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Giro d'Italia 2016: Stage 11


Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia from Modena to Asolo.


Good morning and a warm welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia. We're on the road from Modena to Asolo today. It's Pan-flat, but with a sting in the tail...

Here's the stage profile

Here's how the GC complexion looks after 10 stages

Riders are gathering in Modena - famous of course for its balsamic vinegar - for sign-on. In around 15 minutes they'll be rolling out for the neutral start. 

We're pretty impressed with today's start location. This might just be the finest of the race. Chapeau, Modena and your Piazza Grande

Bob Jungels is the new leader of the race today, and his bike has been duly fitted out with pink customisations to go with his maglia rosa

And they're off... The riders have made their way through the short neutralised section and racing is underway.

Cyclingnews and other media sat down this morning with Mikel Landa, who abandoned the race yesterday and left for the airport ahead of today's stage. You'll be able to read the Spaniard's thoughts shortly. 

As expected, lots of attacks flying around straight from the flag. Nothing has stuck just yet, however. 

Nine riders have managed to open up a gap on the bunch. They have a slim advantage but have not been let off the leash just yet. 

The breakaway hopefuls have opened up an advantage of nearly a minute.

These guys can't settle down yet. Lampre and Bardiani are forcing a high pace on the front of the bunch. 

These nine riders have just under a minute as they pass the 200km-to-go mark. That's right, we've ridden 27km and there's still 200 to go - this is a long one. 

Here's the breakaway group

Lampre-Merida aren't totally happy with this break, it seems. They're still pulling and, with such a long stage, many riders in the bunch won't be too happy they've not been allowed to ease up yet. 

Here's the interview with Mikel Landa from this morning.

Despite its size, the breakaway group has had to admit defeat. They have slowly but surely been reeled back in. 

Expect more attacks now, before Lampre and co settle on something they're happy to see go up the road. 

Here's the peloton, strung out as the pace remains high

177km remaining from 227km

You can catch up with yesterday's action with our stage 10 report, which includes full results, a photo gallery, and video highlights. 

The frenetic start to this stage has resulted in a whopping average speed of 51.5km/h for the first hour of racing. Again, on a day well over 200km, that will not be welcomed by all, and may well take its toll later in the race. 

We're heading further north today, with the finishing town of Asolo situated just below the Dolomites. It has plenty of cycling heritage, too, with the headquarters of Selle Italia and Sidi both based there. 

159km remaining from 227km

As the Giro roadblock tells us, today's stage takes in no fewer than seven Italian provinces: Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Rovigo, Padua, Vicenza, and Treviso.

Another move off the front now and Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM), Liam Bertazzo (Wilier Triestina-Southeast), and - once again - Anton Vorobyev (Katusha) have opened up a gap. 

It looks very much like this is our break. The trio have quickly accumulated a lead of 1:30. 

146km remaining from 227km

8 minutes is the gap now as the break comes though Badia Polesine just shy of the feed zone. 

"I think it's impossible to be in a better position"

Average speed in the second hour of racing: 49.7km/h. Under 50km/h but still bloody quick. Expect the third hour average to be a lot more sedate. 

120km remaining from 227km

It seems that Tom Dumoulin has abandoned the race at the feed zone. BMC DS Marco Pinotti just posted this photo of the Dutchman on Twitter. 

Dumoulin, of course, has been struggling with saddle sores in recent days and a withdrawal has been on the cards. He lost 13 minutes yesterday and and, despite a really strong start and a spell in pink, his Giro has taken a turn for the worse ever since stage 8. 

Here's our breakaway trio

This picture from @SpazioCiclismo shows some of the support out on the roads for local rider and breakaway member Liam Bertazzo. 

Under 100km to go now and the leading trio still have a healthy lead of 10 minutes. 

Here's our story on Dumoulin.

We're hearing that the wind is quite high out there and the breakaway have seen three minutes shaved off their lead. 

We're approaching the first intermediate sprint point of the day at Grisignano di Zocco. There are overall bonus seconds but these three breakaway riders will mop them all up. We could see sprinters in the bunch fighting it out over the last of the sprint points for the red jersey standings. 

Nice shot of the race going by some poppy fields

Vorobyev crosses the line first to take maximum points at the first intermediate sprint. 

There's a battle on in the bunch as Arnaud Demare gets a full-on leadout from FDJ. Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep) shows plenty of interest too and runs the Frenchman close. 

73km remaining from 227km

The work from the peloton is starting to pay off, with the gap dropping to 3'49. 

An incident at the front of the peloton as a spectator, lets not describe them as a fan, throws liquid at a rider near the front peloton. Not what anyone wants to see. 

We've taken a look back at Team Sky's run at the Giro d'Italia since 2010. You can read the feature, right here.

The break continue to lose time, their advantage down to 3'22 with 59km remaining. Back in the bunch the maglia rosa is being paced back after dropping back to the team car. 

FDJ are doing an entire lead out for Demare at the intermediate sprint. He has every one of  his teammate with him, and there's a brief split. Demare takes it, just, from Trentin. 

It was a couple of days ago but here's our rest-day podcast from the Giro d'Italia.

A reminder of our top 10 overall heading into the stage:


50km remaining from 227km

A group of Movistar men gather at the front of the bunch, huddled around Alejandro Valverde. 

Lampre-Merida take it up now - Diego Ulissi could be a candidate for the stage win here - but the pace isn't too high at the moment. 

It's time to start thinking about this finale. Here's a reminder of the profile. Just under 190km covered so far. 

And here's that all-important climb. There are ramps of 16%, which should shake things up considerably. It's a perfect launchpad for a late attack but we could well see attacks among the GC favourites too. 

After a technical descent, this is the run-in to the line in Asolo. Very tricky indeed, and even a bit of pavé thrown in there. 

It will be fascinating to see how the different teams play this one, and who will try to control things. Anything could happen - should be an exciting one!

How do you see this one playing out?

Huge crash

Massive pile-up here with Arnaud Demare going down and several other FDJ riders caught up. Leigh Howard was thrown down the grass banking and into a ditch, where he's lost his glasses. 

Evgeny Petrov is back on his feet but looks hurt. Meanwhile Michele Scarponi and Pieter Serry, two key domestiques for Astana and Etixx respectively, have been held up and now face a chase back on. 

Caleb Ewan also caught up in that crash. Lots of small groups frantically trying to catch back up with the peloton. 

Domenico Pozzovivo is behind, as is Gianluca Brambilla. It seems they're the only GC riders affected. Pozzovivo is being paced back thanks to four Ag2r teammates. 

Tinkoff and Movistar, both of whom escaped damage in that crash, are keen to push on here. 

Onto the Forcella Mostaccin!

The break is splitting up now and they have just 30 seconds on the bunch. 

It seems Greipel doesn't fancy his chances today. He put in a huge turn on the run-up to the climb. Maybe Tim Wellens is their card today. 

We're hearing that Pozzovivo is 1:30 behind. 

Laengen is our leader at the moment but it won't be long before he's caught, it seems. Less than 15 seconds is his gap. 

Lampre take the bunch up this climb. No attacks just yet. Nibali on his own after his teammates were taken out in that crash. 

Movistar's Carlos Betancur attacks.

Betancur makes his way up to Vorobyev, and now Cunego has a go. 

Those little attacks come to nothing and it's now Steven Kruijswijk who takes it up. 

Laengen is caught just shy of the summit and now Kruijswijk really goes!

The GC favourites are forced into action, with Valverde on the wheel of the Dutchman. Splits behind the main men.

Right then, onto this technical descent. 

We have a group of nine at the head of the race here. Andrey Amador, second on GC, is not in there. 

We have Kruijskwijk, Valverde, Chaves, Nibali, Jungels, Formolo, Zakarin, Majka, and a couple more. 

Nibali is tearing through these hairpins and opens up a small gap on the front. This group, which itself is splitting up, has a sizeable gap now at the head of the race. 

Nibali is going for this as he comes off the final corner and onto the flat. Valverde is a few bike lengths behind and has to really sprint to get back on terms. 

Nibali has been joined by Valverde and Chaves to form a trio. And they have a decent gap here. This is well and truly on. 

Here are the leaders (Photo courtesy of Movistar)

What a descent by Nibali to force the issue here. 

Jungels is trying to close the gap here and it looks like he's going to make it

Jungels and co make the junction to the leading trio.

Amador is back in there and he attacks!

Jungels is forced to go after him

12km remaining from 227km

Some were saying this could be a sprint stage. It's turning out to be a true GC day. 

Jungels hits the front now. He's really pushing on now, and event gaps Amador slightly. 

Lots of riders coming back to the chasing group of favourites. Among them Ulissi and Sonny Colbrelli.

10km remaining from 227km

Bardiani lead the chase now as more riders regain contact. It's a single file line at the front of that group but Amador and Jungels are keeping them at bay. 

Two Trek-Segafredo riders are in this group and they are Giacomo Nizzolo and Ryder Hesjedal. Hesjedal still up there or thereabouts on GC, while Nizzolo is probably the fastest finisher in there.

It's up and down all the time here. Jungels is looking so strong. Every time Amador peels off, a gap opens up and he has to fight to get back on the wheel. 

Caleb Ewan is in this chase group, it seems. Another contender for the stage win now. 

Pozzovivo still chasing hard, but he has no teammates now. He's well behind this chase group, but we don't have a time gap just yet. Jakob Fuglsang also with him.

4km remaining from 227km

Ulissi knows there are faster sprinters in this group and is understandably keen to apply the pressure. He closes in on Jungels and Amador in no time.

Onto those cobbles now as Kruijswijk digs once again. 

Jungels gets another gap as he comes through for a turn. What a show of strength this is. 

Nibali, Valverde, Majka all safely up there in the chase group.

The Pozzovivo group is over a minute back.

2km remaining from 227km

Ewan dropped from the chase group. Trentin and Battaglin in there, as is Nizzolo.

It looks like Jungels has defended his pink jersey, but who's going to take the stage win?

Flamme rouge and Jungels kicks again

Jungels grits his teeth and really grinds that big gear. Amador behind, then Ulissi.

Sprint now with these three, Jungels leads out

Luis comes up and through on the left.

Ulissi wins stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia

Amador second, Jungels third, Nizzolo winning the sprint for fourth, several seconds behind. 

Amador takes 6 bonus seconds, Jungels takes 4. So Amador closes in on the pink jersey by 2 seconds. But it's a day when Jungels extends his lead over most of the GC contenders. 

What a race! Granted, there were 200 flat kilometres, but after that we were treated to some of the most gripping racing of this Giro.

Top 10

So, with the exception of Amador, Jungels extends his GC lead by 17 seconds. 

Always refreshing to see the pink jersey going on the offensive. A great ride from Ulissi, too, who played it perfectly. Drop the faster men on an uphill section, allow the other two leaders to push it on, then appear at the end to finish it off. 

General classification after stage 11

Gianluca Brambilla talks to Eurosport after the stage. He was one of the riders caught up in the big crash and lost three minutes. He's down to ninth overall. 

Stage winner Diego Ulissi talks to TV

Celebrations in the Lampre camp

Bob Jungels talks about his ride

Brief stage report, with results and a few photos: 

Bob Jungels holds onto his pink jersey - and in some style.

An update on Pozzovivo there from Ag2r after the Italian lost well over a minute having been caught up in the big crash. 

Finishing with Pozzovivo and also losing 1:49 was Astana's Jakob Fuglsang. The Dane drops out of the top 10 and there'll be no more nagging questions over Nibali's suitability to lead Astana. That said, Astana are down a useful foil in the mould of Amador. 

Eurosport catch up with a Lampre directeur sportif, who hails his riders' teammwork and commitment today. Remember, they simply would not allow that early break of nine to stick. 

Ulissi taking stage honours

So, onto the next stage. Stage 12. This certainly will be one for the sprinters. It has been given a one-star rating in the Giro roadbook, and could hardly be flatter. 

After that, though, the GC battle will burst into life with two mountain stages followed by that important uphill time trial. 

You can find all the flash reaction to today's stage here:

Great shot of Jungels driving that trio over the cobbles. 

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