Scarponi considers abandoning Giro
After slipping out of the general classification picture at Montecopiolo last weekend, Michele Scarponi (Astana) is now weighing up the prospect of slipping away from the Giro altogether. The Italian was among the many fallers in the mass crash at Montecassino and has been struggling with his injuries ever since.
"I'm suffering more than I thought I would, I'm suffering too much," Scarponi said after stage 11. "I'll ride the time trial as calmly as I can and then tomorrow night I’ll make a decision with the team about what to do."
Although Scarponi's stable-mate Fabio Aru is currently lying in sixth place overall, the veteran was signed primarily to aid Vincenzo Nibali at the Tour de France in July. With that in mind, Scarponi might be persuaded to bring an early end to his Giro. "I don't want to quit but I don’t want to keep suffering like this," he said.
Uran stays relaxed about the time trial
Rigoberto Uran may be team leader at Omega Pharma-QuickStep for the Giro d'Italia but the laid back Colombian never seems to feel the pressure and stress of targeting a Grand Tour.
He is a more complete rider than pure climbers Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and finished second overall at the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
He could emerge as Cadel Evans' biggest rival after the Barolo time trial.
"If I do well, I'll be happy, if I don't I'll be happy anyway," Uran told Gazzetta dello Sport, sharing his philosophy on life.
"I feel ready to do a good ride. I know that this time trial is important and we've looked at every tiny detail to do as well as we can. I've worked a lot on my time trialling. I've even been in the wind tunnel to work on a more aerodynamic position. My position has totally changed compared to the past."
Uran refused to make any predictions based on previous time trials and made it clear he thinks he is the best Colombian in the race, ahead of compatriot Nairo Quintana.
"This time trial can't be compared to recent ones we've done in Grand Tours. I think it suits Evans and Cadel is strong in time trials. But I'm feeling good, very good too," he said.
"Quintana is a strong climber but I'm perhaps a more complete rider and that's what's needed to win the Giro."
Time trial start times
The first time trial of the Giro has arrived. Cadel Evans will be looking to put time into his rivals as others will just hope to get through without losing too much. Time trial specialist Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) was the first man off at 12:45 local time. There might not be too many specialists at this year’s Giro but it will be an important stage. You can read and watch our previews here and here are some of the start times you may be interested in.
Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) 12:45
Adriano Malori (Movistar) 13:42
Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) 14:23
Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) 14:41
Michele Scarponi (Astana) 14:46
Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) 15:12
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) 15:38
Pierre Rolland (Europcar) 15:50
Ivan Basso (Cannondale) 15:53
Robert Kiserlovski (Trek Factory Racing) 15:56
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 15:59
Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) 16:02
Fabio Aru (Astana) 16:05
Steve Morabito (BMC) 16:08
Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) 16:11
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) 16:14
Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 16:17
Cadel Evans (BMC) 16:20
Alonso upbeat about plans for his 2015 WorldTour team
Fernando Alonso may be busy at the Monaco F1 Gran Prix but according to today's Gazzetta dello Sport, he has taken time to confirm he is serious about creating a major cycling team for 2015.
Despite doubts that the team is running out of time to be operational for 2015 and alleged problems with sponsors struggling to accept the laborious WorldTour rules and application process, Alonso was upbeat about the creation of the team.
"The project has never stopped. But we're trying to create the team in a professional manner. There are rules that have to be respected and we'll respect them," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I see there's a lot of attention and a lot of expectation for what we're doing. When it's the right moment, we'll give some official news."
Alonso will apparently meet with technical manager Paolo Bettini in Monaco today, to catch up about the creation of the team and the WorldTour application process after serious doubts emerged following talks with the UCI.
By a matter of seconds
"Life is a game of inches," according to Tony D'Amato in the movie 'Any given Sunday'. For AG2R La Mondiale rider Davide Appollonio it proved to be a game of seconds. The Italian rider fell short of the time cut on stage 11 by a mere 16 seconds, after being dropped early in the stage. There was no arguing with the race judges and he was sent packing.
An understandably disappointed Appollonio had this to say on Twitter, “I go home being 16 seconds delay off limits after riding the last 200 kms alone.”
Appollonio is the first AG2R-La Mondiale rider to leave the race. His teammate Domenico Pozzovivo is currently sitting in fourth place in the general classification.
Chris Anker Sørensen abandons
As his teammate Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) was fighting to keep the peloton off his back and take victory, Chris Anker Sørensen was battling to finish.
The Danish rider came down in a heavy crash 70 kilometres into the stage, which sent riders flying into the mud on adjacent to the road. Movistar’s Adriano Malori also came down in the crash. Battered and bruised, the Dane finished the stage only 7:42 down on the leaders.
However, it was later revealed on Danish TV that Sørensen hadn’t been able to remember around 20 kilometres after the crash. After being assessed by the team doctor it was decided he should leave the race, due to concussion. Sørensen will remain with the doctor until Friday, before travelling home.