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Aussie Gerrans battles for Giro stage win

  • Story Highlights
  • Australian Simon Gerrans pulls clear to win stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia
  • He went clear of Rubens Bertogliati and Francesco Gavazzi on final climb
  • Overall race leader Denis Menchov retained pink jersey after 172-km leg
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(CNN) -- Australian rider Simon Gerrans produced a memorable final climb to win stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday.

Australian Gerrans enjoys the moment after conquering the final climb to take stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia.

Australian Gerrans enjoys the moment after conquering the final climb to take stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia.

The Cervelo TestTeam cyclist pulled clear of runner-up Rubens Bertogliati and Francesco Gavazzi in the final two kilometers of the route from Campi Bisenzio to Bologna, powering up a gruelling climb -- the steepest of the day.

The trio were part of a 14-strong group which accelerated ahead of the peloton early in the 172-km stage with Gerrans crossing the line after four hours 16 minutes 48 seconds.

With five climbs the stage always looked suitable to a breakaway and those involved stretched out a lead of more than four minutes at one point.

They were still some two minutes clear by the time they reached the final climb -- ensuring one of them took the leg.

ISD's Andriy Grivko was the first to charge but he came to a virtual stop on the final climb and Gerrans swept past him with Kenyan-born Briton Chris Froome in tow.

They looked to be pushing clear together until Froome's legs gave in 500m from the line following gradients of 16-20 percent.

Gerrans' triumph was the Cervelo team's first stage victory of the tour.

Overall race leader Denis Menchov retained the pink jersey, staying just ahead of nearest rival Danilo Di Luca as the peloton crossed the line.

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