Giro d'Italia 14: Vincenzo Nibali wins solo in Asolo

Richie Porte loses pink jersey to David Arroyo

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali came home alone in Saturday's 14th stage of the Tour of Italy with Spaniard David Arroyo taking possession of the leader's pink jersey.

Nibali made his decisive move at the start of the 40km Monte Grappa descent when he surged clear of a group comprising compatriots Michele Scarponi and Ivan Basso and Australian world champion Cadel Evans.

The Liquigas team rider crossed the line with a 23-second cushion over Basso, Scarponi and Evans.

Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, who was unable to keep pace with this quartet up the Monte Grappa summit, took fifth, one minute and a half adrift.

Arroyo took the overall lead finishing 2min 25sec behind the winner.

The big loser of the day was overnight leader Australian Richie Porte, who struggled in this arduous 206 kilometre mountain run to lose almost five minutes.

Arroyo now leads Porte by 39s going into Sunday's 15th stage, a 222km run from Mestre to Monte Zoncolan.

He said: "This is a great day for me, a magnificent stage resulting in the pink jersey which makes me so thrilled, it's a dream to wear it.

"In terms of overall victory I'd prefer to take it day by day, there are some very strong rivals but I have a tough team that knows how to manage a race leader."

Nibali said the risk he had taken in going for victory at the beginning of the descent had paid off handsomely.

"But I was feeling tired at the finish," the Italian said. "As for the next stage, I can't promise anything - it's going to be long and difficult."

Basso paid tribute to Nibali, saying: "He put up an exceptional performance."

© AFP 2010

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