By Gregor Brown in Cesena
Team CSF Group Navigare's Tiziano Dall'Antonia survived the climbs of San Marino, Monte Carpegna, Petricara and Sorrivoli, in addition to heavy rain showers, but fell shy of making it to the final with his escape companions in Giro d'Italia's stage 11 to Cesena. The 24 year-old Italian from Vittorio Veneto lost contact with only seven kilometres remaining, at the start of the Cippo Pantani.
Dall'Antonia, who helped form the day's move at kilometre 42, was left behind by three riders – eventual stage winner Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) and team-mate Fortunato Baliani.
"I did not think to enter into an escape today, but from the start I was pedaling well and I thought there would be less fatigue in the escape than in the gruppo because you can have a more regulated rhythm," he explained to Cyclingnews after crossing the line in fourth.
"Up until the last kick it went well for me, but then the light was turned off," he remarked bluntly. "I am sorry, I put all the effort into the move and I really believed in victory."
Baliani crashed in the final 650 metres and left the door open for Bertolini's win; in addition, the team's climbing ace and leader of the mountain's competition, Emanuele Sella, crashed twice during the stage. Dall'Antonia's day was also marked with a crash. On the descent of the Monte Arena, midway through the race, his bike slid out from under him. He had scrapes on his left elbow as a result.
"It went this way today, but tomorrow we will have another day," Dall'Antonia declared in an upbeat tone. The team is bolstered by the win of Matteo Priamo in stage six.