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Clearly the strongest rider on the stage to Zoldo Alto two days ago, Ivan Basso found himself on the receiving end today as he struggled with stomach problems and lost his pink jersey to Paolo Savoldelli. The win on a tough stage featuring six climbs went to Selle Italia's Ivan Parra, but the key action took place further down the final climb as Basso, who had been in trouble on the Passo delle Erbe earlier, could not follow the pace set by first Gilberto Simoni and then Savoldelli and trailed in a minute down on the latter. Savoldelli now leads by 50 seconds.
There were attacks right from the start of the stage, and eventually a group of 20 riders got clear after 27km. As this group passed over the succession of climbs it was gradually whittled down until there were just a handful of riders left on the final climb towards the finish at Ortesei. Mountains leader Jos Rujano was the first to make a attacks here, but when he was pulled back, his team-mate Parra wasted no time in countering.
The former ONCE and Kelme rider finished 23 seconds ahead of Juan Manuel Garate and Rujano, with Pietro Caucchioli another four seconds back. All four riders moved well up into the top 10, with Spaniard Garate the best placed in fifth.
Basso's maglia rosa group was seeing plenty of action too. Damiano Cunego and Simoni attacked the CSC leader on the penultimate climb, the Passo delle Erbe, putting the race leader in serious difficulties. Although both were caught before the top of the Erbe, Simoni attacked again on the last climb, and was quickly joined by Savoldelli and Danilo Di Luca. As Basso could not respond, from there it was simply a question of how much time the erstwhile race leader would lose on Savoldelli. In the end it was a shade over a minute.
"Ivan wasn't good today. He had problems all day with his stomach, but we were quite fortunate because the team was very strong and they managed to keep the rhythm quite high," said CSC team manager Bjarne Riis. "We hope that he will be OK tomorrow," Riis added, knowing that another bad day for his leader over the extremely long Stelvio pass followed by the Foscagno on the road into Livigno could cause irreparable damage to Basso's overall hopes.
Stage 13, Mezzocorona-Ortesei/St Ullrich
1 Ivan Parra (Col) Selle Italia-Colombia 218km in 6.31.34 (33.40kph)
2 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Saunier Duval 0.23
3 Jos Rujano (Ven) Selle Italia
4 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Crdit Agricole 0.27
5 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Phonak 1.46
6 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile 2.57
7 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Liberty Seguros 3.03
8 Wladimir Belli (Ita) Domina Vacanze 3.48
9 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 4.00
10 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 4.07
11 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
12 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.38
13 Emanuele Sella (Ita) Ceramica Panaria
14 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze
15 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
21 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 5.08
1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 60.31.12
2 Basso 0.50
3 Di Luca 0.53
4 Simoni 2.16
5 Garate 2.39
6 Caucchioli 3.25
7 Honchar 4.05
8 Rujano 4.23
9 Bruseghin 4.54
10 Dario Cioni (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 6.17
16 Cunego 7.40
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