Giro del Trentino: Vincenzo Nibali wins overall as Bradley Wiggins runs out of luck
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 19/04/13 5:42pm
Vincenzo Nibali has now won both Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino
Vincenzo Nibali climbed to overall victory at the Giro del Trentino by winning the final stage as Sir Bradley Wiggins's challenge collapsed following a untimely slice of misfortune.
The Astana team leader rode away from the field on the ascent to the summit finish on Sega di Ala, in northern Italy, and successfully overhauled a 3min 57sec deficit to overnight leader Maxime Bouet, of France.
He will now go into May's Giro d'Italia as favourite for victory, having won both Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro del Trentino - two key warm-up races.
Wiggins (Team Sky) had to settle for fifth in the general classification after mechanical problems forced him to stop and change bikes midway up the 14km concluding climb, prompting the disgusted Tour de France champion to throw his stricken bike against a wall.
He valiantly chased back towards Nibali and the rest of an eight-man lead group, but just as he was about to complete the bridge, the Italian launched the first of two decisive attacks that Wiggins was, by now, too tired to respond to.
Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) was the only rider able to follow Nibali's opening burst, 6km out, but when the 28-year-old accelerated again 3km from the line, his fellow Italian this time had no answer.
Santambrogio crossed the line after a 166.8km mountainous stage eight seconds adrift to climb to second overall, with Wiggins following 1min 39sec down in ninth place, 1min 40sec down on Nibali in the general classification.
All eyes then turned to Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who had won stage 1a and held the pink jersey since stage two, but was struggling against the steep incline and had been dropped by the leaders early on the hors-categorie ascent.
The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider eventually stopped the clock 4min 41sec behind Nibali, which saw him surrender the race victory but hang on to the final place on the podium.
Wiggins's Sky team-mate Kanstantsin Siutsou, who went into the final stage second overall, was also dropped on the final climb and finished the race outside of the top 10 in the general classification.
Nibali's perfect preparation
While victory completed a textbook build-up to the Giro d'Italia for Nibali, Wiggins heads into the first Grand Tour of the season without a single victory to his name in 2013.
The 32-year-old has shown glimpses of form, but results dictate that will go to the Giro's Grand Partenza in Naples on May 4 as a slight underdog to the home favourite.
Of the other contenders, Cadel Evans's chances of winning appear slim after a the Australian's climbing ability once again deserted him at the Giro del Trentino.
He entered the decisive climb close to the front of the lead group, but when Nibali began to crank up the pace, the BMC rider was unable to maintain contact and had to settle for fifth on the stage and eighth overall.
Santambrogio, meanwhile, has shown strong form so far this season - also figuring prominently at Tirreno-Adriatico - and may fancy his chances of finishing in the Giro podium.
Stage four result
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, 4:21.49
2 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini, +8secs
3 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida, +44
4 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, same time
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +1.03
6 Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, +1.10
7 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, +1.35
8 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural, +1.37
9 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +1.39
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +2.20
Final general classification
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, 17:49.11
2 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini, +21secs
3 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +55
4 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +1.16
5 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky, +1.40
6 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida, +1.45
7 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, +2.15
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +2.18
9 Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole - CSF Inox, +3.05
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +3.22