Stage 11: Tarvisio to Vajont, 182km
The defending champion might be down but his Garmin-Sharp team are certainly not out. Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas got into the 20-man strong breakaway group that went away 80km into the stage, and bided his time as the peloton let the break have its day.
The group worked together until they neared the summit of the Cat 2 Sella Ciampigotta, where Bardiani’s Stefano Pirazzi attacked to pick up some mountains points, although Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli) took maximum points. Argonaut Patrick Gretsch then attacked on the long descent but was reeled in with 18km to go after Navardauskas and BMC’s Daniel Oss struck out on their own and chased him down.
Once Navardauskas hit the final 7km climb, he dropped Oss to take the stage in a solo ride. Oss and Pirazzi were 2nd and 3rd respectively. There was no change in the GC standings of the race favourites, who rolled in almost 5 minutes behind the stage winner.
VeloVoices rider of the day
This Giro is just breakaway heaven. We’ve had some storming – and smart – solo rides and this one was no exception. Garmin-Sharp was looking at their Giro in tatters after Ryder Hesjedal lost over 21 minutes on Stage 10, but Jonathan Vaughters said he was going to Plan B and Navardauskas executed it perfectly. He worked with Oss to get away from the main breakaway group, let the mountain-jersey contenders mop up the points that were important to them and then dropped Oss at just the right time to take a beautiful victory.
Opinion & analysis
After yesterday’s dramatic stage, which effectively ended the top-step dreams of both Ryder Hesjedal and Bradley Wiggins, the peloton seemed happy to leave today’s fireworks to the breakaway. With the next two stages flats for the sprinters – Friday’s Stage 13 being the longest in this year’s race at 254km – we can expect the GC standings to stay the same, barring any abandonments or major disasters, in anticipation of the race’s Alpine weekend. The fact that they are both summit finishes – Sunday’s finishing on the iconic Col du Galibier – means that all the main protagonists (and their teams) will want to stay safe and fresh for what will certainly be a decisive weekend.
Sylvain Georges from Ag2R-La Mondiale did not start the stage, as he voluntarily withdrew following a positive A-sample for Heptaminol after stage 7.
Stage 11 result:
1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) 4:23:14
2. Daniel Oss (BMC) +1.08
3. Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) +2.59
4. Salvatore Puccio (Sky) +3.07
5. Paul Martens (Blanco) +3.07
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 43:26:27
2. Cadel Evans (BMC) +0:41
3. Rigoberto Uran (Sky) +2:04
4. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) +2:05
5. Robert Gesink (Blanco) +2:12
6. Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) +2:13
7. Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) +2:55
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) +3:35
9. Benat Intxausti (Movistar) +4:05
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) +4:17