The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 11

 Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

The Steps

1st – Simon Yates

2nd – Tom Dumoulin @ 0:02

3rd – Davide Formolo @ 0:05

The Parcours

A lot of weary legs were in the peloton after yesterday’s 244km epic, so they were thankful for a shorter day on Stage 11 at only 159km. That doesn’t mean it was easy though, with the stage amongst the quickest average speeds in the race on another rolling day that covered two long, but shallow, cat 3 climbs in the middle. You had to pay attention in the finish too, with a rolling final 15km, and finish coming atop a cat 4 climb. The finishing climb was nearly 2km long on some disgusting twisty, narrow, cobbled, steep roads, with sections of 16% coming near the bottom, but a flatter final 400m leading to the line in the town of Osimo.

The Jerseys

Simon Yates now leads by 47 seconds over Tom Dumoulin, extending his lead via a gap across the line and time bonuses.  All the other jerseys were unchanged in the standings as well; Viviani leads the Points comp, Carapaz the Young Riders’ jersey, and Chaves the Climber’s jersey.

 

The Break

It took a while for the break to get established, with a breakaway winner looking possible. After 25km, Luis Leon Sanchez, Alessandro De Marchi and Fausto Masnada went away, while Alex Turrin and Mirco Maestri both bridged across later. They got a max lead of around 4 minutes which came with 100km to go.

 

De Marchi and Sanchez are two of the better breakaway riders around, so this break might have a great chance on another day. Lotto Jumbo and Lotto Fix All were chasing hard for Battaglin and Wellens to duke it out on the final climb though, and even though the breakaway win looked possible with 20km to go when the original three of De Marchi Sanchez and Masnada had 2 minutes, they were brought back in a furious finale.

 

The Winning move

A severely reduced peloton came into the final, and Tim Wellens and Zdenek Stybar jumped away on the cobbled penultimate hill with 5km to go. They gapped the field over the crest and reached the bottom of the final climb with a lead of around 10 seconds as Mitchelton-Scott lead the bunch that had split thanks to a crash midway down the bunch.

 

At the bottom of the final climb, Yates attacked, trying to capitalise on the split. He quickly pulled back Wellens as Tom Dumoulin tried to chase and the bunch was split. The flatter section at the top should have benefitted Dumoulin as Yates had about 5 seconds gap with a km to go, but Yates held his advantage and took his second stage win of the Giro.

 

The GC Movers and Shakers

Yates is taking every opportunity to gain time at the moment (really shows the benefit of time bonuses in terms of creating great racing - every stage is fought for by GC guys). He’s ridiculously strong at the moment and taking the bull by the horns.

 

Tom Dumoulin’s climbing form is finally kicking into gear – if he keeps riding like this, it’s going to be a big ask for Yates to pull back the time he’ll lose in the TT. Another reminder of what we’re missing out on after Formolo’s crash on Etna – he’s ridden really well aside from that day. Pozzovivo and Pinot both stay in touch with fifth and seventh placings respectively, while Rohan Dennis was again impressive in eighth.

 

Michael Woods lost 1:05 in the finish, and dropped down to 16th in the GC, while our man Chris Froome rolled across the line 40 seconds down on Yates. Heard some chat on the SSS poddie that he’s still a chance for a podium maybe – his form is so poor right now that seems real unlikely, and it kind of goes against everything Sky know how to do to. Their racing is entirely based on controlling everything; Froome needs a few days of utter chaos to get back in, and that doesn’t really fit their mantra. The way Froome would get back into this – controlled climbing, at a high pace, that tightens the screws slowly, followed then a beast mode TT – is exactly the same way Dumoulin would win, and he has a 2:33 head start on the Brit.

 

The Aussies

 

9th – Rohan Dennis @ 0:34 (7th on GC @ 2:36)

21rd – Ben O’Connor " (13th on GC @ 3:35, 3rd on Young Riders)

52nd – Jack Haig @2:24

54th – Adam Hansen "

136th – Mitch Docker @ 12:42

137th – Chris Hamilton "

139th – Zak Dempster "

 


Next

214km from Osimo to Imola, the stage is nearly entirely flat for the first 198 km. At that point they reach the famous old F1 track, do a half lap, take a road off the circuit to take in the cat 4 Tre Monti climb, and then descend back onto the Imola track for the finish.

 

The Tre Monti climb looks hard, averaging 4.2% for 4km but including sections at 10%. It also comes close to the finish of the stage, topping out with 7.6km to go, so the pace is going to be turned up to 11 at that point.

 

The Pick

Will the sprinters be there at the end to contest the final sprint? The Tre Monti has a few hard sections, but it’s the only climb of the day. We’ll back Sam Bennett to take the win – Viviani should make it over but Bennett is in far better climbing shape, so should have a better kick left on him