Giro d'Italia stage 11 – Live coverage
Follow all the action on the Tuscan sterrato to Montalcino
Preview: Montalcino gravel stage to shake loose Giro d'Italia GC battle
Giro d'Italia: Peter Sagan wins stage 10
1 Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos 4:01:55
2 Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:01
3 Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:0:26
4 Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:41
5 Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:0:44
7 Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:01:23
8 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:01:37
9 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:43
10 Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:59
11 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:09
12 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:12
13 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:03:32
14 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:03:35
15 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
General classification after stage 11
1 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 42:35:21
2 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:45
3 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:12
4 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:17
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:01:22
6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:50
7 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:02:22
8 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:24
9 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:02:49
10 Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:15
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia.
After 11 long years, the sterrato of Tuscany is finally back in the Giro d'Italia. The riders will today do battle over 162 kilometres from Perugia to the town of Montalcino, which hosted the finish of that famous stage at the 2010 race.
Back then, a muddy world champion, Cadel Evans, took victory on the stage as Ivan Basso lost over two minutes when he crashed, and Alexandre Vinokourov took the maglia rosa.
This time around, maglia rosa Egan Bernal will be looking to emulate Evans and Vinokourov, rather than Basso as the peloton returns to the gravel roads.
The Colombian has form on that kind of surface, having kicked off his cycling career on the mountain bike – in fact, he only raced a handful of times on the road before he was signed up by Androni Giocattoli in 2016.
This year, he finished third at Strade Bianche, his debut at the race, while on stage 9 of this very race, he dominated the uphill gravel finish at Campo Felice to take the race lead,
Preview: Montalcino gravel stage to shake loose Giro d'Italia GC battle
‘The first section of gravel will be like the forest of Arenberg’
The 'big two' – Bernal and Evenepoel – both previewed this stage ahead of the race, with this stage being the only one the Belgian reconned. Back in February, Bernal also rode the Alpe di Mera, which will feature on stage 19.
A look at the start location in Perugia today, as Qhubeka Assos ride to the sign-on.
Here's what Bernal had to say before the start. The Colombian confirmed that he raced Strade Bianche to prepare for this stage and said that Campo Felice is very different to today's race.
"Not really, not especially, because it's another stage. It's different, there was just 2 km of sterrato that stage. There will be 35 km today, so it's different. But I hope to do well. I mean, in Strade Bianche I did well too, so let's see, let's see.
"But, you know, in this type of race you need a little bit of luck as well, otherwise, just with one puncture in one wheel, you can just lose the race. I wanted to do Stade Bianche since 2016 as it's one of my favourite races, so, yeah, I went to Strade Bianche not just because of this stage of the Giro."
Today's stage is one of our Giro d'Italia 'ambush stages' – a non-high mountain stagee where the differences can be made in the general classification.
We saw some differences on Sestola, where João Almeida and George Bennett lost heaps of time. Today should see yet more time gaps.
There are only two classified climbs on today's stage, both third-category hills, though the stage will be much tougher than that simplistic summary with 35 kilometres of sterrato and plenty of smaller hills.
The sterrato climb of the Passo del Lume Spento (13km at 3.6 per cent) – 38 kilometres from the line – features sections of up to 16 per cent, while the riders will also tackle the climb from the other side in the final kilometres, with the 9.3-kilometre, 4.6 per cent side topping out just 3.8 kilometres from the finish.
Meanwhile, the peloton have rolled out in Perugia and are now in the neutral zone.
EF-Nippo rider and Tuscan Alberto Bettiol, who should be among the favourites to succeed on this kind of terrain...
"For me, yeah, it’s a big stage. It’s a stage where we touch my homeland. It’s a really tough stage, I guess. The peloton for sure doesn’t want to take any risk for their leader, and in the final it’s going to be really tough
"There are two proper climbs, so it’s going to be tough on a technical point, and for the gradients. We face a really tough stage."
162km to go
After a long eight-kilometre neutral zone, the race is finally properly underway.
Attacks from the off as the peloton is strung out under a high pace.
157km to go
A group is away and Ineos are among the teams blocking the front of the peloton.
A few more are trying to sneak away now, though.
50 seconds to the front group already now.
Maglia rosa Egan Bernal leads a round of comfort breaks in the peloton.
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Here's the makeup of today's break...
Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), Simon Guglielmi (Groupama-FDJ), Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Harm Vanhoucke, Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Bert-Jan Lindeman, Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka Assos), Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa)
144km to go
After 18 kilometres of racing, the breakaway has 5:25 on the peloton.
Ineos are in control of the peloton.
Jonathan Castroviejo and Salvatore Puccio are the men doing the work for Ineos during this early part of the stage.
Now it's up to 7:35 for the break. There are zero GC threats out front so it wouldn't be a shock if they were allowed to contend for the stage win.
Given Bernal's finishing acceleration at Campo Felice though, it might be a misstep to throw away a potential 10 bonus seconds on a stage that finishes with a 200-metre, 10 per cent ramp.
128km to go
8:40 for the breakaway now. Not a high pace in the peloton so far.
118km to go
The gap is up over 10 minutes now. No real action in the race during these early flat kilometres. Ineos continue to control.
All the intermediate sprints and climbs (and sterrato sectors) are in the second half of today's stage, so there's nothing to fight over – for anyone – for a while.
107km to go
12:40 for the breakaway now as they near the 100km to go mark. That's the highest advantage for a break so far in this Giro.
Belgian champion Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) isn't having a great time at the rear of the breakaway group as they head up a rise in the road...
Here's some info on the support situation during today's stage...
Roadside bike changes will be allowed during first secto, teams will have 10 people each along route with wheels and bidons, and there are four Shimano neutral service points with bikes and wheels stationed along the sterrato sectors.
Here's a shot of today's breakaway.
100km to go
As we hit the 100km to go mark, the peloton now lie a full 13 minutes behind the break. We're 30 kilometres away from the start of the first sterrato sector.
Today, Bernal is on caliper brakes, 28mm tubulars, and 53/39 &11/30 gearing.
Evenepoel, meanwhile, is on disc brakes, 28mm clinchers with inner tubes at 5.5 bar, and 52/36 & 11/30 gearing.
The final kilometres today are from a picture postcard. Here are the white roads that await the peloton of the Giro d’Italia.Oggi gli ultimi chilometri della tappa si corrono dentro una cartolina. Ecco le strade bianche che aspettano la corsa rosa!#Giro pic.twitter.com/tfZAlViCLnMay 19, 2021
82km to go
Feed zone for the breakaway as they edge nearer to the sterrato. Team DSM and Astana-Premier Tech are up at the front of the peloton with Ineos now.
The gap is still 13 minutes at the moment. A breakaway win is looking more and more likely as the kilometres tick down.
The stronger hill climbers in the break – the likes of Enrico Battaglin and Harm Vanhoucke – will be happy about that.
Both Francesco Gavazzi and Taco van der Hoorn have been in the break before in the Giro, with the Dutchman winning stage 3, of course. They're clearly in good form, then.
RAI have reported that team cars in the breakaway have been in a crash. The EF-Nippo, Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty Gobert cars were involved, with the latter being called back to the peloton. Tough for Van der Hoorn, that...
72km to go
The break are just a couple of kilometres away from the sterrato now.
Meanwhile, the peloton is 14:25 down...
69km to go
The break passes through the town and hits the sterrato!
9.1 kilometres of this. It's uphill at the start but much of it is downhill and technical.
"The first section is long and technical, and the whole bunch won’t be coming out the back end of it," Team BikeExchange directeur sportif Matt White told us. "The next two sectors are a lot more selective and with a smaller bunch, it will be a lot easier to control and a lot easier to assess how you’re going to play your tactics on those next two sectors."
Astana, Trek, DSM, Bora, QuickStep, Ineos are all at the front of the peloton as they spread across the road. They're still a bit further away from the gravel yet.
65km to go
The break hits the downhill section.
Reports are coming through that it's raining in Montalcino, the finish town.
The peloton will be very spread out on this descent – the far smaller breakaway is as they head downhill. Positioning will be vital on the first part of the sector.
The peloton are only speeding up as they approach the town and then the 90-degree left-hand bend to the sterrato.
And they hit the sterrato!
Ineos and QuickStep lead the way.
Carthy, Ciccone, Bernal, Evenepoel are all up at the front.
Meanwhile the break leave the sector and hit the road. All still together.
The break on the sterrato.
Vincenzo Nibali has moved up to the front of the peloton.
Nibali and Ciccone are right up there. I haven't seen Vlasov or Yates yet.
There are splits further back in the peloton, which is lined out in single file at the moment.
Natnael Berhane and another Cofidis rider have crashed on the side of the road.
Filippo Ganna is now pushing on at the front with Bernal on his wheel.
Bevin punctures, Nizzolo is going backwards. Both among several riders in trouble so far.
Yates and Evenepoel are around 30 riders back in the peloton on the descent.
EF's Jonathan Caicedo has crashed.
55km to go
The gap to the break is down to 11:10 now.
There are splits towards the front of the peloton now as they brake for a 90-degree bend and Ganna continues to push on.
Ganna misjudges a corner and has to slow down to stay on the road.
Now it's Peter Sagan on the front.
Groups are scattered along the road now. Evenepoel is not with Bernal's lead group.
The peloton on the sterrato.
52km to go
And the first group of the peloton (around 20-30 riders led by Ineos) leaves the first sterrato sector. They're 10:30 down on the break.
Bernal has three men with him, including Ganna.
Evenepoel has Honoré and Almeida with him, plus two others. Not clear on the time gap just yet...
Meanwhile the breakaway start the second sector of gravel.
30 seconds between the Evenepoel and Bernal groups.
Ciccone, Nibali, Sagan and Soler are in the lead group.
Carthy and Formolo in Evenepoel's group.
Not sure on Vlasov, Yates, Martin yet. Don't think they're in the front group...
Astana are working in the chase so Vlasov must be there.
20 seconds is the gap now. Movistar are working with Ineos in the first group.
48km to go
The groups are back together now as they hit a climb just before the second sterrato sector.
Ganna drops off, his job done.
So all the GC men are back together. 9:25 behind the break currently.
Not sure where Dan Martin is though.
Ganna and Bernal powering forward on that last sector.
Now the peloton hit the second sector. It's the longest of the day at 13.5 kilometres and runs largely uphill.
Formolo and Dan Martin are unaccounted for at the moment. Unsure where they are in the race.
Meanwhile, Van der Hoorn, Kluge and Lindeman have been dropped from the break.
Bernal, Soler, Yates, Ciccone, Nibali, Evenepoel, Vlasov, Carthy, Buchmann, Caruso, Bardet, Bennett, Hindley, Foss, Bilbao, Almeida are all in the main group.
44km to go
Sagan is dropped from the peloton.
The peloton pass through the intermediate sprint with 10km still to go on this sector.
Kluge caught back to the break on a descent, by the way. He's off the front with Schmid now.
Sagan battles on not far behind the peloton.
No changes in the peloton among the GC men on this climb.
40km to go
8:30 for the break now. It has been a relatively quiet sector.
The break are a kilometre from the top of the climb, the Passo del Lume Spento.
Luis León Sánchez is working at the front of the peloton with his Astana teammates.
Vanhoucke leads De Bondt over the top of the climb.
Jumbo-Visma men George Bennett and Tobias Foss are on the move from the peloton.
Evenepoel is right at the rear of the group.
Bennett and Foss pass the 40-kilometre to go mark. They're around 15 seconds up on the peloton.
We still have no idea where Formolo or Dan Martin are.
One day we'll have the technology to track people's locations...
31km to go
7:50 for the break now. The Jumbo-Visma attackers are 30 seconds up on the peloton.
Aside from the Jumbo-Visma duo going on the attack, little else has happened in the 30 kilometres since the end of the first sterrato sector.
The break pass the second intermediate sprint. Meanwhile, Ineos are back on the front of the peloton.
Here's a look at today's run to the finish in Montalcino.
What a mouthwatering finish awaits the riders today @giroditalia 😍———#giro #Giro104 #giro2021 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/CAR1KCg1efMay 19, 2021
25km to go
Now the break hits the third sector at Castelnuovo dell'Abate, which begins with a descent.
Bennett and Foss have been caught. That was something of a waste of energy...
Van der Hoorn is back in the break. De Bondt is either dropped or has a mechanical.
22km to go
Seven minutes between break and peloton now.
RAI report that Martin and Formolo are over four minutes behind the peloton.
Astana, Movistar and Ineos move up front as the peloton reach the third sector of sterrato.
Evenepoel is right at the back of the group. He doesn't like the gravel.
Lindeman is caught by the peloton on the sterrato.
Evenepoel is hanging off the back now. Clear gap between him and the group.
Almeida is in the group but I don't know why he isn't dropping back to help.
19km to go
Egan Bernal is pushing on at the front now/
The group is out of sight for Evenepoel now...
Bernal attacks now!
Evenepoel looks done here. Almeida is in the main group.
Evenepoel must have told Almeida that he feels like he's finished here. Hard to imagine why else his teammate would continue on without offering any help here.
He is leaving the team at the end of the year, though. Some mid-Giro polemica, perhaps?
16km to go
Evenepoel is 45 seconds down according to the race timing.
Moscon is pushing on at the front for Ineos now.
13km to go
Almeida has waited now. Evenepoel has been talking to his radio, pulling it out, looking unhappy...
The Belgian is over a minute down now.
They're back off the sterrato and onto regular roads.
Out front, De Bondt, Vanhoucke and Schmid are pushing on as they reach the next sterrato sector.
This one is five kilometres long and takes the riders to the base of the second classified climb of the day – the other way up the Passo del Lume Spento.
Bernal still with two men on the front as they head downhill to that final sector. Astana are up there too.
George Bennett is back with the Evenepoel group.
Now De Bondt and Covi go on the attack in the break as they pass the 10-kilometre mark.
And now the peloton hit the final sector.
De Bondt and Covi have Schmid with them on the attack.
Bernal has been first or second wheel on every sterrato sector so far. Now Marc Soler is pushing on the front.
8km to go
Vlasov pushes on now. Bernal right behind.
Carthy, Bernal, Vlasov, Soler all working on the front as there are splits in the group.
Evenepoel still more than a minute down.
Spots of rain on the camera...
Vlasov continues to up the pace. EF close the gap with Bettiol.
Covi and Schmid alone at the front now.
The peloton pass the 10km mark, 2.5km back.
A look at the final kilometres after this climb.
6km to go
The peloton are on the steeper section of this climb, with max gradients of 12 per cent.
Jumbo-Visma and EF-Nippo lead the group up the climb.
De Bondt, Guglielmi, Vanhoucke and Battaglin are chasing behidn the two leaders.
Buchmann tries a move from the peloton.
Nibali drops from the peloton. Buchmann has a gap off the front.
Soler drops too.
Ciccone is dropped now, too!
Evenepoel is 1:40 down on the Bernal group now.
4km to go
Bernal, Foss, Yates, Carthy, Vlasov, Caruso, Bettiol are left in the 'peloton' now.
Schmid pushes over the top of the climb but can't get rid of Covi.
Evenepoel struggling more on the climb. Nearing two minutes down.
Buchmann has 15 seconds on the GC men.
3km to go
Final 3km for the two leaders Covi and Schmid.
Carthy puts in a dig in the GC group.
Vlasov goes now. Bernal with him.
Foss, Carthy, Yates, Caruso are still there.
Caruso, Yates and Carthy can't catch. Foss is trying but not making it.
Bernal immediately drops Vlasov.
And he's straight up to Buchmann.
Bernal is by far the strongest GC rider in this race.
1km to go
Final kilometre for Covi and Schmid!
Uphill to the line in Montalcino.
A sprint to the line!
They're side by side and Schmid edges ahead!
And Schmid takes it! A win on his Giro debut.
Vanhoucke takes third.
Bernal leads Buchmann down the descent.
Bernal and Buchmann enter the final kilometre.
Bernal sprints past Buchmann in the final metres to finish 3:09 down. Buchmann a few seconds back.
Vlasov is next to finish. He loses about 22 seconds. Caruso, Yates and the rest another few seconds back.
Evenepoel is coming to the finish now... Bardet is there too.
Ciccone crosses the line nearly two minutes !! behind Bernal.
Evenepoel around 2:20 down, a few seconds behind Nibali.
Bernal leads the Giro by 45 seconds now. Nobody else is within a minute of him and we haven't hit the high mountains yet.
No shots of the winner yet but here's Bernal leading from the front on the sterrato.
Here's what Schmid had to say after the finish...
"I can't believe it because I only came into the Giro team about two weeks before it started. My preparation was quite good, but I was never at the beginning of the season thinking about doing a Grand Tour.
"To be honest, in the last 10 days I suffered so much that I nearly couldn't follow sometimes. Today I knew I had to go into the break because I love Strade Bianche, I love the gravel roads. When I was in the break, I felt I had great legs. I recovered very well during the rest day.
"I knew Covi was really strong. He nearly dropped me on the climb, but I knew I had to stay in his wheel. I didn't know if the guys behind were close or far. Then I tried to not pull anymore and wait for the sprint and try my best. When I saw the finish, I didn't feel my legs anymore and just went for the line."
Here's what Bernal had to say after the stage...
"Today was a really hard day with the sterrato - we expected some big gaps and actually there were a lot of GC riders who lost a lot of time. I'm happy to arrive at the front and we need to stay focused for the next days.
"The pace was actually hard when Buchmann went, and I asked on the radio how he was on the GC and they said he was more than 1:40 in the GC. So I had some margin to play with and the EF guys were pulling really hard. When Carthy went, I just wait a little bit and then went to him. We worked a bit together, we did well and gained some time on the other guys. We should be happy with this day."
Mauro Schmid celebrates his win.
We'll have news and reaction to stage 11 from stage winner Schmid, and a number of the GC winners and losers – Egan Bernal, Aleksandr Vlasov, Damiano Caruso, Dan Martin, and Remco Evenepoel – coming in through the evening. Stay tuned!
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