Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma QuickStep) reminded everyone of his attacking qualities when he helped form part of the 13-man break on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia from Cordenons – Montasio. The 29-year-old jumped clear of the peloton during the opening kilometres of the race and established a lead in excess of 8 minutes.
The pair headed to the bottom of the final climb with their advantage down to under two minutes as Sky set a frantic pace in the peloton and with under 10 kilometres remaining Pauwels and Rodriguez were swept up with the Belgian finishing a creditable 41st, 9’46 down on stage winner Rigoberto Uran.
“Sky really put pressure on the rest. In the end we are dependent on what happens in the back, especially when the big GC riders start to pull. Because honestly I think Sky started to pull on the first climb to make up time for the descent. They were thinking also about the stage, but first objective was they wanted to start the descent in the front to show their presence.”