Mauro Santambrogio of Italy won a weather-affected and altered 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday, and favourite Vincenzo Nibali finished second to extend his overall lead.

Santambrogio won in a time of 4 hours, 42 minutes, 55 seconds in in rainy, windy and even snowy conditions, beating Nibali in a final sprint at the top of the steep Jafferau climb. Carlos Betancur was third.

The stage had to be altered shortly before the start and the climb up Sestriere was removed because of avalanche threats. The cyclists were re-routed through Val di Susa, on a longer 180-kilometre (112-mile) course from Cervere to Bardonecchia.

Sunday's route, which crosses into France and includes climbs up the Galibier and the Col du Mont Cenis, is also likely to be altered.

Nibali, who finished third and second in his last two Giro races, extended his lead to 1:26 over Cadel Evans and is firmly on course to win his home country's biggest cycling race for the first time.

Sonny Colbrelli, Luca Paolini, Matteo Trentin and Daniele Pietropolli led for most of the leg, building a lead of more than nine minutes, but the peloton started to reel in the four escapees with 40 kilometres (25 miles) left. Trentin and then Pietropolli fell back from the lead group shortly before the start of the grueling category-one climb to the finish, which had a gradient of 14 per cent in some places.

Nibali made his move inside the final 2 kilometres, (1.5 miles), emerging from the fog near the finish line with Santambrogio. And Santambrogio clung on, holding off the race favourite to claim his first Grand Tour stage victory.

The Giro ends May 26 in Brescia.