Following on from the decisive Montefalco time trial, stage 11's lumpy profile thorough the Apennines suggested the day could play into the hands of a breakaway and allow the GC men to take a breath. The large 25-man breakaway formed on the Passo della Consuma climb as the race threatened to implode. However, by the next climb, the Passo della Calla, the breakaway was back under control as stage winner Omar Fraile and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) took off.
"We knew it could be a difficult stage and either me and Cataldo remained at the front since the first km to pay attention to any attack," Kangert explained.
With Movistar's Andrey Amadaor also in the front group alongside Kangert and Cataldao, the peloton became wise to the potential GC shake up. The likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Thibaut Pinot tested their legs back in the peloton as the breakaway splinted with Fraile, Rui Costa and Pierre Rolland forming a three-man lead group.
Under the flamme route Kangert joined up with the trio but in the sprint for the line in Bagno di Romagna, the Estonian couldn't get around had to settle for fourth.
"In the fast final I saw the three guys at the front they were not far from us and I jumped on them (even helped by a perfect team play by Cataldo at the front of the small selected group, and), then it was not possible to surprise them before the sprint because we had a bit of wind in face and the road was lightly rising," he said.
With the peloton crossing the line 1:37 minutes in arrears, Kangert jumped to eighth overall with Cataldo also improving his overall position. The Italian is now 11th on GC
"I'm satisfied because I have recovered almost two minutes in the GC," added Kangert.
Having proven himself as a loyal domestique by helping Vincenzo Nibali to Giro d'Italia titles in 2013 and 2016, and the Tour de France in 2014, Kangert is yet to finish top-ten at a Grand Tour. His best performances thus far have been 13th in 2013 and 2015 and with ten stages to race, is on track for a career best result.
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