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HomeRaceRace ReviewsIl Giro d'Italia 2014 - Stage 20; Maniago - Monte Zoncolan, 167...

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 20; Maniago – Monte Zoncolan, 167 km. Michael Rogers Rides Clear


Giro d'Italia logoVeloVeritas sage and pundit, Viktor isn’t a fan of the high mountains; especially ascents such as the Vuelta’s Angliru or Bola del Mundo because they don’t actually go anywhere, but Michael Rogers didn’t seem to mind.

At least the Zoncolan is a through road and like the mountains or not, Stage 20 of the 2014 Giro d’Italia was a real spectacle.

That final horrible grind up the mountain didn’t affect the GC much at all but Michael Rogers’ (Tinkoff & Australia) ride was wonderful to watch.

It looked very much like he had the better of fellow breakaway survivor Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani & Italy) anyway, but we were denied their duel going any further by the moron who gave the man in green a push.

Already sitting close on the wheel, Bongiorno touched Rogers back tyre and had to unclip to avoid a crash – his rhythm and concentration broken the Italian couldn’t get back on terms with Rogers and it was left to the 34 year-old former Junior Points Race World Champion from New South Wales to take his most spectacular victory in the grand manner, alone, arms high in the air.

Michael Rogers
Mick Rogers takes his second stage. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

It was nice to see Franco Pellizotti in second spot; despite the ‘doper’ tag his case was not a black and white ‘kitting up’ issue and Liquigas were keen to take him back after his suspension but couldn’t due to ever more – and rightly so – onerous rules about top tier teams signing riders with ‘previous.’

Michael Rogers
Franco Pellizotti. Photo©Gian Mattia D’Alberto

Bongiorno was third and wept after the finish – no one can blame him.

Micheal Rogers
Manuel Bongiorno didn’t need the problems provided by idiotic “fans”. Photo©Bardiani

It wasn’t just the Bardiani man who had problems with crazed fans; Rogers had to fight them off – and you didn’t need to be much of a lip reader to see what Rogers had to say to his new ‘friends’ – whilst even the maglia rosa wasn’t exempt as a huge man draped in a Colombian flag almost decked Quintana.

And those were just the incidents which the cameras witnessed; there would be many more, no doubt.

The message to the organisers has to be that when the race returns to the Zoncolan – as it surely will – then they need more barriers and/or more marshals to stop the ‘crazies.’

As an old friend of mine used to say; ‘you should never drink on any empty head.’

Michael Rogers
Huge numbers of people on the Zoncolan. Photo©Marco Alpozzi

Quintana was impressive – and so were his Movistar team.