Rogers Wins Stage 11 of Giro
Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) has escaped to victory in Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia. Rogers attacked on the day’s last climb and held on to win the hilly, 249-km ride from Collecchio to Savona in 5:48:08. Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano) outsprinted Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF) at 0:10. Cadel Evans (BMC) remains the maglia rosa.
A hilly stage today and a time trial tomorrow added up to a breakaway taking the win. First, however, there was the break of the day, which got clear after a series of failed escape attempts. Fourteen riders-- Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF); Moreno Moser (Cannondale); Francis Mourey (FDJ.fr); Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida); Yonathan Monsalve (Nero Sottoli-Yellow Fluo); Perrig Quemeneur, Romain Sicard, and Bjorn Thurau (all from Europcar); Georg Preidler (Giant-Shimano); Daniel Moreno and Eduard Vorganov (both from Katusha); Philip Deignan (Sky); and Nicolas Roche and Ivan Rovny (both from Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) sallied off of the front and led the field by 0:30 at 86 km. The fugitives’ advantage maxed out at about 4:45.
Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela led the pursuit. Despite a large crash on the descent of the Category 2 Passo Cento Croci that took Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) out of the race, the peloton made headway. With 53 km left, the bunch trailed the break by 2:15.
At the base of the final climb, Bongiorno attacked. Roche and Moreno countered, but Arredondo caught and dropped all three riders. Preidler chased, but the peloton was in hot pursuit.
BMC and Omega Pharma-Quick Step led the field onto the descent. Rogers jumped into the lead with 21.5 km to go. He led the field by 0:37 with 10 km remaining and by 0:32 with five km left. Giant-Shimano and Trek led the chase, but Rogers held on for the win.
Rogers’s win was a textbook case of capitalizing on GC contenders’ fixation with each other. "It was one of the hardest rides of my life, for sure,” Rogers said. “At the top of the climb, I realized that most guys in the group were GC contenders and this was the time to jump. So I went. From then on, it was all about keeping my head down, pedaling away, and I guess I was a little lucky that the GC guys were probably looking at each other, hesitating a bit. That only meant that I had the golden opportunity to celebrate the stage win a few hundred meters from the finish line."
In the overall, Evans leads Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) by 0:57 and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank) by 1:10. Stage 12 will shake up the standings. The hilly, 41.6-km individual time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo will create big time gaps. Who will the winners and losers be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!