Giro d’Italia Stage 11: live updates and blog
Please join our live blog of Stage 11, beginning at 18.55 AEST. Stage 11 marks the halfway point of the 2012 Giro d’Italia. Updates will be added to this post as the race progresses.
Already, we have been treated to hectic sprint finishes, a breakaway win, and more than a little chaos.
The finish of last night’s 186km Stage 10 from Civitavecchia to Assisi was faster than many predicted, with Spanish climber Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) hitting the line first and going straight into the maglia rosa.
Italian Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox), the winner of stage nine on Monday, was again keen to test his climbing legs. So too was Frenchman John Gadret (Ag2r La Mondiale), whose attack with 3km to go proved fruitless.
On what ended as a day for the uphill specialists, the surprise package was second-place finisher Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp). The Polish veteran was the only rider to get near Rodriguez on the final hill in just his second Giro.
Having usurped Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) for the race lead, Rodriguez holds a 17-second advantage over the Canadian. Italian Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) sits in third, 32 seconds behind the man in pink.
Tonight’s (AEST) 255km Stage 11 from Assisi to Montecatini Terme is the longest of this year’s race. It is a mostly flat course with rolling hills, including a category three climb at Poggio Alla Croce after 155km and a category four hill at Vico after 249km.
The sprinter’s teams will be hoping to make it over these climbs unscathed and with enough left in the tank to organise a sprint finish. Mark Cavendish (Sky Pro Cycling) is the odds-on favourite to win the stage, but Australian Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) has shown more than once this Giro that he packs a mean sprint punch.
Other men to watch are Australian Mark Renshaw (Rabobank), Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
Stage 11 is one of very few remaining opportunities for the sprinters in this year’s race. Expect to see Sky Pro Cycling, Rabobank and Orica-GreenEDGE leaving absolutely nothing on the road.
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