It's not unusual for at least one mountaintop in the Giro d'Italia to still have snow on it - it is only May, after all - but the conditions today for stage 13 were frigid. At the finish, several riders - soaked to the bone by the rain - had teeth chattering as they crossed the line. It'll be amazing if there aren't a few head colds in the peloton tomorrow.
Overall leader Ivan Basso (Team CSC) maintained and even extended his lead over his closest rivals - the guy in 2nd is now almost three and a half minutes behind him - all while playing it very safe (Chris thinks it was too safe) on the tricky and wet descent to the finish. He still came in 2nd on the stage, even after pussy-footing it around the hairpins. As far as I'm concerned, playing it safe was the perfect way to go - one rider apparently crashed so hard on the descent he had to be medevaced out (we don't yet know details, but hope he's okay).
Today's winner was Saunier Duval's Leonardo Piepoli - the only man who stayed with Basso on the final climb, and who took risks on the descent to beat Basso by 43 seconds. Tomorrow is another mountain stage, though the hardest stages are still to come this week. Basso has built up a nice cushion for himself, so if he plays his cards right he'll just need to defend his lead over the most brutal climbs. If those days are anything like the two mountain stages we've seen so far, however, he'll be off the front of the peloton - not because he has to be, but because he can be.