggresive rider who simply never knows when to quit.

Bettini is the complete all-rounder. He can challenge for honours in the sprint stages and as he proved today he's there at the finish when the roads tilt skyward.

5. Finally, my prognosis for the rest of the Giro is as follows: Astana is likely to improve from today's tough hit-out especially Contador and Andreas Kloden while Rabobank's inspirational Russian Denis Menchov is looming as a real dark horse for overall victory.