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Kruijswijk takes Giro lead as Chaves snatches stage

Esteban Chaves had one final sprint to win stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia, but Steven Kruijswijk's second place sees him take over the lead.

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Steven Kruijswijk moved into pink at the Giro d'Italia after a gruelling day in the saddle that saw the general classification battle blown wide open.

Kruijswijk was not able to take the stage win in Corvara as Esteban Chaves won the sprint for the line, but the LottoNL-Jumbo rider had done enough to take the overall lead with a second-placed finish.

After over six hours in the saddle, Kruijswijk was the only GC contender towards the front of the race as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Alejandro Valverde and previous leader Andrey Amador (both Movistar) all struggling.

While the Dutchman will wear pink in Sunday's individual time-trial, Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) took the glory on stage 14 with a late burst of speed to snatch victory ahead of Kruijswijk and Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing).

A number of riders tried to make breaks on the 219-kilometre challenge, but only David Lopez (Team Sky), Ruben Plaza (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Atapuma were really able to make them stick.

The trio took the majority of mountains points as the peloton traversed two category one climbs and three category two, but Daniel Cunego (Nippo - Vini Fantini) was able to hold onto the Maglia Azzurra for another day.

Atapuma broke for the line on the final ascent up Passo Valparola and looked to have timed it to perfection as his rivals appeared to tire, he negotiated the descent well but with 1.8km to go he was finally caught by Kruijswijk, Chaves and Georg Preidler.

The quartet then jostled for position before Chaves made the decisive break with metres to race, the Colombian taking the stage win while Kruijswijk assumed the leader's jersey.

Nibali is his nearest rival with eight stages to go, the Italian finishing 37 seconds adrift in fifth to leave him 41 behind, while Chaves is third overall at +1.32.

It was not a good day for Valverde, though, as he slipped over three minutes behind the leader, while Amador's time in pink came to a swift end.

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